V'S VERY OWN MOVIE BUFF, THE MULTI-TALENT GREG KRELENSTEIN GIVES US A RUNDOWN OF THE HITS AND MISSES FROM TORONTO'S 2013 INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
This year, going into the wild was explored in three diverse but
equally compelling Toronto entries: How I Live Now (starring Saorsie Ronan), Tracks (starring Mia Wasikowska and Girls's Adam Driver) and Tom At The Farm (directed by and starring Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan).
How I Live Now, based on the novel by Meg Rosoff, is Ronan's second entry into YA territory (following this year's The Host). The film portrays a dystopian tale of martial law in England, where Daisy (Ronan) is sent for the summer to live with her cousins in the English countryside. An angsty teen who has spent her young adulthood living in her head, Daisy is challenged when she falls in love with the dreamy Edmond (George MacKay) just when the third world war starts. A
perfect storm of Twilight and Hunger Games proportions, this film is set apart by the lyrical direction of Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland) and the impassioned performance of Ronan. Magnolia Pictures will release How I Live Now in November of 2013.
Tracks is based on the true story of the Aussie adventurer Robin
Davidson’s courageous 2,000 mile-long journey across the Australian desert to the Indian Ocean with her four camels and beloved dog. Mia Wasikowska plays the title role with a mix of strength and utter vulnerability in this soul searching journey across a landscape that is beautifully captured by its director John Curran. Seeking sponsorship to support her trip, Robin is accompanied at points by Rick Smolan (played winningly by Adam Driver), a National Geographic photographer who documents her journey. The actual footage from the trek is revealed in the credits to have provided the film's visual
inspiration. Wasikowska’s presence in every scene of this film
solidifies her position as one of the most talented actresses of her generation, with a diverse résumé of roles that continues to surprise. Weinstein Co will release this film in 2014.
Tom at the Farm is a powerful thriller that has more in common with the works of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith than of the queer cinema niche its director and star Xavier Dolan has explored in past films (Heartbeats, Lawrence Anyways). The premise finds Tom (Dolan) traveling to the country to attend the funeral of his former lover. Quickly, he is confronted by deep secrets: one being that his boyfriend’s mother didn’t know he was gay—and his brother Francis (played by Pierre-Yves Cardinal) wants to keep it that way. Tom is pulled into a complicated tension with Francis that later proves fascinating to watch unfold as their relationship becomes more dangerous. Dolan succeeds in bringing this triumphant adaptation of a
play to screen.