September 07, 2014

TIFF Sat Sept 6: Sex vengeance, Nordic malcontents and more

Day two of my Toronto International Film Festival capsule reviews. Are the typos because I was sleep-deprived, or writing on my phone? The answer may surprise you!

Scarlet Innocence [South Korea, Pil-Sung Yim, 4] Caddish professor's affair with excitement-starved small town girl touches off a multi-year spiral of sexual obsession and vengeance. Ominous drama recasts a Korean fable in contemporary terms.
Korean movie star Jung Woo-sung was there to introduce the film, to the squealed delight of local fans. Toronto's Korean community turns up in force for Korean movies, which always adds to the fun when actors appear.

In Her Place [South Korea/Canada, Albert Shin, 4] Well-off woman goes to the country to live with the family of the girl pregnant with the baby she has arranged to adopt, so she can pass it off as her biological child. Naturalistic social drama from first time director with the assurance to bring out the issues strictly through character behavior.

Though shot in Korea, the director is from Toronto. Hence the combination of Korean cultural detail with the classic Canadian social drama.

Princess of France [Argentina, Matías Piñeiro, 2.5] Director of a radio production of Love's Labours Lost mentally remixes the cast's romantic miscommunications with various permutations of participant and outcome. Attractive actors perform a hermetically sealed experiment in deconstruction.

Out of Nature [Norway, Ole Giæver, 4] Disenchanted family man tries to sort out his thoughts with a weekend jogging trip into the mountains. Acerbic drama shows that if you want to heighten your midlife crisis, do it in the wilderness.

The Grump [Finland, Dome Karukoski, 4] Octogenarian potato farmer sows bullheaded havoc in the life and career of his daughter-in-law when he must go to Helsinki for physiotherapy. Lots of hilarity, just enough punching of the heartstrings.