Tag Archives: Tobey Maguire

Andrew’s Journey Through TIFF 2013: Episode II

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The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the first stops on the journey through film awards season. This year, Andrew was fortunate enough to be in attendance and is now recapping the films and events he attended while at TIFF.

TIFF Day 4

Following the insanely energetic experience of Midnight Madness the night prior, it’s safe to say that I would have benefited greatly from a solid night’s sleep. It wasn’t meant to be however, as the next morning I had a film scheduled for 9AM. Four hours of sleep later I woke up and around 7:30 walked to the Metro station, not even aware that it was Sunday. The station was closed of course and so I did what any intelligent person would do: take the six mile journey on foot. Now that may not sound all that impressive, but when you’re only going on a few hours of sleep and your feet are already blistered up from waiting in endless lines the day prior, it is. I sped walk the whole way and made it in about an hour to the TIFF Bell Lightbox, perhaps the finest movie theatre I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a patron of. I plopped down in the first row, exhausted.

Jason Reitman’s Labor Day

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My 9am film that day just so happened to be Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, a total change of pace from the kind of films Reitman’s made thus far in his still young career. Centered on a depressed single mom (Kate Winslet) and her son (Gattlin Griffith) whose worlds are upset upon the arrival of a wounded convict (Josh Brolin) who recently escaped from a local prison, it’s a definitively more low-key drama than Reitman’s norm. Labor Day is a work of extreme confidence without much in the way of Reitman’s usual comedic tinge and although he’s already proven adept at drama, it’s still quite a shock to the system at first. All three of the leads give fine, quiet performances that deliver a sense of intimacy not felt in most awards-player dramas.  One negative note however, is that Labor Day is yet another film featuring Tobey Maguire voice-over. Now I am not a hater of voice-over in general, but here it doesn’t seem to serve the story of the film in a particularly compelling way. Overall, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the film due to my severe lack of sleep, but it’s definitely an interesting drama that I very much look forward to viewing again upon it’s official theatrical release.

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The Miserables Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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Fallon: Continuing our summer blockbuster reviews, next up- The Great Gatsby.  It’s 11th grade all over again and one of us didn’t do our homework (*cough* Hillari *cough*). So, this post will feature opinions from Andrew, Ashley, and moi. Enjoy!

*******This review may contain spoilers.*******

Andrew: The Great Gatsby has a story to tell; Baz Luhrmann apparently just has no interest in telling it. He places the story of Nick Carraway’s mysterious affluent neighbor in a house and asks you to view it from outside the window. The window may be stunning and nice to look at, but the story itself is too far away for you to even grasp. The first half of the film is a visually stunning fever dream. It’s entertaining and Luhrmann truly embraces his excess at all cost approach. Eventually though, he has to actually direct the characters of this story and fails on arrival.

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The List: Best Films Adapted from Fictional Literature

With this week’s release of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, it got me thinking about filmmakers adapting classic literature. As for me, I’m pretty much a philistine when it comes to literature. That’s not to say I do not read, but rather that my main exposure to famous works came in the form of high school classes and an introductory college course. And for the most part, I can hardly remember the novels I read. There was one however that really made an impact on me, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein , which remains a favorite to this day. Although F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby is often a popular choice for teachers, I am fairly certain I did not have the chance to read it in my formative years. This leads us to Baz Luhrmann.

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Baz is a filmmaker known (or perhaps the word is ‘infamous’) for his extravagant, flashy style and is best known for his films Moulin Rouge (nominated for Best Picture in 2002) and his adaptation of the classic Shakespeare work Romeo + Juliet (1996). Although I know many are extremely excited for his Gatsby adaptation, I am neither here nor there. I will be seeing it for sure (I mean who can pass up the Tobey Maguire scream face) but I do not love any of Baz’s previous work. They’re incredibly interesting films to look at, but sometimes style for style’s sake can cause a film to lose its way in terms of story and character, and his films often come dangerously close to doing so.

With this list, I have chosen my favorite films that were adapted from a piece of fictional literature. And guess what? I haven’t read a single one of the novels (outside of the Harry Potter series and Where The Wild Things Are that is). I am viewing them completely in terms of the films themselves, and not the faithfulness of the adaptation. Here’s hoping The Great Gatsby can deliver a compelling adaptation this coming Friday.

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