September 10, 2012

TIFF Day Five

Act of Killing [Denmark, Joshua Oppenheimer & Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 5] Gangsters who acted as death squad leaders during the 1965-66 Indonesian military coup comply enthusiastically with a project to self-document their war crimes on film--complete with drag roles and a musical number. Documentary exploration of an evil that is everything but banal, and still very much in power, drops one's jaw from start to finish.

Because the killers are still in command in Indonesia, every local crew member, as a protective measure, is anonymously credited.

Fitzgerald Family Christmas [US, Edward Burns, 4] Large, fractious Irish-American family experiences experiences an uptick in its Yuletide crisis quotient when the father who abandoned them twenty years ago wants to come to the big dinner. Well-written comedy drama delivered by a skilled ensemble.

Fin (The End) [Spain, Jose Torregrossa, 4] A once-tight group of friends reunites at a mountain cottage for the first time in two decades, scarcely suspecting that they're about to number among the last people left on Earth. Although I'm guessing this omits a layer or two from the best-selling novel it adapts, this is still an engaging entry in the quiet apocalypse sub-genre.

A Hijacking [Denmark, Tobias Lindholm, 4] When Somali pirates hijack one of his firm's freighters, a CEO disregards his expert's advice to conduct the negotiation himself. Gritty ticktock focuses on authenticity over thrills.

No One Lives [US, Ryuhei Kitamura, 3.5] Ordinary criminal gang get more than they bargain for when their resident psychokiller waylays a super-psychokiller who has his own kidnap victim stashed in his trunk. Inventive gore thriller features heightened dialogue few of its actors are able to convincingly deliver.