Sunday was our biggest film fest day – three movies, starting with Gabrielle, about two sweet kids with disabilities, in love. The woman who plays Gabrielle the character is also named Gabrielle – Gabrielle Marion-Rivard. She has Williams Syndrome in real life as in film; the actor that plays her boyfriend Martin does not have the same disability as his character, and the two actors and the director talk about that in this interview.
Gabrielle was at one of the best theaters for the film fest, the Marquee Room in Union South. Only a 15 minute walk back to our house. I originally thought we should just walk to Gabrielle, then walk to the Overture Center, Capitol Theater, where the 2nd movie was, then walk home and get the car to go to movie #3 at Sundance. Mark thought it would work better if one of us went to get the car between movies #1 and #2, while the others went to get a place in line. So I volunteered to get the car. Gave me a chance to check in with John, who was in one of his ready-to-quit-grad-school moods that day.
Movie #2 was Le Week-end, another one we’d wanted to see at TIFF, and couldn’t get in, and already in commercial release in NYC and other big cities. I liked it the best of the three of us – Mark didn’t like it because it didn’t have enough of a narrative arc – nothing really happened. And he also decided a few days later that he didn’t really like the two main characters. I imagine that it was too much an old people movie for Toni. I don’t think I’d be good friends with either the Jim Broadbent character or the Lindsay Duncan character – but I liked both of them from time to time, him probably more than her – and I just liked a movie with older protagonists who are still figuring it out. And, even though it’s a Boomer cliché, still – as this Guardian 3-star review says – thinking you still want the same things you wanted in your youth, even if it’s unseemly at your age.
Our last movie on Sunday was Macaroni & Cheese – billed as the French Girls. Three young women on the prowl at a film festival, over-sharing their romantic and social triumphs & defeats by text. The most interesting thing is the inter-cutting of them talking about their film fest adventure, after the fact, with snippets of the real thing. We go back and forth between their discussion, when they’ve gotten together at the new apartment of one of the group, and made a pot of macaroni and cheese, and the film fest.
We got home in time to make a quick pizza – frozen homemade crust, quick sauce made from jarred roasted red peppers and tomato paste, and shredded mozzarella – to eat in front of the season premiere of Game of Thrones.
Monday it was just one film, The Congress. Mostly animated, with some live action – Robin Wright as an aging actress who sells her identity to the studio. And becomes Rebel Robot Robin, mostly. The animation featured bright psychedelic colors and gave everyone anime eyes. We had pizza after this one, too, at Cafe Porta d’Alba. We got one with burata on top that was surprisingly good.
Tuesday we didn’t do any films – I had class.
Wednesday we went to see Kim Stanley Robinson.
Thursday our final film was Breathe In, about an exchange student and her host family. Totally predictable. The student and the dad are attracted to each other and make ridiculous plans to run away together. The daughter sees them and figures it out, after being jilted by a boy she likes, and gets drunk and crashes the car she’s been given – total foreshadowing on that one. The mom figures it out and smashes the cookie jars that she collects and sells. Mark said he would’ve liked the movie better if at least one character made one good decision in it – I agree. I thought, in the final scenes where we see the exchange student on a train, that she was going to go get on a plane and go back to the UK – that would’ve been a good decision – but instead she goes to meet the dad after his symphony concert, as arranged. Before they can take off, he gets the call that his daughter’s been hurt. All really pretty actors – I mean, Guy Pearce – and settings – Hudson River Valley – to watch. I wondered sometimes while I was watching it if all the people acted so stupid because they were rich, but as Mark pointed out, they really weren’t that rich. We got burgers after that one at the Great Dane.
So good movies, but overall a bit of disappointing film fest – the marketing wasn’t as good, the film selection wasn’t as good, and the volunteer coordination wasn’t as good, as all those things have been in years past.