The Telluride Film Festival has wrapped up and we're gearing up for our non-stop coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival, which starts tomorrow. Just in case you missed any of our coverage from the Telluride Film Festival, here's a roundup of what we saw there. Most of these films will also be playing at Toronto as well; if you attended Telluride or are going to TIFF, be sure to let us know which films you love or hate -- we always enjoy hearing what our smart Cinematical cinephiles think about the films they catch at fests.
Slumdog Millionaire (dir. Danny Boyle): Fans of director Danny Boyle's work will find much to appreciate in his latest film, Slumdog Millionaire, a sweeping, hopeful story about a boy in the slums of India who becomes an instant celebrity after he wins millions on India's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? ... read more
I've Loved You So Long (dir. Phillipe Claudel): One of the best things about watching a lot of movies for a living is that occasional joyous thrill of sitting in a darkened theater being overwhelmed by a film, and knowing immediately that, without a doubt, you've just seen something that will absolutely end up on your top ten of the year ... read more
Happy-Go-Lucky (dir. Mike Leigh): With his latest effort, Happy-Go-Lucky, director Mike Leigh takes a departure from the dark mood evoked by most of his films with a charming little tale about an eternally optimistic school teacher, Poppy (Sally Hawkins, previously seen in smaller roles in Leigh's films Vera Drake and All or Nothing), who breezes through life, always seeing the glass half full ... read more
Flame & Citron (dir. Ole Christian Madsen): Director Ole Christian Madsen began his career as an adherent to Dogme 95, the famous minimalist filmmaking movement began by fellow Danes Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg. I haven't seen Madsen's previous two non-Dogme films, Nordkraft and Prague, but the remarkable, ultra-stylized Flame & Citron is about as far from the Dogme aesthetic as you can get and still have a movie. Perhaps not coincidentally, it's also one of the most exciting films I've ever seen at Telluride: bold, brave and one of a kind ... read more
Everlasting Moments (dir. Jan Troell) For the cinephile, discovering a new film by famed Swedish director Jan Troell (one of this year's Telluride tributees) is a lot like eating a perfectly made truffle after a lifetime of mass-produced candy bars. His latest effort, Everlasting Moments, was like that for me; it's that rare cinematic experience that you settle back, bite into, and then savor as the subtle richness of the film cleanses the palate and fills the soul. read more
Flash of Genius (dir. Marc Abraham): Flash of Genius is a conventional crowdpleaser but not, I'm pleased to report, a shameless one. Chronicling the true story of a college professor's fight to reclaim his invention – the intermittent windshield wiper – from the car company that stole it, the film does many of the things you'd expect, but it may also surprise you. Don't let its Telluride placement fool you: this is a staunchly mainstream, unchallenging film ... read more
American Violet (dir. Tim Disney): American Violet opens in the kitchen of a Texas housing project, as a mother makes breakfast for her children. She pours water into a tea kettle; serves eggs; hurries the kids along – a lovely, peaceful scene. Then the film cuts abruptly to police preparing for a raid: they load their weapons (I believe the first shot is of a gun), put on armor, and pile en masse into trucks ... read more