TIFF: ‘Passion Play’ inspires vitriol, ‘127 Hours’ keeps it steady, Estevez/Sheen back again, ‘Dagenham’ screens

Posted by · 5:25 pm · September 11th, 2010

Moving along at Toronto, it seems Mitch Glazer’s “Passion Play,” which was as much for the director since he spent 20 years trying to get it made, was hung right out to dry and that Mickey Rourke can be knocked off of anyone’s list of awards hopefuls.

David Poland calls the film “epically bad” and even suggests that the potential for a Megan Fox nude scene was probably the only thing keeping people from walking out.  Cinematical and eFilmCritic’s Erik Childress did just that, however.  He couldn’t take it.  Meanwhile, at Voice Film, Karina Longworth says “it’s hard to imagine that anyone will take [the film] nearly as seriously as it takes itself.”  What can you say?  It’s never a happy moment when someone works so hard at something so quickly and summarily dismissed.

On the other end of the spectrum, Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours, continues to be welcomed with open arms.  Filmmaker Magazine called it “typically bravura filmmaking from Boyle. Both a celebration and a critique of solitude.”  MTV’s Josh Horowitz says it’s “an emotional wallop,” the LA Times’ Steven Zeitchik thinks it “elevated far above [a] typical rescue story by Boyle’s eye for detail and strategically deployed flash” and The Playlist’s Kevin Jagernath calls it “one of the best films of the year.”

Most public reactions, in fact, were in the overwhelming positive.  That’s good news since outright crisis was barely averted when Boyle reportedly had to step in and ease the tension and ire of entitled critics when technical difficulties delayed last night’s screening.

Elsewhere, Justin Chang reviewed “Made in Dagenhem” for Variety, and seemed to take umbrage with the “predictability” of the film.  Maybe it should have, what, depicted a LOSS for women’s rights?  I kid.  Anyway, he had nice things to say about Sally Hawkins’s performance (which I spotlighted earlier this afternoon), writing that she makes her character “an irresistible fount of inner strength and no-bull common sense, and her ability to seem surprised by her own outspokenness lends the picture a shot of much-needed spontaneity.”

Also, I had a hunch in one of the recent Oscar Talk podcasts that Emilio Estevez’s “The Way” could be an intriguing prospect.  Scott Feinberg liked what he saw, particularly as it pertains to Martin Sheen’s performance.  He writes, “Moviegoers always root for Sheen, who oozes decency and integrity, but they did so even more than usual during this film because of all that his character quietly endures out of a love for his son.”  Estevez also got a nice write-up at Deadline.  We’ll see if the film can land distribution, but it could be an instance like “Lovely Still,” which played the fest two years ago, got great notices for Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn, then quietly opened on a few screens yesterday.

I imagine any moment now reactions to Robert Redford’s “The Conspirator” will begin filtering out.  Tomorrow, reviews for “Conviction” (which, word has it, received a standing ovation today) and “Hereafter” (much later) should come fast and furious.  Swank talked to the Canadian Press about the former, saying that making the film “changed her life.”  “Barney’s Version” will also get a few more looks to help reveal its awards potential.

More as it comes…

[Photo: Annapurna Productions]

→ 21 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

21 responses so far

  • 1 9-11-2010 at 5:31 pm

    John said...

    Jennifer’s Body, Jonah Hex, Passion Play…

    Not to mention the fact that she’s now married (off the market for teenage boys) and has been fired from Transformers 3.

    Is it safe to say that we’ll never see Megan Fox in another movie ever again?

  • 2 9-11-2010 at 5:53 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Conviction received a standing o? What the hell?!?

  • 3 9-11-2010 at 5:54 pm

    MovieMan said...

    John: It is not. She really was quite good in “Jennifer’s Body” (but then I was one of those who admired the picture). And she was in “Jonah Hex” for all of ten minutes, which I’m not entirely sure is as much of a blight on her career as the absolutely godawful “Transformers” films. Now, if “Passion Play” really is this bad, then her first foray into genuine drama is a blowout and I’d agree with you. But I assume she’ll make a profitable career out of what she does best (eye-candy movies) for a good while and then make the stab at drama again. I think it’s just too early to tell at this point.

  • 4 9-11-2010 at 5:55 pm

    jen said...

    Well… I guess where there’s a HIL, there’s a way..

    oh wait, wrong campaign

  • 5 9-11-2010 at 6:01 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    itll take more then that john, but were getting closer for sure

  • 6 9-11-2010 at 6:27 pm

    m1 said...

    Can someone tell me how good she was in Passion Play? IndieWire said she was ‘a standout’, but that’s all I’ve heard.

  • 7 9-11-2010 at 6:56 pm

    Mitchell said...

    Andrew M- Is there something wrong with it being a great movie? It’s not like you’ve seen it.

  • 8 9-11-2010 at 7:03 pm

    James D. said...

    Kris, your Megan Fox Oscar prediction is getting pretty out there a little more every day. Or maybe she will take the path Rourke himself took?

  • 9 9-11-2010 at 7:16 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    You bastard.

  • 10 9-11-2010 at 7:30 pm

    The Dude said...

    Wait, I’m confused about the “standing ovation” for Conviction as well. I had read elsewhere that the film had received a very underwhelming response…were there two different screenings over the past couple of days?

  • 11 9-11-2010 at 7:33 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Probably a press screening. The public screening, I believe, received the standing O.

  • 12 9-11-2010 at 8:08 pm

    Mark Kratina said...

    The Conspirator gets a thumbs up:


  • 13 9-11-2010 at 8:10 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah I saw that. I’ll collect it with some more reactions tomorrow. I think I’m done for today.

  • 14 9-11-2010 at 10:22 pm

    Mark Kratina said...

    More thumbs up to The Conspirator:


    Redford is back.

  • 15 9-11-2010 at 10:47 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    He’s back if someone buys it…

  • 16 9-11-2010 at 11:14 pm

    Danny King said...

    I’m sorry to hear the overwhelming dislike for “Passion Play.” I’ll probably end up seeing it anyway, though, because Rourke has that effect on me.

  • 17 9-12-2010 at 12:40 am

    Rob said...

    Granted, I seemed to be one of the few in the Ryerson auditorium last night who liked “Passion Play,” so perhaps I’m not to be trusted, but I thought was actually pretty good in it.

  • 18 9-12-2010 at 5:48 am

    Andrew M said...

    Mitchel- Yeah, like The Dude said I thought it was already confirmed that Conviction wasn’t that good. That’s why I’m surprised. I know I haven’t seen it, but to go from “not so good” to “standing ovation” is just odd to me.

  • 19 9-12-2010 at 7:16 am

    ninja said...

    Please, no oscar for Swank again! C`mon, she isn`t that good. Natalie for the win! Of all praised actresses in any movie this year, her reviews are by far the best.

    Franco is a lock! yes! Very happy for him and the movie.

  • 20 9-14-2010 at 4:34 am

    Duncan Houst said...

    I like that you removed “Secretariat” for something a little more realistic, but I don’t think “Made in Dagenham” has what it takes. For that matter, I don’t think “The Fighter” has what it takes because nobody has seen any material from it (never a good sign at this late in the game), and it just looks like another boxing/wrestling film that’s trying to be as good as the rest, but isn’t.

  • 21 9-14-2010 at 6:13 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “For that matter, I don’t think “The Fighter” has what it takes because nobody has seen any material from it…”

    Yes, because everybody knew what “Million Dollar Baby” was in September 2004.