Toronto International Film Festival
10-19 September, 2009


For the benefit of those of you who may eventually be directed here from someone's TIFF rundown, and who may assume that 57/100 amounts to an F.

100-90: Masterpiece, or damn close. Very rare.
89-80: Fanthefucktastic. Near-lock for my year-end top 10 list.
79-70: Definitely something special. Do not miss. Likely list contender.
69-60: Very good, but also flawed or missing some crucial element.
59-50: Didn't quite work for me, but has many redeeming qualities.
49-40: Demerits clearly outweigh merits.
39-30: I really did not enjoy this picture, but talent was involved.
29-20: When will this fucking picture end. When.
19-10: Outright fiasco and/or unwatchably boring.
9-0: One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Very rare.
W/O: I don't know the director and the first two reels (about 35 to 40 minutes) didn't convince me that (s)he has it going on.

Thu 10

Huacho (Alejandro Fernández Almendras, Chile/France/Germany): 59
[Cannes Critics' Week.]

/Dogtooth/ (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece): 82

The Men Who Stare at Goats (Grant Heslov, USA): W/O
[Moderate interest; dead slot.]

Inferno (Serge Bromberg, France): 55
[Cannes Classics; NYFF.]

Fri 11

The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, USA): 60

A Serious Man (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, USA): 41

Independencia (Raya Martin, The Philippines/France/Germany/The Netherlands): 38
[Cannes UCR; NYFF.]

Sawasdee Bangkok (Wisit Sasanatieng/Aditya Assarat/Kongdej Jaturanrasamee/Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand): 43
[Moderate interest due to Wisit; kind of a dead slot.]

Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Love, France/Germany): 61
[Cannes UCR.]

Sat 12

Eyes Wide Open (Haim Tabakman, Israel): W/O
[Cannes UCR.]

Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania): 51
[Cannes UCR; NYFF; raves across the board.]

Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont, France): 67
[NYFF; I guess Dumont qualifes as "important."]

La Pivellina (Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel, Austria): W/O
[Cannes Fortnight.]

Sun 13

Soul Kitchen (Fatih Akin, Germany): 73
[Venice Comp.; lingering goodwill from Head-On; like the Doors song.]

George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead (George A. Romero, Canada): TK
[Because it can't possibly be as shitty as the last one. Right?]

The Art of the Steal (Don Argott, USA): TK

Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, Israel): TK
[Venice Comp.; NYFF.]

Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl (Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/Spain/France): TK
[Goddamn you NYFF. At least it's super-short.]

Mon 14

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (Werner Herzog, USA): TK

Chloe (Atom Egoyan, France/Canada): TK
[His last "disaster" was actually pretty good.]

Ajami (Scandar Copti & Yaron Shani, Israel/Germany): TK [PUBLIC SCREENING]
[Cannes Fortnight.]

White Material (Claire Denis, France): TK
[Kind of a semi-duh though I've yet to truly love one of her films; Venice Comp.; NYFF.]

To Die Like a Man (João Pedro Rodrigues, Portugal/France): TK
[Cannes UCR; oh look Dennis Lim and Melissa Anderson are on the NYFF selection committee this year.]

Tue 15

The Refuge (François Ozon, France): TK
[Duh. Yes, duh.]

Ondine (Neil Jordan, Ireland/USA): TK
[Duh. No, seriously, duh.]

Karaoke (Chris Chong Chan Fui, Malaysia): TK
[Cannes Fortnight.]

Accident (Soi Cheang, Hong Kong): TK
[Venice Comp.]

Tales From the Golden Age (Cristian Mungiu/Ioana Uricaru/Hanno Höfer/Razvan Marculescu/Constantin Popescu, Romania/France): TK [PUBLIC SCREENING]
[Cannes UCR.]

Wed 16

Micmacs (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France): TK
[Some of these duh's are pretty embarrassing actually. Delicatessen was a long time ago.]

The Joneses (Derrick Borte, USA): TK
[Total dead slot; it's in Varsity 8.]

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, USA): TK
[I should try to see a few things I can actually get paid to review in months to come; Thank You for Smoking and Juno both had plentiful moments.]

The Traveller (Ahmed Maher, Egypt/Italy): TK [PUBLIC SCREENING]
[Venice Comp.]

Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, Austria/France/Germany): TK
[The hottest woman alive.]

Thu 17

The Young Victoria (Jean-Marc Vallée, UK): TK
[Deadish slot; good cast; everyone but me loved C.R.A.Z.Y.]

Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz, USA): TK
[Fuck you up the ass NYFF. This is so going to be neither party nor disco.]

Samson & Delilah (Warwick Thornton, Australia): TK [PUBLIC SCREENING]
[Cannes UCR; Caméra d'Or.]

Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, USA/UK): TK
[NYFF. And I was so looking forward to ignoring this...]

Carcasses (Denis Côté, Canada): TK [PUBLIC SCREENING]
[Cannes Fortnight.]

Fri 12

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog, USA/Germany): TK
[Unto you I say duh.]

An Education (Lone Scherfig, UK): TK
[Good Sundance buzz, even if it's probably not my thing.]

Gaia (Jason Lehel, USA): TK
[Dead slot; in Visions section; need to conserve public tix.]

[NOTE: From this point forward it's all [PUBLIC SCREENING]s.]

The Misfortunates (Felix van Groeningen, Belgium): TK
[Cannes Fortnight.]

A Brand New Life (Ounie Lecomte, South Korea/France): TK [NOTE: Will only work if I W/O of The Misfortunates; otherwise try At the End of Daybreak]
[Cannes Special Screenings.]

Sat 19

Women Without Men (Shirin Neshat, Germany/Austria/France): TK
[Venice Comp.]

Between Two Worlds (Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka): TK
[Venice Comp.; giving this dude another chance.]

Irène (Alain Cavalier, France): TK [NOTE: Switch to The Hole if word on it is positive.]
[Cannes UCR, but W/O roughly 96% certain based on logline.]

Hipsters (Valery Todorovsky, Russia): TK
[Karina Longworth made it sound irresistible, working solely from the synopsis in the Cannes Market guide.]

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (Tony Jaa & Panna Rittikrai, Thailand): TK