I'd hoped to write this dispatch a little earlier, because once a few days of the Toronto Film Festival have flown by, one finds it difficult to think back and remember things on a day-to-day basis. And since I don't enjoy doing difficult things, I'll just rattle through my memory banks and pull out a few highlights.
Movie-wise, I've been most impressed with The Orphanage (for creepiness), Frontiere(s) (for sheer audacity), Diary of the Dead (for obvious reasons), Stuck (because Stuart Gordon is good at what he does) and Sleuth (because Michael Caine is a god). But I'm still not done gushing and cooing over Jason Reitman's Juno, which is one of the freshest, funkiest and most lovable comedies of the past ten years. I also liked-not-loved David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, got smacked in the face by De Palma's Redacted, fell just a little more in love with Rose Byrne, and (thanks to Elizabeth: The Golden Age) became entirely convinced that Cate Blanchett is the finest actor ever born. (Or very close to it.) Also, Margot at the Wedding made me want to take three consecutive showers.
Beyond the movies and the interviews and the bolting back to the hotel to rattle off some fresh reviews, there's been a little time for fun. I've been able to chill out with my beloved Cinepals James Rocky and Monika Bartleby, and it's nice to know that the "film festival summer camp" vibe is still in full effect. Great folks I only get to see at festivals include Erik "The Movieman" Childress, James "Reel Views" Berardinelli, Jen "Non-Rotten Tomato" Yamato, Mike "Indiewire" Lerman, Ed "Coming Soon" Douglas, Jon "EInsider" Hickman, Geoff "The Man" Pevere, and the ultra-slick SXSW overlords Matt Dentler and Jarod Neece. And of course it's always great to share some acidic movie talk with Diamond Dave Poland.