I had a plan, months ago, about how I was going to do TIFF this year. Pick a cinema, just see what was there! There are maybe 15 or 20 screens at TIFF, with several at a multiplex which I try to avoid, and four at the TIFF Bell Lightbox which I quite like. The closest single screen to me is at Jackman Hall in the Art Gallery of Ontario. A nice theatre with about 200 seats, a decent view from anywhere. So I concentrated on that venue as a way to narrow my choices down a bit. I tried not to get distracted by the big movie-star movies and I tried to cut down my dashing from one cinema to another. I ended up with about half my movies there, and on Tuesday I saw two there.
Montana is a story about a woman who goes back to her childhood home when her grandfather dies. She meets a neighbour, her uncle and other family members she hasn't seen for years. Complicated relationships all around. The cast was excellent. The director and cast were at the screening and it turns out they filmed this in the old home town, and even old home, of the writer/director! As an added bonus, I met a man in line who is involved with a group of schools in Israel. (His wife arrived as we were chatting, knitting in hand.)
Jeannette looked weird and wonderful, and it was... just crazy. For this showing I sat in the back of the hall, and I saw several people get up and leave during the movie. I'd love to know why! Too weird, wrong theology? Jeannette is the young Joan of Arc. She's troubled by the years of war, by English people coming and killing French people, desecrating French churches and, worst of all, taking the French harvest. She watches her sheep, she prays, sings, dances, walks in the river. Some saints come and do a little dance. Her uncle helps her, and does a little dance. Totally enjoyable and just nuts.
For some reason, the little girl who plays the young Jeannette was the only representative of the cast or crew at the Q&A. Maybe eight years old, speaks only French, not very chatty, so that was just another little weird thing. She thought Canada was "super" though, so that is good, I guess!
Today, movie star day.