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
Written and directed by Gia Coppola, Palo Alto is an adaptation of the short stories written by James Franco and is scored by Dev Hynes and Coppola's cousin Robert Schwartzman... It was inevitable it would be stamped with the hipster label for the Opening Ceremony set. Though lacking the early accomplished vision of her other cousin Sofia’s debut, The Virgin Suicides (which very well may be a result of the source material rather than the direction), Palo Alto is an enjoyable coming-of-age film with a likable cast playing unlikable characters. Emma Roberts plays the soccer star with a crush on her coach (Franco) alongside newcomer Jack Kilmer (yes, the son of Val) as Teddy, a troubled teen hanging out with the wrong best friend (Nat Wolff), and Zoe Levin (The Way Way Back) as the high school tramp. Shot in a hazy style that reflects the malaise of high school students everywhere, Palo Alto’s tale of disaffected youth is a fine debut for a filmmaker stepping into some very big Marc Jacobs’ flats.
Jonathan Glazer’s Under The Skin is a nearly silent The(Wo)Man Who Fell To Earth opus. It follows an alien in the body of Scarlett Johannson searching for male victims in Scotland. Think a more artistic and dark Jennifer’s Body but without Diablo Cody's snappy dialogue and replace goddess-in-her-prime Megan Fox with a brunette and dowdy Johannson. The film is as cold as the behavior exhibited on screen, yet for all its masterful special effects (Glazer first came to fame directing music videos for such artists as Radiohead and Massive Attack), it maintains a human touch through the candid camera shots. Several of the on-screen interactions with victims are played by non-actors and actors alike, giving the film a truly frightening realistic tone enhanced by the anxious and experimental score by Mica Levi (member of Micahu and the Shapes).