Thanks for coming back! Today was my last day during this trip when I have to wake up before 6am! I saw three more films (which takes me to 24 total), and I had a nice dinner. Though there was an invitation to meet up for late drinks, I had to turn it down. I’m simply too tired and getting more than 4 hours of sleep sounds much better.
My first film of the day was PATERSON, by Jim Jarmusch – who has a cult-like following. This film stars Adam Driver as “a working-class poet in a small New Jersey town who practices his craft amidst the quiet magic of everyday life.” (TIFF on-line catalog) As always, Jarmusch finds both humor and pathos in the idiosyncrasies and mundane routines of his characters. That said, I think this film is his most accessible. And though not a lot “happens,” I was engaged and liked peeking in on these rather charming characters. (There is not trailer available, but here’s a clip.)
JACKIE, the new film about Jackie O’ starring Natalie Portman, was next on my list. Directed by Pablo Larrain (who also has a film about Pablo Neruda at the festival), this film takes a look at the assassination of JFK through the point of view of Jackie. The film opens with Jackie greeting a journalist just a few days after the assassination. As she answers questions, we get her version of the story – both anecdotes about the making of the TV special when she led press through the White House as well as her account of what happened in Texas and preparing for the funeral. She is very candid, but she also makes quite clear that she’ll have the final edit on the piece that is written. When the journalist says that he just wants the truth, it is finally said that “I will settle for a story that’s believable.” That sentiment is the film in a nutshell. It took me a little while to buy Portman as Jackie, but eventually she won me over. Fox Searchlight picked up this film within the last 48 hours, and they plan to have it released in time for Oscar season.
My final film of the day was UNA – a new film based on the play BLACKBIRD, directed by Benedict Andrews and starring Rooney Mara & Ben Mendelsohn. This is the story of a young woman in her mid-20’s confronting a middle-aged man at his place of work. It’s been 12 years since they’ve seen each other…and that was when she was 13 and he sexually abused her. It’s my understanding that the play is just two characters…and adapting it for the screen seemed a bit forced to me. From ducking behind boxes and into bathroom stalls to hide from other workers, it seemed a bit of a stretch to buy the actions of the characters. I ultimately had really mixed feelings. The material is intriguing and bold, but I didn’t buy the set-up (trouble with the man’s position at work is a tangent that seems oddly tacked on). In addition, I feel like the material didn’t ring with honesty. SPOILER ALERT…don’t read more if you don’t want to know too much! The director spoke of each character having “unfinished desire” for one another. I’d be anxious to hear a true feminist read of this material/adaptation. By the end, I didn’t hate it, but I also can’t recommend it. There is no trailer for this film, but here’s a clip:
I’ve got three films tomorrow and I get to sleep in until 7:30! I also plan to meet an old friend for dinner – someone I met in line for Almodovar’s TALK TO HER back at the festival in 2002.
Thanks for reading,