GENOVA EVOKES ROEG'S DON'T LOOK NOW
Willa Holland is pictured here at last night's premiere for Middle Of Nowhere, one of two features she has premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. We haven't seen any reviews yet for that film, but Michael Rechtshaffen at the Hollywood Reporter has filed a review of Holland's other Toronto film, Michael Winterbottom's Genova. While Rechtshaffen does not single out any specific evaluation of Holland in his positive review of the film, he does mention "fine performances," and states that Colin Firth is "well-cast." More interestingly, Rechtshaffen writes, "With Italy providing an evocative backdrop, not to mention an unsettling vibe that intentionally evokes Nicolas Roeg's 1973 classic, Don't Look Now, the tautly-choreographed, effectively acted film shouldn't have any trouble finding a distributor despite the generally downbeat tone." Interesting that the film stars Firth and evokes the Roeg film with its Italian setting, because Don't Look Now was one of the reasons Brian De Palma wanted to make Toyer, which was to star Firth, in Venice. There are many (including myself) who still hope De Palma's Toyer will get made someday.
KOEPP COMEDY A MODEST AFFAIR
Screen Daily has filed the first review of David Koepp's new film, Ghost Town, which premiered a couple of days ago at the Toronto fest. Calling it "a minor studio comedy," the review states that Koepp "has a light touch with the comic material and actors, and there's a sweetness to the supernatural storyline that gives the film its heart." Jeffrey Wells writes elsewhere that Ghost Town is "a playful mainstream studio wanker that has no business being in Toronto, really, except to satisfy the ambitions of its distributor, Paramount Pictures." Koepp collaborated with De Palma on a trio of films in the '90s: Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible, and Snake Eyes.
LINKLATER PRESENTS A "DAZZLING" WELLES
Also of interest at Toronto, Richard Linklater's Me And Orson Welles has been reviewed by Screen Daily's Allan Hunter as "a sweetly entertaining putting-on-a-show period drama that celebrates a defining moment in the life of American theatre and one of its most iconoclastic stars." Hunter is particularly taken with Linklater's casting in the role of Orson Welles, writing:
If you are going to make a film about Orson Welles then you need an actor who can provide a brilliant impersonation of this colossus of the New York stage. They have found such an actor in Christian McKay who gives a superlative performance. He captures both the look and sound of Welles, convincing in every aspect from his sing song cadences to the mischievous twinkle that dances in his eyes. It is a performance that achieves the same kind of verisimilitude and depth that earned Philip Seymour Hoffman plaudits and a Best Actor Oscar for Capote.