September 09, 2019

TIFF 2019 Day Five: A Meta-Fictional French Farce Jumps Into the Lead

Incitement [Israel,  Yaron Zilberman, 4] Right-wing student activist opposed to democracy and the Oslo Accord pursues the justifications he requires to act on his plan to assassinate Yitzhak Rabin. Political crime docudrama depicts Benjamin Netanyahu as a key contributor to the atmosphere of permission leading to Rabin’s murder.

La Belle Epoque [France, Nicolas Bedos, 5] Aging cartoonist (Daniel Auteuil) on the outs with his wife (Fanny Ardant) uses a high end historical recreation service to visit the days in 1974 when they first met and fell in love. Propulsive, funny, moving farce where, instead of doors, the characters rush between memories and layers of fiction.

A thing about attending the same film festival for 33 years is, in addition to noticing that you are aging, so are the stars who once played hunks and ingenues.

The Moneychanger [Uruguay, Federico Veiroj, 4] 70s money launderer gets in over his head after accepting huge sums from mysterious Argentinians. Crime dramedy works as an inverted Goodfellas, in which the anti-hero narrating his career of illegality starts as a schnook and mostly stays that way through his ups and downs.

Dogs Don't Wear Pants [Finland, J-P Valkeap√§√§, 4] Still shut down years after his wife’s suicide, a heart surgeon seeks strange solace as client to a dominatrix. Twisted but humane drama of grief and healing.

Not only a contender for the best title of the fest, but a film in which the title is spoken as a line of dialogue.

Capsule review boilerplate: Ratings are out of 5. I’ll be collecting these reviews in order of preference in a master post the Monday after the fest. Films shown on the festival circuit will appear in theaters, streaming platforms and perhaps even good old physical media over the next year plus. If you’ve heard of a film showing at TIFF, I’m probably waiting to see it during its upcoming conventional release.Unless you mean The Color Out of Space, which I’m seeing on the 14th.