“If this were a TV show, I’d watch it every single week.” These were the words I spoke right after watching Antoine Fuqua’s theatrical version of ‘The Equalizer,’ which is kind of a dumb thing to say considering that ‘The Equalizer’ was a TV show. Though, this updated version of ‘The Equalizer’ bears little resemblance to the mid-‘80s version, even though it kind of has everything to do with it.
It was right after I was run over by a food service cart filled with fruit, that’s when I started questioning my motivations and sanity.
“Hey, buddy? Are you OK? Would you like some fruit?” This was the voice of a terrified hotel employee who had just slammed his food service cart into a human being who was sitting outside of a hotel room in which Shawn Levy -- the director of ‘This Is Where I Leave You,’ and probably best known for directing the ‘Night at the Museum’ movies -- was supposedly inside.
What follows isn’t so much an interview with Nick Kroll as it is … well, I’m not sure exactly what it is. Here’s what happened. I was supposed to interview both Kroll and Joel McHale at the same time about their movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, ‘Adult Beginners.’ At our scheduled interview time, McHale wasn’t there. We were told that he was on his way, stuck in traffic, so we waited. Now, knowing that McHale would soon join us, I didn’t want to ask anything too specific about ‘Adult Beginners,’ just to have to repeat the question again once McHale arrived. McHale never did show up...
Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Wiig and Jennifer Aniston - three big name female actresses - all had new movies at the Toronto International Film Festival and each performance indicates a bold new direction for each of them.
‘Love & Mercy’ – which premiered this week at the Toronto International Film Festival – isn’t the first movie to try to explore the life of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. There was the 1990 television movie ‘Summer Dreams: The Story of the Beach Boys,’ which told the story from the late Dennis Wilson’s perspective. Then there was the more expensive-looking, but still made for television ‘The Beach Boys: An American Family’ that aired in 2000. So, yes, we’ve seen Brian Wilson’s mental health dramatized before.
Josh Charles left 'The Good Wife,' then went on to star in 'Bird People' (which is playing this week at the Toronto International Film Festival) as Gary, an American in Paris who suddenly quits his job after a late night panic attack. Yes, for someone like me, this is a fun parallel narrative. Oh, it's a totally fake narrative -- 'Bird People' was filmed before Charles left 'The Good Wife' -- but it's still fun. And, as even Charles admits, despite it being a completely fake narrative, it's still true. Because here we are.
This is why awards season is stupid. (Full disclosure: I kind of like awards season sometimes, but it is stupid.) We can’t live in a world in which the media can see ‘The Theory of Everything’ or ‘The Imitation Game’ and just say, “That was a good movie,” then move on with our lives. No, it will be the battle for Best Actor between Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing.
It’s impossible to separate 'Rosewater' from the personality that is Jon Stewart. On the surface, this statement makes little sense, because many films are deeply culturally intertwined with its director. But 'Rosewater' is a little different, because it’s a person not known for directing -- or even really acting, for that matter. Jon Stewart is famous, but famous for something almost completely unrelated. It would be as if Derek Jeter or Joe Biden directed a movie. The public curiosity with 'Rosewater' is all because of who directed 'Rosewater,' not what 'Rosewater' is about.
The women filmmakers of TIFF are not confined to certain sections, and the result is a film schedule that boasts a bevy of names that film fans should be on the lookout for, from the recognizable to the brand-new. Are women taking over TIFF? Not yet, but here a few features that prove that maybe they should.