Monday, August 10, 2009

MIFF: Closing Shots

I know I didn't get around to the reviews part of my MIFF experience with as much speed as I had anticipated, but being sick will do that to you. Thankfully I recovered in time for the final days, which were the really big ones in my itinerary. I will be getting around to writing about all the films I saw in some capacity, although there were a couple of titles that I don't think I will be able to get my head around writing a full review of. I mean, how does one write 600 or so words on The Maid? Hmmm. So now that the festival has been and gone I thought I would take a look back.

Fish Tank
I wasn't going to say Andrea Arnold's sophomore effort, Fish Tank, was the best film I saw at the festival, but I haven't stopped thinking about it all day. Truly an astonishing piece of work from this director who now has two brilliant films on her resume. I will definitely be writing about this one soon.

Runner-Up:Prodigal Sons
I have already discussed Kimberley Reed's debut documentary. Touching, moving and powerful stuff.

Kelly O'Neill, Kisses
This young Irish actress - I'm not sure her age, but I'm guessed around 11 - truly shocked me in how great she was. Instantly one of the best performances by a youth I've ever seen. Even though her dialogue was incomprehensible from time to time, she shone so I'm giving her the notice, even though I think perhaps Katie Jarvis deserves it.

Runner-Up: How about Jarvis in Fish Tank? What a stunner! Bringing her street-smarts to the movie set. Then there's Charlotte Gainsbourg in Antichrist who is every bit as fascinating to watch as you expect. And I can't forget Kseniya Rappoport in Yuri's Day (my review) and despite thinking the film was far too unpleasant, Catalina Saavedra was strangely captivating in The Maid, and the two girls from Treeless Mountain are rather good too.

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
I didn't think Renner was anything exceptional like the first three actresses mentioned above, but the men were incredibly lacking in the films I saw this year. Although, to be perfectly honest, I tend to chose films about women more than about men, so that probably has something to with it, yeah?

Runner-Up: Willem Dafoe in Antichrist and Michael Fassbender in Fish Tank are really the only ones to rate a mention.

Leonie Benesch, The White Ribbon
I am fairly certain it was this young girl that stuck out in Michael Haneke's film, but I could be wrong. I so liked seeing the looks that continuously ran across her face.

Runner-Up: Kierston Wareing and Charlotte Collins have some great moments in Fish Tank

Geoffrey Rush and Ernie Dingo, Bran Nue Dae
Both were treats in the film that brought the house down. Rush is a riot as a priest, most of all in his early scenes. Dingo, however, has some really fine moments as a homeless man who joins a road trip and his singing voice sure is something!

Runner-Up: Sergey Garmash in Morphia was best in show while Anthony Mackie was great, too, in The Hurt Locker.

All in all, it was a good fest. A few great movies, a couple of duds and some really fun times! I wonder if I'll get to see more next year? I will, obviously, have to wait and see what my situation is like next year - too far away to even contemplate - but maybe... just maybe. Tune in then.

1 comment:

FranklinBluth said...

I absolutely LOVED Bran Nue Dae, lots of fun and the music was great! I hope the film does really well during it's general release.