The film Margarita With A Straw is so unexpectedly brilliant, on so many levels, that I was completely mesmerized. Focused on taboo within taboo, the fragility of our collective human condition and the joy and possibility of life, the film is required viewing.
Black films and artists were an integral part of the lineup at this year's Toronto International Film Festival along with other world premieres. Dramas, genre movies, comedies, romantic films and documentaries positioned themselves early for this year's annual Oscar race.
Get used to hearing the title The Imitation Game because, between the filmmaking of Morten Tyldum and the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch, this is the film they'll be talking about at the end of the year.
Which is what I value most about the film festival experience in general: the chance it offers to discover a film, a filmmaker, an actor -- the operative word being discover. That's less and less of a factor at this particular festival these days. Instead, it seems stacked with pre-sold titles.
I admire Smith's impulse to expand his film-making palette and was a fan of his Red State. Tusk, however, may only be for Smith completists. It was so disheartening that I bailed a little early in order to make a screening of The Reach.