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My Best and Worst from Toronto 2013

My Best and Worst from Toronto 2013

This is hardly a comprehensive list. In fact, it’s downright
idiosyncratic based on my various festival agendas, reviewing for Screen Daily
and covering docs for SundanceNow. But during my 5 days at the Toronto
International Film Festival, I saw only about 15 films from start to finish,
and pieces of others that I will refer them to the old adage: If you’re not
going to say anything nice about them, better to say nothing at all. I’d call two of the films masterpieces or near-masterpieces, which is about all you can hope for, though I wished I had seen Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” which by all accounts, was one of the year’s best. But I was among the hundreds turned away.

So consider this a highly eclectic, by no means exhaustive list of a handful of movies I caught from this year’s fest. Review links are to Screen, which are working for now.

The Best

“12 Years A Slave” – Believe the hype: some further comments

“Ida” – A minimalist masterpiece: review

“Enemy” – A marvelously mystifying mix of Kafka and “The Twilight Zone”:  review

The Good

“The Armstrong Lie”- Gibney does Errol Morris.

“We Are the Best!” – Moodysson goes back to “Fucking Amal” and “Together” territory.

“The Unknown Know”- Morris does Errol Morris.

“When Jews Were Funny” – A pleasantly surprising personal doc disguised as a portrait of comedians: review

“Finding Vivian Maier” – Engaging yet ethically dubious look at lost and found artist.

Good Moments, But No Cigar

“Devil’s Knot” – Would have made a better mini-series: review

“The Dog” – “Dog Day Afternoon” figure has one dirty mouth and a great back-story, but only lasts for first hour.

“Cannibal” – Stylish, but not fulfilling: review

Not for Me

“One Chance” – A feel-good entertainment for your mother-in-law: review

“Horns” – A dramatic mess with clever special effects: review

The Worst

“You Are Here” – Matthew Weiner proves “Mad Men” was a fluke: review

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