For the past few Tuesdays – or the occasional Wednesday – the Toronto International Film Festival announces their line-ups bit by bit, and its my duty to write about those films an Anomalous Material. For some reason I chose to movies about alleged female murderers, assassins as my leads and wrote a bit more about movies about women experiencing violent births, smoking cigarettes and second wives left out of inheritances. I forgot to mention Christophe Honore’s Beloved, about a mother-daughter team (real-life mother and daughter Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni) who go through a lot of men. Gritty.
But don’t think that the unfair sex isn’t getting in on this action. Films included in the Gala and Special Presentations are the previously announced Machine Gun Preacher and the newly announced Intruders and Killer Elite, the latter also starring birthday boy Robert de Niro! I’m not that much of a snob and I guess I should open my mind to genre. Preacher seems more of the prestige awards film and I assumed that guns belonged to Midnight Madness territory. But apparently Gerard Butler, Jason Statham and multitasker Clive Owen’s muscular bodies don’t fit with that programme’s zombie theme. And apparently a Nicholas Cage movie called Trespass is playing too. The end! Photos courtesy of TIFF.
Christoph Honore’s Man at Bath features cruelly volatile characters, focusing on a French gay couple falling out of love, mostly because Emmanuel (Francois Sagat) rapes his boyfriend Omar. Omar gives his boyfriend a week to move out of his apartment, which is convenient since he’s going to New York for film work with Chiara Mastroianni. The film then shows scenes of Emmanuel hooking to earn money to Omar picking up Dustin, a young Quebecois/Al Pacino lookalike to scenes when the couple are in the apartment. We’ll assume that it’s Emmanuel imagining his boyfriend in that space, both connecting sexually.
There are some good things. Like there’s no hint of subversion in Sagat’s emotionally versatile performance or that singing indie rock before sex is actually cool or Emmanuel having sex with three different guys in his soon-to-be ex boyfriend’s apartment might just be the best revenge ever. But are these characters depicted with distance or self-awareness? That could have saved the film, as well as some editing and organizing the plots from priority a, b or c. 1/5.
Before the main event, there was a screening of a short called The Lady is Dead, about a heavily made-up old woman watching LGBT men and women of all shapes, two of which are twinks who weigh exactly like my right thigh. 2/5.