THE COLLISION: Episode 103 – The Good, the Bad, and the Oscar Worthy of TIFF 2014

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This week on The Collision, we look back at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.  We talk about the films we liked, the movies that surprised us, the ones that disappointed us, and the ones that have now entered the Oscar race.  This week, we had many recommendations because we saw so many movies we enjoyed this year at TIFF, so that’s why there’s nothing after the jump this week.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“TIFF 2014 Preview”), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Alba Rohrwacher and Director Saverio Costanzo Talk HUNGRY HEARTS, Incorporating Real-Life Experiences, the Awesome Opening Scene, and More

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At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, I landed an exclusive video interview with star Alba Rohrwacher and director Saverio Costanzo for their movie Hungry Hearts.  Also starring Adam Driver, the film is about a couple that meets, falls in love, has a child, and then covers what happens when they encounter a life or death circumstance.  While I’d love to go more into detail about what they encounter/have to deal with, I’m not sure how much the filmmakers want revealed, so I’ll just say some of the film plays out like a real-world horror film.

During the interview, Rohrwacher and Costanzo talked about the experience of going from the Venice Film Festival straight to TIFF, incorporating real-life experiences into the film, how the movie doesn’t judge specific lifestyles, how much of the script was set before filming, the awesome opening scene (which is an eight minute-long uninterrupted take), and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Jane Fonda Talks THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, Working with the Cast and Director Shawn Levy, THE NEWSROOM, and More

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Opening this weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You.   Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose Byrne,Kathryn HahnConnie BrittonBen SchwartzTimothy OlyphantAaron LazarDebra MonkAbigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend.  For more on This is Where I Leave Youread Adam’s review or watch the trailer.

A few days ago I landed an exclusive video interview with Jane Fonda.  She talked about why she wanted to be involved in the project, what it was like collaborating with Shawn Levy, how she prepares for a role, if she’s streamlined her process, Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Maya Forbes Talks INFINITELY POLAR BEAR, Tackling the Issue of Mental Illness, Mark Ruffalo, the Difficulty of Getting Films Made as a Woman, and More

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One of the rare films to play at both Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival was writer-director Maya Forbes’ Infinitely Polar Bear.  Based on her own childhood experiences, the film takes place in 1978 Boston and stars Mark Ruffalo as a manic-depressive father struggling to raise his young daughters while also trying to win back his wife (Zoe Saldana).  Loaded with fantastic performances and a great script that’s able to keep Ruffalo sympathetic even when he’s causing serious problems, Forbes’ debut feature really impressed me, and you should look forward to seeing it for yourself next year in theaters.

Shortly after the TIFF premiere I landed an exclusive interview with Maya Forbes.  During the interview she talked about getting to be part of Sundance and TIFF, her first cut of the film and what she cut out, the subject matter and how there is an element of fortuitousness to the timing of the movie with mental illness being talked about in the media, putting together the financing, casting Mark Ruffalo, being truthful while also making an entertaining movie, when we’ll see a trailer, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Felicity Jones Talks THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, Staying True to Real Life, Working with Jonah Hill on TRUE STORY, and More at TIFF 2014

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One of my favorite films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director James Marsh’s (Man on Wire) The Theory of Everything.  The fantastic film is an adaptation of the Stephen Hawking memoir Travelling to Infinity, written by his wife Jane Hawking.  Starring Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables) as Hawking, The Theory of Everything chronicles his budding relationship with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wide (Felicity Jones), heartbreaking motor neuron disease diagnosis at the age of 21, and groundbreaking scientific work in the field of time.  Led by phenomenal performances by Redmayne and Jones, The Theory of Everything will definitely be a player in awards season and I strongly recommend seeing it for yourself when it opens November 7th.  For more on the film, watch the trailer.

Shortly after the TIFF premiere I landed an exclusive video interview with Felicity Jones.  She talked her process in preparing for a role, how on set she could tell they were making something special, the way she got involved in the project, how Marsh’s background in documentaries helped everyone stay true to the real story, the May Ball and other U.K. idiosyncrasies, the competition for strong female roles and how TV is more progressive in some ways, what it was like to work with Jonah Hill in True Story, how she’s about to start filming A Monster Calls, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Tina Fey and Jason Bateman Talk THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, Working with Director Shawn Levy, THE NEST, THE FAMILY FANG, and More

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Tina-Fey-Jason-bateman-This-is-Where-I-Leave-You-interview

Opening this weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You.   Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose Byrne,Kathryn HahnConnie BrittonBen SchwartzTimothy OlyphantAaron LazarDebra MonkAbigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend.  For more on This is Where I Leave Youread Adam’s review or watch the trailer.

A few days ago I landed an exclusive video interview with Tina Fey and Jason Bateman.  They talked about why they wanted to be involved in the project, what it was like collaborating with Shawn Levy, how Hollywood has moved away from making talking dramas, future projects like The Nest and The Family Fang, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Liv Ullman Talks MISS JULIE, the Classic Appeal of the Story, the Cast, Financing Headaches, and More at TIFF

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Liv Ullman’s Miss Julie, a film adaptation of August Strindberg’s famous 19th Century play.  In the film, Jessica Chastain plays an aristocratic woman who strikes up a relationship with her father’s valet (Colin Farrell).  The film explores issues of power through the lenses of social class, gender, and family.  Unlike most modern movies, Miss Julie is deliberately paced and takes its time exploring the characters through long scenes filled with dialogue and emotion.  Those who choose to pay attention will be dazzled by the performances and absolutely transported back in time.

Shortly after the premiere, I landed an exclusive video interview with Liv Ullman.  She talked about the how Chastain, Farrell, and Morton approached their performances, the classic appeal of the story, her first cut and what she removed from the film, some of the lessons she’s learned over the course of her career, the incredible production design, how she shot most of the film in order, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Director Isao Takahata Talks THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA, His Process, the Future of Studio Ghibli, the Popularity of Animation in Japan, and More

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One of my personal highlights from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was getting to interview director Isao Takahata for his new film The Tale of Princess Kaguya.  If you’re not familiar with his name, Isao Takahata is the co-founder of Studio Ghibli along with Hayao Miyazaki, and he previously directed Only YesterdayPom PokoMy Neighbors the Yamadas, and the war-themed Grave of the Fireflies (which I can’t recommend enough).  In his latest movie, which is based on the folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, Takahata breaks away from Ghibli’s familiar animation style and tells a story that embraces the connection between nature and magic.  For more on the film, read Matt’s reviewThe Tale of Princess Kaguya will be released in North America on October 17.

During the interview Isao Takahata talked about how he picks his subject matter, how he decided on the look of the film and the style of animation, the storyboard process, why animated films are so popular in Japan with both adults and children, what he collects, the future of Studio Ghibli, his directorial process, and more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Director Shawn Levy Talks THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, Michael Giacchino, the Deleted Sex Scene Between Adam Driver and Connie Britton, and More

by     Posted 2 days ago

Shawn-Levy-This-is-Where-I-Leave-You-interview

Opening this weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You.   Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast including Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose Byrne,Kathryn HahnConnie BrittonBen SchwartzTimothy OlyphantAaron LazarDebra MonkAbigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend.  For more on This is Where I Leave Youread Adam’s review or watch the trailer.

A few days ago I landed an exclusive video interview with director Shawn Levy.  He discussed how he was able to get composer Michael Giacchino to score the film, the deleted sex scene between Adam Driver and Connie Britton and why he cut it out of the film, why it won’t be included on the Blu-ray, the toughest scene to shoot, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Director Susanne Bier Talk A SECOND CHANCE, Making the Scene Feel Authentic, Importance of Finding the Right Costume, and More

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One of the many films to premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Susanne Bier’s thriller A Second Chance.  The film was written by frequent Bier collaborator Anders Thomas Jensen and stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Ulrich Thomsen, Maria Bonnevie, Nikolaj Lie Kaas and Lykke May Andersen.  Without giving too much away, A Second Chance asks how far you’d be willing to go when confronted with the unthinkable, and when tragedy blurs the line between just and unjust.  While I’d love to go into more detail about the story, I’m not sure what the filmmakers want revealed, so I’ll just say I really enjoyed the film and it’s something worth checking out when the film gets released.

Shortly after the TIFF world premiere, I sat down with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and director Susanne Bier.  They talked about wanting to work together for awhile, how they made the dialogue and situations feel real and authentic, the way they like to work, the importance of finding the right costume, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Corey Stoll and Adam Driver Talk THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, Winning the Actor’s Lottery, and When Was the Last Time Driver Sang “Please Mr. Kennedy”?

by     Posted 3 days ago

Corey-Stoll-Adam-Driver-This-is-Where-I-Leave-You-interview

Opening this weekend after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival is director Shawn Levy’s (Real Steel) adaptation of the Jonathan Tropper novel This Is Where I Leave You.   Featuring a fantastic ensemble cast made up of Jason BatemanTina FeyAdam Driver, Corey StollJane FondaRose Byrne,Kathryn HahnConnie BrittonBen SchwartzTimothy OlyphantAaron LazarDebra MonkAbigail Spencer, and Dax Shepard, the story revolves around a dysfunctional family that is forced to come together and sit Shiva when their father dies, opening old wounds and reigniting passions that have long-since been repressed.  Loaded with great performances and a very funny script, I definitely recommend seeing the film this weekend.  For more on This is Where I Leave You, read Adam’s review or watch the trailer.

Last week at TIFF, I landed an exclusive video interview with co-stars Corey Stoll and Adam Driver.  They talked about why they wanted to be involved in the film, getting to work with such a great ensemble cast, how they like to prepare for a role, what it’s like winning the actor’s lottery (they’re both involved in a ton of exciting future projects like Ant-Man and Star Wars), and I asked Driver when was the last time he sang “Please Mr. Kennedy” from Inside Llewyn Davis.  Hit the jump for what they had to say.

Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace Talk THE DROP, Why They Wanted to Play These Characters, How They Like to Prepare for Roles, and More

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Now playing in theaters is director Michaël R. Roskam’s (BullheadThe Drop.  In the film Tom Hardy plays Bob, a former criminal and current bartender working at a bar that serves as a money “drop” for local gangsters.  The story kicks into gear when Hardy’s character rescues a pit bull puppy only to become the target of the dog’s abusive and mentally unstable former owner.  At the same time, Bob and his cousin/employer Marv (played by James Gandolfini) find themselves in the crosshairs of an investigation and the criminal underworld.  Mystic River and Shutter Island author Dennis Lehane penned the screenplay.  The impressive cast also includes Noomi RapaceMatthias Schoenaerts, John OrtizAnn Dowd, and James Frecheville.

Last week at the Toronto International Film Festival, I landed an exclusive video interview withTom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.  They talked about why they wanted to play these characters, how they like to prepare for roles and how that preparation has changed, making sure to take risks while filming and discovering things on the day, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE IMITATION GAME Wins 2014 TIFF Audience Award; Makes Headway in Oscar Race

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The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival ends today, and TIFF has announced this year’s Audience Award winner.  Audience members vote by dropping their ticket into a ballot box after a screening if they like a film, and this year they really liked Morten Tyldum’s drama, The Imitation Game.  The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and focuses on his efforts to break the Germans’ code during World War II.  I saw the movie and quite enjoyed it, and while it wasn’t my favorite at the festival (that would be While We’re Young), I can understand why audiences went for it.  Click here for my review.

I’ll leave the official Oscar prognosticating to Adam and his Oscar Beat column, but I will say this: five of the last six TIFF Audience Award winners have gone on to be nominated for Best Picture; three of them won (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and 12 Years a Slave).  Hit the jump for the press release, which includes the runners up as well as the Audience Award winners for Midnight Madness and Documentary.

THE TRIBE Review | TIFF 2014

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After an award-winning premiere at Cannes, The Tribe arrived at this year’s TIFF with a great deal of expectation.  Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s debut feature sports the attention-grabbing premise of being an entirely silent film (aside from ambient noise) played out exclusively by deaf and mute non-actors.  It’s unlike any film you’ve ever seen because it’s unlike any movie that’s ever been made.  Yet, Slaboshpytskiy wisely mixes in enough familiar elements to make his story easy to follow, while piling on genuinely disturbing images on the way to an unforgettably harsh climax.  The Tribe is a difficult film, there’s not denying that.  However, there’s also no denying that it’s a brilliant one as well.  Hit the jump for the details.

TIME OUT OF MIND Review | TIFF 2014

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Homeless people are cursed with invisibility.  We see them but don’t see them.  We know their behavior, but refuse to acknowledge these people for a variety of personal reasons.  Perhaps we ignore the homeless because they’re a direct look at human suffering on our streets, and we feel helpless to do anything substantial to change their circumstances.  Oren Moverman’s Time out of Mind is well intentioned in its desire to depict the daily life of a homeless person, but the director can’t develop this depiction as anything more than a distant, almost cold observation.  Additionally, Richard Gere is horribly miscast in the lead role, which further pushes us away from an issue we’d prefer to ignore in the first place.

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