September 16, 2013

TIFF Day Eleven (and Out): Sorceresses, Doppelgängers, Killers and, Worst, Politicians

I rarely give myself dispensation to use this word, but this year I am particularly glad that I was able to program strictly funner fare for the final Sunday.

Quai d’Orsay [France, Bertrand Tavernier, 4] Bright-eyed new speechwriter to a pompous, highlighter-loving Foreign Minister learns the governmental ropes as he preps him for a UN address. Hilarious Gallic counterpart to In the Loop, but with less swearing and more emphasis on clothes.

Witching & Bitching [Spain, Alex de Iglesia, 4] Jewelry store robbers with kid in tow take wrong turn into mountain village run by cannibal witch cult. Horror-comedy-action romps its cartoony way through the battle of the sexes.

This wins the award for best giant monster of the fest.

Cold Eyes [South Korea, Cho Ui-seok & Kim Byung-seo, 4] Police surveillance team plays cat-and-mouse with a criminal mastermind who works from a distance. Reconfigures the big Hong Kong action of Eye in the Sky into chilly Seoul paranoia.

This wins the award for best Easter Egg.

The Double [UK, Richard Ayoade, 4] Milquetoast office drone (Jesse Eisenberg) befriends new co-worker, a confident, charismatic dead ringer for himself. Deadpan comedy of dissociation deeply steeped in Joe Versus the Volcano, Brazil, and the offbeat side of 80s indie cinema.

All Cheerleaders Die [US, Lucky McKee & Chris Sivertson, 3] A spell brings cheerleaders murdered by the football captain back from the dead, hungry for blood and vengeance. Hybrid zombie-vampire flick with satirical overtones makes hay with high school sexual politics.

And that's the fest for another year. A couple of days of collapsing and resurfacing now ensue, then back to the gaming mines. A review omnibus with all the films in my rough order of preference will come in a couple of days.