Patricia Clarkson takes the wheel
The veteran of stage and screen buckles up for a bumpy ride in Learning to Drive, a new film that puts the pedal to the metal of marriage breakdown with surprisingly comic results thanks to co-star Sir Ben Kingsley, and the gentle hand of director Isabel Coixet
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO – There’s something undeniably regal about Patricia Clarkson, even when she’s vomiting into a toilet and playing an entirely unlaced woman of letters. It’s an underlying strength that inhabits every bone in her sinewy body, and you can feel it in her relaxed presence. She’s a woman who is comfortable in her own skin, and it shines through every freckle. “I was fed perseverance as a child,” she says. “I have a very strong mother, and strong parents who were loving and gave me the confidence and ability to survive.” Clarkson says she had to rely on that deep well of self-possession when she started Learning to Drive. A new film directed by ...
Hitman: Agent 47 asks questions as it shoots
Rupert Friend's performance as a genetically enhanced super agent raises questions about the nature of perfection, and why we find the idea of emotional numbness so seductive, in this latest film adaptation of the successful video game franchise
What I learned at TIFF’s Filmmaker Boot Camp
Making the transition from ink-stained journalist to first-time filmmaker feels like seeing the world from the other side of a two-way mirror
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — “Did you know everything already?” asked Cameron Bailey, artistic director for the Toronto International Film Festival, looking way too good (as always) for a man who is chronically sleep deprived this time of year. The answer was a wonderfully wishy-washy “yes, and no.” After being a career journalist for 25 years, and after covering TIFF since 1993, when it was still called the Festival of Festivals, the idea of “learning the ropes” could have felt a little remedial. After all, I do know what a publicist does, and I know what sales agents do, and I know personal handlers have a dominant obnoxious gene that has yet to be mapped. I’ve been writing about the film industry for so long, I’ve pretty much seen it — and done it — all. But as I learned at ...
Monkey Kingdom mimics Disney magic
Movie Review: Monkey Kingdom
Spending time with a troop of macaques in new Disney Nature doc offers a hairy reflection of the human condition, made comedy by Tina Fey
Circling the Drain: Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Starring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam Scott, Jason Jones, Directed by: Steve Pink Running time: 93 minutes One star out of five MPAA Rating: Restricted
By Katherine Monk
No matter how many times you scour afterward, the filmy scum left by Hot Tub Time Machine 2 lingers like greasy dark ring around the brain. A sequel to the surprisingly okay 2010 comedy about four down-and-out dudes who are given a second chance at redemption with a trip to the past via the titular spa equipment, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 had some built-in appeal: Escapist entertainment has its place in life, and sometimes, all you want to do is take off your cerebral corset and get naked in a hot bubble bath of silliness. It’s not that much to ask for, really: A couple of good jokes to keep you listening to the dialogue, characters that prompt empathy, and maybe a plot that doesn’t have to be explained in every other scene. I congratulate screenwriter Josh Heald ...