Part historical fantasy, part lovers-separated-by-death weeper, part New Age fever dream, "The Fountain" isn’t truly horrible, just very, very silly. When [Hugh] Jackman plunges his dagger into the hairy bark of the Tree of Life, a viscous, milky substance trickles out — the source of all life! Best to have a tissue handy for this kind of thing. Jackman plays a doctor-researcher type who’s desperately trying to shrink a tumor in a lab monkey’s head. But before that, he’s a Spanish guy around the time of the Inquisition, fending off savages with pointy teeth in a battle sequence that’s like "Lord of the Rings" lite. And in between, he’s a bald guy meditating; occasionally, he takes a break to eat some of that magic tree bark.
And from yesterday’s:
[T]he big movie that almost everyone is conspicuously silent about is Steven Zaillian‘s adaptation of Robert Penn Warren‘s "All the King’s Men." I confess that I decided to forgo the Sunday afternoon screening, because I’ll be able to see it in New York next week. When I’ve asked colleagues what they thought of it, I can’t help noticing how their lips tighten into grim little lines. They speak about it as if it were an unlikable relative who has somehow embarrassed them — although one colleague, when I told her I had skipped the screening to go back to my hotel and do some work, asked me outright, "Could you hear how loud it stank from way over there?"
From Anne Thompson at the Hollywood Reporter: "a new subgenre has emerged at the Toronto International Film Festival: the dramatic thriller based on the real-life horrors of Africa." Her two examples are Kevin Macdonald‘s "The Last King of Scotland" and Phillip Noyce‘s "Catch a Fire," which she focuses on.
And at the LA Times, Patrick Goldstein talks to Asger Leth about "Ghosts of Cite Soleil," his documentary on gang leaders in the Haitian slums, here. Here, he speaks to "Death of a President"‘s Gabriel Range, noting that the director "looked a bit shellshocked. His phone buzzed so often that he finally turned it off."
+ Toronto Film Festival 4 (Salon)
+ Toronto Film Festival 3 (Salon)
+ TORONTO ’06 CRITICS NOTEBOOK: Immigrant Stories and Haitian Violence (indieWIRE)
+ "Fire" brings African reality to Toronto festival (Hollywood Reporter)
+ Haiti haunted by thuggish ‘Ghosts’ (LA Times)