"The Lucky Ones" by Neil Burger
Eric D. Snider, "But for the most part, the film is astonishingly wrong-headed. Directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist) and written by him and Dirk Wittenborn (Fierce People), its light tone is at odds with the characters' serious problems, and its implausible story conflicts with the vein of realism that lies beneath it. The movie wants us to remember that there really is a war, and that the Army really is having trouble recruiting new soldiers. The thing is, we do remember -- and we know those soldiers deserve a better tribute than this trite, phony dreck."
Paul Fischer, "The Lucky Ones" is a film that explores family and relationships, sexuality and one's priorities in a life turned upside down amidst the chaos of war. Yet at the same time, thanks to a razor-sharp script by director Burger and Dirk Wittenborn, this cinematic road trip is not only a truly exquisite character study and a densely thematic piece, but it is surprisingly hilarious, with the humour derived from a realistic sense of character."
"The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond" by Jodie Markell
John Foote gives the film 2 stars, "In a superb cameo is the great Ellen Burstyn, as a stroke victim left to die in a withered old mansion. Her scenes with [Bryce Dallas] Howard are quietly electric, giving the film the charge of electricity it badly needs. In her feisty spirit Howard must see part of herself, similarly trapped as the Burstyn character is, by the society she wishes to escape. Aside from Howard and Burstyn, the film seemed curiously muted, certainly not one of Williams’s great works, leaving no one questioning why this has never before been produced."
"Adoration" by Atom Egoyan, go here for the Cannes reviews
Nancy Kriparos, "This is Egoyan back to the form and the type of film he does best. More in the style of Exotica and The Sweet Hereafter. In an effort to deal with the death of his parents years earlier, Simon (Devon Bostick) constructs a story about his past for his teacher. But is it the truth? In this film Egoyan explores many of the complex subjects we are all dealing with in a post 911 world. This is one of Egoyan’s best works."
Chris Knight, "When a Toronto high-school student starts telling classmates that his father was a terrorist who tried to blow up a plane on which his mother (pregnant at the time with him) was a passenger, his French/drama teacher (Arsinée Khanjian) takes a keen interest - first in the story, then in the student, finally in his extended family - for reasons that are not at first clear. Egoyan's exploration of technology, communication and family is a touch dry but never less than thoughtful...Personal history is what you make it."
NOW, "For a decade now, Egoyan's films have offered little more than arch, suffocating gamesmanship, and Adoration delivers the same stiff acting and pompous dialogue, the same inability to build believable human motivations around the weighty metaphor with which he thinks he's working. It's exhausting, you know?"
"I've Loved You So Long" by Philippe Claudel
Nancy Kriparos, "Claudel was appreciative to be able to have someone as good as [Kristen] Scott Thomas with her wonderfully expressive face at the centre of his film. Zyberstein gives a fine performance as well but Scott Thomas gives the kind of performance that you remember and I will be surprised if it’s not remembered when nominations are considered."
NOW, "The filmmaker wants to let his audience feel good about rooting for a character whose dark history would have been far more compelling had we been left to fill in her blanks for ourselves. His star doesn't waste a moment worrying about our sympathy. I'd love to have seen the movie she thought she was making."
Jeff Wells, who didn't see it at Toronto for the first time, calls it one of the years best films, "The film itself is a landmark-level achievement. It’s remarkably tight, absorbing and affectng every step of the way — a genuinely profound growth journey taken with quiet and gentle steps. Whatever happens on the Oscar nomination front, this film has immediately shot to the top of my list of the year’s best films."
This post is courtesy of our friends at Fataculture.