Film Festival Reviews

Rating: NNNNNNThis adaptation of Anita Shreve's marital mystery drama is an unusually literate and literary project for action specialist Bigelow.

Rating: NNNNN

NThis adaptation of Anita Shreve’s marital mystery drama is an unusually literate and literary project for action specialist Bigelow (Strange Days, Point Break). It features the parallel lines of a present-day decaying marriage and one that ended in murder a century ago on a small island off the Maine coast. Bigelow’s strengths — her restless camera and associative, quick-cut editing style — ensure that the picture never bogs down. But she never quite slows down enough for the audience to forge a thematic link between the two marriages. Penn is outstanding in the modern story as a noted poet, and Polley is the stalwart in the past as a depressed immigrant wife. JH

YOU CAN COUNT ON MESPEC D: Kenneth Lonergan w/ Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo. U.S. 109 mins. Saturday, September 9, 9:45 pm VISA SCREENING ROOM (ELGIN) Monday, September 11, 3:00 pm VARSITY 8 Rating: NNNN NThis Sundance favourite unfolds like a great novel — you go deeper and deeper into the characters until you lose track of time and resent reaching the last page. The story is nominally about orphaned siblings who push each other’s buttons. But no dime-store synopsis can do justice to this film’s offhand humour and subtle design. Linney (The Truman Show) and Ruffalo put meat on Lonergan’s bare-bones script, and the cast is handsomely fleshed out by Matthew Broderick as Linney’s unlikeable boss and Rory Culkin as her son. KL

THE TRUTH ABOUT TULLYCWC D: Hilary Birmingham w/ Anson Mount, Julianne Nicholson. U.S. 102 mins. Saturday, September 9, 10:00 pm VARSITY 4 Saturday, September 9, 10:00 pm VARSITY 5 Tuesday, September 12, 1:45 pm CUMBERLAND 1 Rating: NNN Birmingham’s promising debut benefits from picture-perfect casting. Mount, an Adonis with curly black hair and blue eyes, plays a farmboy stud who discovers some dark secrets about his family during the same summer he strikes up a friendship-with-potential with his neighbour (Nicholson, a freckled redhead so naturally luminous she shouldn’t set foot in Hollywood, ever). The character details are superb — notice how women like to pick on Tully as much as sleep with him. Too bad the film scatters and drifts in its second half, with too many pauses and melodramatic peaks. KL

TELL ME SOMETHINGMM D: Chang Younhyun w/ Han Sukgyu, Shim Eunha. South Korea. 116 mins. Saturday, September 9, mindnight UPTOWN 1 Sunday, September 10, noon CUMBERLAND 2 Rating: NNN Popular Korean filmmaker Chang Younhyun brings the feel of melodrama to this inventive variation on the serial killer theme. The plot hums along in one direction, changes gears and reaches its satisfying double-twist ending with great technical ease. In a lovely metaphor, a climactic scene plays out in a CD shop with the heroine/victim (star-on-the-rise Eunha) in danger while listening on headphones to Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite #2, the opening theme from Eyes Wide Shut PE

sunday 9

WAITING LISTCWC D: Juan Carlos Tabio w/ Vladimir Cruz, Tahimi Alvarino. Cuba/Spain/France/Mexico. 106 mins. Sunday, September 10, 2:45 pm CUMBERLAND 2 Saturday, September 16, 9:00 pm VARSITY 8 Rating: NNN An out-and-out communist fantasy. Tabio sets up an absurdly funny premise and lets the collective consciousness take over. A group of people desperate to get a bus out of their small Cuban town hunker down in the station for days, because every bus that pulls in is full. The usual suspects are here, from the petty bureaucrat and the amorous couple to the duo whose mutual attraction withers on the vine of prior attachment. PE

COMPASSIONATE SEXDISC D: Laura Mana w/ Elisabeth Margoni, Jose Sancho, Pilar Bardem. Spain/Mexico. 107 mins. Sunday, September 10, 6:15 pm VARSITY 1 , September 13, 11:45 am CUMBERLAND 4 Rating: NN The heroine of this bewildering film is a plump, weepy 50-year-old who has sex with the town’s menfolk to win back her philandering husband. Seems he left because she was a do-gooder, but her bid to become a sinner backfires when the men venerate her for her noble sacrifice. Some interesting commentary on religion emerges out of all this, but so many twists pile up near the end that the point gets lost. KL


GALA D: Ang Lee w/ Michelle Yeoh, Chow Yun-Fat, Zhang Ziyi. Taiwan. 122 mins. Sunday, September 10, 6:30 pm ROY THOMSON HALL MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 9:30 AM UPTOWN 1 Rating: NNNNNChow Yun-Fat plays Li Mu Bai, a retiring independent warrior who gives his sword to an old friend as a gift. The sword

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