Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Toronto: Day Six (in which I slack off a bit)

In Her Shoes
(US, Curtis Hanson, 135 min. With: Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Feuerstein, Brooke Smith)

Yeah, it has its problems. Do we need Collette to have self-esteem issues again? Must there be quite so many scenes involving shoes and dogs? (And I really, really like dogs.) There's also too much gruff fun with the elderly. But get past them chick-lit trappings a tall order for many male critics of my acquaintance – and it's smoothly entertaining, solidly developed, and a breeze to watch even at two and a quarter hours. Diaz – charming and funny at the press conference this afternoon – isn't afraid to make Maggie even more of a pain in the arse than the movie strictly needs her to be. But the secret Fox haven't let out of the bag yet? It's Collette's film, all the way. I just love her in this, however demeaningly dowdified the part, and whenever the movie's singing her tune – which is at least half the time, Oscar category watchers – it's smashingly on song. Tonight: the premiere party, at which I declare my undying love for this consistently sublime actress and get slapped with a restraining order. B

L'enfant (Belgium, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. With: Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Déborah François)

Can these guys do no wrong? 20 mins in, I'll confess, I feared it might be just a smidgeon less dramatically taut than their last three films, that another beautifully constructed Christian allegory about absolution was on the way, and that I was going to find it just quietly admirable. Not so. The Cannes jury must have had a hell of time deciding between this and
Caché. A


Nick Davis said...

Yay! I've been waiting to love or at least really like In Her Shoes, and I especially wanted Toni Collette to be great. Which, as you observe, she almost always is. So this is delish news. (I showed up just a smidge too late tonight to collect a free pass to an advance screening of this, which would have been tomorrow night. Shoot.)

Too bad about River Queen.

And I'm secretly gratified that Walk the Line isn't very good. Mangold and Phoenix are both non-starters for me, and Witherspoon is becoming someone I actively dislike. Having met June Carter Cash once, and having adored her uniquely wise and earnest form of kookiness, I was pretty sure Reese Witherspoon was no June Carter Cash.

tim r said...

In Her Shoes gets more charming the more I think about it. And Mike D'Angelo is dead right over at his festival round-up - it actually has you welling up at the weirdest moments.

Toni appeared to be a no show at the gala bash, sadly, but Diaz (not quite on first name terms yet, though she's really very good in this) was bustled in surrounded by brawn and instantly disappeared round the back. The beautiful people suddenly looked a bit more pleased with themselves for being seen to be seen, and I decided it was bedtime.

Instead of counting sheep, I'm going to try and remember sequences from Walk the Line...