September 2008
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TIFF Recap: Day 4

Films seen Sunday, September 7th …

Lost Song
A sad and moving story of a family adjusting to life with a newborn baby and living away from the urban environment they are accustomed to. This was a late addition to my schedule; I had the slot open and I saw a few very good reviews for this film. The main focus is on the mother, and I assume she is suffering from postpartum depression. The film evolves gradually, punctuated by moments that force you to catch your breath in surprise or shock. The two lead performances were excellent, particularly
Suzie LeBlanc as the mother.

Wendy and Lucy
Simply told, yet very effective, story about a girl making her way to Alaska for hopefully a better situation in life. Besides a meagre budget, she has two things to her name: her aging car and her dog Lucy. Michelle Williams give a quiet, sad, and immediately sympathetic performance. Each setback, from losing Lucy to the breakdown of her car, are heartbreaking events for her struggling character and she conveys them wonderfully.

White Night Wedding
Another entertaining entry from the Icelandic film industry. The characters in this story are quirky and amusing, although at its core it is a drama about love and loss.

Of Time and the City
I must be part of the wrong demographic to appreciate this film. While new footage is shot beautifully and Tarrence Davies has a great narrator’s voice, I wasn’t engaged at all by this very personal documentary about his hometown of Liverpool. I knew nothing of the city going in, and knew little else about it afterwards. It really is a poetic ode by Davies, as there is often little context for the scenes shown from the stock footage. Yet I overheard from numerous audience members just how much they loved it! These tended to be folks who look about twice my age. :) I have also seen a number of glowing reviews online. Perhaps all these folks were very familiar with Davies’ work and there was something more about his storytelling that I just didn’t connect with.

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