Day 1 at TIFF '09 got off to a great start with two screenings: The Men Who Stare at Goats, and Broken Embraces.
THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS Mmmm...YUM! George Clooney AND Ewan McGregor in the same film! Ba-Ring it on! They could do a poster of these two sexy, talented actors, and I'd be happy, but casting them in the same movie? Thank you, George Heslov. Reminiscent of George's other wartime satire, Three Kings, this film pokes fun at war while delivering a serious message about peace. Ex-soldier/mentor (Clooney) and journalist/mentee (McGregor) are most excellent collaborators in this film about psychic soldiers, the New Earth Army (lead by Jeff Bridges) and the illogical aspects of war. This film will be coming soon to a theatre near you, so don't fret if you don't get a ticket to the TIFF screening. Yes, you will miss seeing George and Ewan in the flesh, but at least you have another chance to see the film.
BROKEN EMBRACES That's right, Penélope, give Pedro Almodovar a big hug for making your career! I don't know what magic he sprinkles on you, but his fairy dust sure works to bring out the best in you as an actress: All About My Mother, Volver and now Broken Embraces. This melodrama about a mistress, her lover and her much older boyfriend, also focuses on the world of film, which Almodovar so loves to show in his films. Shown tonight on the big screen at the beautiful and historic Elgin Theatre, this melodrama could only have been done so successfully by Almodovar. His talent, familiar stable of actors, and understanding of film history allows him to venture into broad drama with a flair that draws even today's cynics into his plots. He adores his screen women, and always shoots them at their tragic best (what he can do with running mascara is no body's business). The infusion of comedy is always well-timed and never detract from the dramatic elements of his films, and Broken Embraces is no exception. Bravo, Pedro, and thanks for referencing your film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.