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donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 2 aka The Miscasting of Renée Zellweger


Appaloosa wasn't on my "Must See" list of films, simply because my Festival experience is seeing the films without the big stars that may not get distributed. Appaloosa is directed by my love, Ed Harris (who also stars in the film) and has such notable names as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. I love Westerns, and an invite to the film had me in line at the elegant Elgin Theatre. While I enjoyed the Marshall (Harris) and his gun-toting, literate sidekick (Mortenssen) battling it out with the bad guy (Irons), I did not enjoy Renée Zellweger in the role of the woman who clings to whatever alpha male is dominating the scene. I kept trying to re-cast her, but it wasn't until I got home that Virginia Madsen's name popped into my head. Virginia would have been perfect and also luminous. Renée may be from Texas, but I wasn't buying her in this one. If you think I'm being harsh everything I've just written was also said by two guys walking behind me who had just come out of the screening. When the guys and I met up at the Tims, we also talked about how it was an odd little movie. We liked it. We weren't bored, but...We couldn't finish off the sentence. Now I think it would have been just plain better without Renée.


I also scored another ticket to It Might Get Loud. Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. This is by no means a perfect documentary (it's desperately in need of editing), but how can you pass up a festival experience where all three subjects of this electric guitar film were going to be there. NO WAY! The audience went nuts, and I actually enjoyed the film better the second time around (at a public screening rather than an advance, pre-TIFF early morning screening). There was also a quick Q & A by Thom Powers, where the three guitarists demonstrated their sense of humour and their devotion to getting the right sound to communicate a particular expression to the listener.

ACNE Spanish with English Subtitles
Don't be fooled by this picture. This is a really touching coming of age movie where a young boy discovers that sex and love are two different things.

My morning started with Acné, a small intimate film about Rafe, a 13 year old boy, going through the agony and self-consciousness of dealing with face blemishes, the ritual act of loving himself whenever possible, his frequent trips to the local whore house and his absolute, starry-eyed love for his classmate, Nicole. I love how writer/director, Federico Veiroj, captures the vulnerability of a boy at this age as well as the daily concerns and interactions in the lives of other young 13 and 14 year olds. Despite Rafa's adult ventures into sex, he is still a boy, just past his Bar Mitvah, who wants to know how to kiss.

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