The Best and Worst of The Toronto International Film Festival

By: 09.14.12  •  59 Comments

Laremy rolls through Toronto in his fly sports car!

I was sitting around the other day, licking my Taco Bell loco taco fingers while thumbing through the “missed connections” portion of the paper when a call came through on the land line. It was Vince, the guy who runs the jam you’re currently reading.

“LEGEL!” he grumbled, his voice still throaty from the scotch and cigar party he’d hosted the night prior.

“Yes, sir?” I said, trying to put my pants back on (for optimal professionalism).

“You were just in Toronto, weren’t cha, kid?”

It was true. I’d hitchhiked to the airport, stowed away in first class, and tipped and sipped my way through the skies. Because I’m a big-time “cream of the crop” critic I was met at the airport by half a dozen ladies, only two of whom were desperately unattractive. After a limo ride into downtown, I was asked to throw out the first pitch for the Orioles-Jays game. Perfect strike. Get drunk, high hat. Then I went to 15 movies in four days, crushing ‘dem reviews like an OG. Then I came home, then I answered the phone, then I used a highly questionable* intro technique to a “Best and Worst of The Toronto Film Festival” column.

*Still, you should be grateful, because the column originally started like this: “The Toronto International Film Festival is a veritable proving ground for potential Best Picture nominees.” Yeeps. That’s terrible.

So here you go, 12 semi-cogent thoughts on TIFF 2012, all for you!

Didn’t Make either List, But Worth Talking About

Cloud Atlas

Best Part
It feels like the sort of film you attempt on a dare, six concurrent plot devices that span around 500 years. As such, you’re going to see the word “ambitious” used about 1000 times in every review of the film.

Worst Part
Like a 5’4″ guy trying to dunk, it’s tough to say if all that effort is going to lead to anything. Yes, they pull off the concurrent storylines, but all of them say the same thing, occasionally back-to-back, with the exact same phrasing. Thus, the films feels repeatedly repetitive (yes, I did that on purpose).

The Master

Best Part
Watching Joaquin Phoenix’s character make moonshine out of household cleaning products. I kept trying to jot down the recipe, if only to avoid potentially blinding my friends.

Worst Part
The realization that Paul Thomas Anderson now has enough cachet that he doesn’t have to care about the audience. Only he’s decided to use this power to make obtuse art-house films.

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