What does one do when one goes to pick up the programme book for the 2008 TIFF when one knows one will be seeing over 40 films in 10 days starting Sept 4? Well, one goes to the movies, of course. Call it warm ups.
I really wanted to see Boy A, which was a film that was in last year's festival. Wow, what a story.
It's about rehabilitation and second chances and vigilantism and I'd say it's about how easily someone sweet and lonely and abused can be lured into doing something terrible based on peer pressure.
Ultimately, it's a movie that supports the idea that most minors who commit crimes should be given a second chance.
The film opens with a young man being released from some kind of detention. I'm not sure if we'd even know what kind of isolation or detention, if we hadn't read the description of the film going in. But this young man has clearly been isolated from society for a long time and is trying to start fresh and learn how to be an adult and live in the real world. And it's clear he's sweet. The story is interspersed with glimpses of flashbacks to when he was about eleven and those flashbacks build until we ultimately see the horrible crime he was a part of as a child.
At the same time, he does very well in the real world. His main problem is the guilt he feels for not telling his new friends and the girl he's fallen in love with, who he really is, but his case worker keeps telling him not to, knowing if anyone finds out who he is, his life will be in danger.
Ultimately a very sad story... But I'm glad I saw it. The filmmaker, John Crowley, has another film in the festival this year: Is There Anybody There. Another story about a young boy and starring Michael Caine. I have to say, this new film doesn't attract me by it's description (a ten year old boy living in an old-folks home, is obsessed with death and the question of an afterlife) but based on Boy A, I might see if I can fit it onto my schedule.
Then, after an hour and a half break, during which I did some actual editing of my own work... I went to see Bottle Shock.
Not super impressed by this film, but it would make an okay rental. Love the story it's telling, though. It's the fairly true story of how the wine world was completely turned on it's head when a blind tasting of French and California wines took place outside of Paris and both winners (in red and white) were California wines.
This event is credited for opening up all the new world markets for wine. That part is fun and the Napa scenery is beautiful but ultimately the story lacked a strong protagonist for me. Was it about the British wine connoisseur (played by Alan Rickman) or the struggling winemaker (Bill Pullman) or his son (Chris Pine -- whom I'd never seen before, but it looks like he's in the new Star Trek movie)?
I guess, ultimately the protagonist is the California wine industry... Anyway, not a fabulous example of storytelling, but an interesting and pleasant film none-the-less. And Alan Rickman. Really. Do you need to know anything else?