TIFF 2012: Twitch's Festival Mega Wrap Rounds Up All the Reviews

Ryland Aldrich, Festivals Editor


No doubt about it, the 2012 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival was an affair to remember. With hundreds of memorable films, Twitch was by your side throughout, clocking in more than five dozen reviews. We've got links to all of them right here, along with preview and feature links for your browsing pleasure. Below you can read the thoughts on the fests by the team that covered it.

Don't miss our wall to wall coverage of Fantastic Fest 2012, kicking off in just a couple days!

Previews
TIFF 12 for '12 Part 1: The Big Launches
TIFF 12 for '12 Part 2: The Fantastic Side of Things
TIFF 12 for '12 Part 3: Pacific Rim Offerings
TIFF 12 for '12 Part 4: Big Screen Reality
TIFF 12 for '12 Part 5: The Films That Could
TIFF 12 for '12 Part 6: The Best From Other Fests
Top 17 Picks Curtain Raiser

Features
Vanguard Programme Discussion by Jason Gorber
The Time and Travel of LOOPER by Kurt Halfyard
A look at COME OUT AND PLAY Source Material WHO CAN KILL A CHILD by Kurt Halfyard
Awards Coverage by Andrew Mack
Stephen Fung Interview by Todd Brown
Emily Blunt Interview by Todd Brown

Reviews
7 BOXES Review by Kurt Halfyard
THE ABCS OF DEATH Review by Jason Gorber
THE ACT OF KILLING Review by Jason Gorber
AFTERSHOCK Review by Jason Gorber
ALL THAT MATTERS IS PAST Review by Todd Brown
AMOUR Review by Kurt Halfyard
ANNA KARENINA Review by Jason Gorber
ANTIVIRAL Review by Brian Clark
ARGO Review by Ryland Aldrich
ARTIFACT Review by Jason Gorber
BAD 25 Review by Jason Gorber
THE BAY Review by Jason Gorber
BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO Review by Kurt Halfyard
BLANCANIEVES Review by Jason Gorber
THE BITTER ASH Review by Kurt Halfyard
THE BRASS TEAPOT Review by Kurt Halfyard
BWAKAW Review by Oggs Cruz
BYZANTIUM Review by Kurt Halfyard
CLIP Review by Ard Vijn
CLOUD ATLAS Review by Jason Gorber
COME OUT AND PLAY Review by Kurt Halfyard
DREDD 3D Review by Charles Webb
END OF WATCH Review by Scott Weinberg
EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN Review by Todd Brown
EVERYDAY Review by Ryland Aldrich
FRANCES HA Review by Ryland Aldrich
FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS Review by Jason Gorber
GANGS OF WASSEYPUR Review by Kurt Halfyard
GHOST GRADUATION Review by Jason Gorber
HELLRAISERS Review by Kurt Halfyard
HERE COMES THE DEVIL Review by Charles Webb
A HIJACKING Review by Todd Brown
HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS Review by Todd Brown
THE HUNT Review by Kurt Halfyard
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON Review by Jason Gorber
I DECLARE WAR Review by Kurt Halfyard
THE ICE MAN Review by Jason Gorber
THE IMPOSSIBLE Review by Kurt Halfyard
JAYNE MANSFIELD'S CAR Review by Brian Clark
JOHN DIES AT THE END Review by Todd Brown
JUST THE WIND Review by Hugo Ozman
A LIARS AUTOBIOGRAPHY Review by Jason Gorber
LONDON - THE MODERN BABYLON Review by Jason Gorber
LOOPER Review by Todd Brown
LORDS OF SALEM Review by Ryland Aldrich
LUNARCY Review by Jason Gorber
THE MASTER Review by Jason Gorber
MOTORWAY Review by James Marsh
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING Review by Todd Brown
MUSHROOMING Review by Todd Brown
NO ONE LIVES Review by Todd Brown
ON THE ROAD Review by Ryland Aldrich
OUTRAGE BEYOND Review by Ryland Aldrich
PAINLESS Review by Todd Brown
PARADISE: LOVE Review by Brian Clark
PENANCE Review by Todd Brown
PIETA Review by Todd Brown
REALITY Review by Ryland Aldrich
REBELLE (aka WAR WITCH) Review by Kurt Halfyard
ROOM 237 Review by James Marsh
A ROYAL AFFAIR Review by Kwenton Bellette
RUST AND BONE Review by Brian Clark
THE SAPPHIRES Review by Brian Clark
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Review by Todd Brown
SHANGHAI Review by J Hurtado
SIGHTSEERS Review by Todd Brown
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Review by Jason Gorber
SMASHED Review by Chase Whale
SPRING BREAKERS Review by Ryland Aldrich
STORM SURFERS 3D Review by Ryland Aldrich
THE SUICIDE SHOP Review by Pierce Conran
TABU Review by Brian Clark
TAI CHI 0 Review by Todd Brown
THALE Review by Peter Martin
THERMAE ROMAE Review by Jason Gorber
TO THE WONDER Review by Kurt Halfyard

Todd Brown



What was/were your favorite film/films of the fest?
Looper started things off strong and I don't think it was ever topped for me, though Spring Breakers and Pieta gave it a good try.

What was your biggest surprise?
Spring Breakers. I'm not generally a big fan of Harmony Korine but this is FUN.

How about your biggest disappointment?
Seven Psychopaths. Not because it's horrible - it's not - but because my expectations were quite high and this had all of the ingredients to be so much better than it is.

Single out one incredible performance.
James Franco in Spring Breakers. Complete, absolute insanity.

What was your favorite moment of the fest that didn't happen in a movie theater?
Getting together with all of the guys for The ABCs of Death. It sounds kind of odd to say, but because that project started with someone else and I just chipped in and helped here and there, I'd sort of forgotten that I was credited as a producer on it. Plus it just never seemed like work at all. Great group of guys getting together and having fun, more like, and it was pretty fantastic to have so many of us in one place.

Jason Gorber



What was/were your favorite film/films of the fest?
Was strange to see LOOPER so early, as it was really hard to not compare everything else to it (heck, I compared the film to RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in my pre-fest capsule review!).

ACT OF KILLING is a staggering, sobering documentary, one not soon to be forgotten. PIETA isn't Ki-Duk's best, but it's still extremely well made. It was a pleasure to sit at the same row as Barry Levinson during the Midnight screening of THE BAY and glance over to see him enthralled with his film and the audience's reaction to it. LONDON, the Julien Temple doc, was way better than it should have been, and benefits greatly from being seen on a big screen. ROOM 237 was even better than I hoped it'd be, almost numbingly insane take on Kubrickian obsessives.

The most fun I had, I think, was with BAD 25 and GHOST GRADUATION - after a bunch of dreary stuff, it always helps to be made to feel great during the slog of the fest.

What was your biggest surprise?
Probably THE MASTER - naturally, I have pretty insane expectations for a PTA film, but the way it ends is... surprising. In terms of pleasant surprise, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK was far, far better than the ridiculous rom-com style trailer made it out to be. After seeing it I was not surprised at all by its win of the People's Choice award - expect it to make a bloody fortune and be awarded a slew of trophies come early next year.

How about your biggest disappointment?
Tough to say, I try hard to ameliorate expectations. HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS was only OK, which is disappointing for this David Simon fanatic.

For a list of films that were just mind numbingly awful, that's easier to list. FOXFIRE is a hateful little film, full of repellent characters and an offensive storyline. THE IMPOSSIBLE has moments of epic storytelling marred by a maudlin execution. COME OUT AND PLAY is one of the worst films I've seen at any TIFF, a 2 minute short protracted to feature length through repetition and stupidity.

It's kind of useless to express dislike something as nebulous as LEVIATHAN, but I found much of the jargon used to find meaning in the film ("post-human"?) vomitous. And A WEREWOLF BOY has a truly egregious last third, including the most hateful shot of the fest, a slow walk from the house...through the fields...to a door...waiting... walking back.... finally opening the door, as we had fully expected her to do what felt like hours before.

Awful.

Single out one incredible performance.
I don't know if it counts as incredible or not, but I stand by my bet that Bill Murray will win this year's Oscar for HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON - he's very good in the film, and Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Daniel Day Lewis already have the trophy. Possible that Bradley Cooper might take the win, he's equally strong in SILVER LININGS, but it may not be yet his turn.

What was your favorite moment of the fest that didn't happen in a movie theater?
I saw films from 11am to 3am every day of the festival (sixty or so in total), so I barely spent any time at all away from a theatre. Was nice to hook up again from friends that I see once a year, and to meet many people (including TWITCHers!) that I'd never seen in person.

Again, it was in a theatre, but I got to shake hands and chat briefly with Gary Oldman, thanking him profusely (and without too much sycophancy) for the pleasure he gave me with TINKER TAILOR.

Kurt Halfyard



What was/were your favorite film/films of the fest?
While I believe that either Michael Haneke's Amour or P.T. Anderson's The Master may have been the best films I saw at the festival, undeniably, my favourite was Anurag Kashyap's THE GANGS OF WASSEYPUR as the complete 5.5 hour road-show version of the film. Balls-to-the-wall entertainment, with the complexity of the best of any series that HBO or AMC has to offer.

What was your biggest surprise?
Hong Sang Soo's In Another Country was a high-concept take that blended his auteur 'casual sitting around drinking' style to the structure of Run Lola Run. Isabelle Hubert gets three individual chances to change her life by imbibing Soju with her Korean hosts while wandering the beach community of Mohang (looking for a little light house) until she wins her battle with karma.

How about your biggest disappointment?
Not that my expectations were high, but Cloud Atlas proved that shallow (and callow) filmmaking cannot be solved with pretty landscapes, copious make-up effects and puzzle-box editing. If this is the new way that ambitious block-busters are headed, count me out. It is all a shame because Darren Aronofsky beat The Wachowskis & Tom Tykwer to the punch years ago with The Fountain.

This is tied with the abysmal shot-by-shot remake of Who Can Kill A Child?, by anonymous Belarussian director Makinov called ComeOut And Play. That he has possibly poisoned with well with his amateur-hour version such that people may not seek out the original (but vastly overlooked) gem of a horror film brings me more pain than the film merely being disappointing.

Single out one incredible performance.
Joaquin Phoenix. It is big and showy. It could go head to head with Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. And the actor complete disappears in the character. When clashing with a darn-near-equal MEGA-performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master, the resulting friction quickly leads to some impressive fireworks, even as the Phoenix leaves an indelible impression as the id incarnate.

What was your favorite moment of the fest that didn't happen in a movie theater?
Although I managed to chat, interview or otherwise just shake hands with a lot of actors, directors and otherwise awesome filmmakers this year, it was finding the time to relax on Toronto Pub Patios with my friends and colleagues. TIFF is the type of festival that does not have a lot of 'down-time' with so much going on. Thus, being able to sit with out-of-town friends for three hours in the cool night air at The Queen & Beaver Public House on Elm Street (Matt & Dave & Jay) or Cold Tea (Brenda & Bruce & Ant & Bridget and so many others) in Kensington, The Duke of York (Tom & Andrew & Ryan and many others) in Yorkville and two spontaneous gatherings at the Firkin on King (Shelagh & Serena) up the street from TIFF Lightbox. As much as the films, it's relaxed conversation with friends I do not get to see very often that keeps me coming back to film festivals around the world.

Ryland Aldrich



What was/were your favorite film/films of the fest?
It's a pretty easy call for me to say THE MASTER is my fave but THE SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, SIGHTSEERS, ARGO, SPRING BREAKERS, and STORM SURFERS 3D were all way up there as well.

What was your biggest surprise?
I missed SIGHTSEERS at Cannes and didn't feel all that guilty about it - but it turned out to be exactly the kind of fun genre movie I like.

How about your biggest disappointment?
I had very high hopes for the Swedish thriller CALL GIRL because if its TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY pedigree. However, the finished product was in serious need of a reedit to get the multiple storylines under control.

Single out one incredible performance.
In a movie filled with excellent actors, Bradley Cooper in THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES stood out amongst the pack. That being said, Joaquin Phoenix has got to be the Oscar fave for THE MASTER. Wow.

What was your favorite moment of the fest that didn't happen in a movie theater?
TIFF tends to be one of the festivals that is really more about the movies than the extra-curricular activities (maybe just because there are so many important movies), but it was fun as always to see so many friends, meet new ones, and particularly to spend a tiny bit of "us" time with my fiancé. Awwww...

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