The Tropic Cinema’s S. Runi Goyal is at the Toronto International Film Festival. Here are some of her highlights—keep an eye on the Tropic’s screens as these films get theatrical distribution!
Day 2 was a long, long day. I saw 6 films in a 14 hour period. Some were great, and some were downright bad.
Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku)
Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival
To be released in the US on November 23
I read the description of the film and didn’t think much of it, “Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda follows a small band of marginalized misfits struggling to make ends meet in a merciless urban environment.” Then I learned it won the hearts at Cannes and is in the top 5 of highest grossing films in Japan. This is easily one of the best films of the year and is deserving of every accolade.
(photo credit IndieWire) TIFF premiere
To be released in the US on September 21
Michael Moore’s newest documentary doesn’t pull any punches. He predictably hits hard at Trump, but I certainly didn’t expect him to spar with Clinton (Bill and Hillary). He predictably tries to film himself attempting to arrest the governor of Michigan, but I certainly didn’t expect him to shift blame towards Obama for the water conditions in Flint. I never predicted that the film was meant to celebrate our youth, who, if we let them, will take over and clean up the mess we made.
Woman At War (Kona fer í stríð)
Screened at Cannes (Winner, SACD Award for Screenwriters)
Who knew the people of Iceland have a sense of humor? The film gloriously depicts a woman, who leads a singing chorale, hell-bent on taking down a multi-national heavy industry in her town, while a random bike-riding tourist from a Spanish speaking country is continually blamed for her crimes. Oh, and she wants to adopt a child from the Ukraine.
TIFF World Premiere
To be released in 2019
Who would have thought that seeing a film starring Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz would be a bad decision? Described as “sinister,” I felt imprisoned in the theater unable to escape the film’s sheer stupidity. Needless to say, I wish I sat in an aisle seat to an easier getaway.
To be released in 2019
Anything is better than Isabelle Huppert in “Greta!” Red Joan is based on the true story of Britain’s longest serving spy for the KGB, but the film falls flat on all accounts. Yes, it’s better than “Greta,” and that’s all the acclaim I can muster.
Putin’s Witnesses (Svideteli Putina)
Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Grand Prix Documentary award)
The stunning and surprisingly intimate documentary of Putin’s early years is amazing. The director/filmmaker apologizes for his part in the rise of Putin by releasing tons of footage and exposing a dark underbelly that we were never meant to see and sadly, it’s unlikely that the film will ever be screened in Russia.