TIFF 2010 Capsule Reviews

Published: September 23rd 2010
in Culture » Movies

Mila Kunis (left) and Natalie Portman in "Black Swan"
Pic: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Black Swan




Natalie Portman takes on a demanding role -- both physically and emotionally -- in Black Swan. Director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A DreamThe Wrestler) trades the world of wrestling for the world of ballet in his new psychological thriller. The film tells the story of Nina (played by Portman), a New York dancer who’s given the opportunity to star in a new production of Swan Lake. However, Nina has trouble coping with the starring role and the competitive nature of professional ballet, including a new rival (played by Mila Kunis). Portman delivers one of her best performances to-date, as does the rest of the cast, which features Barbara Hershey, Vincent Cassel and Winona Ryder. 


The Human Resources Manager




The Human Resources manager at one of Israel’s largest bakeries is going through a rough time. He’s distanced from his daughter, separated from his wife and it’s safe to say he’s not passionate about his job anymore. When a foreign worker employed at the bakery is killed in a suicide bombing, the manager sets off on a mission to bring her body back home. Directed by Eran Riklis (Lemon Tree, The Syrian Bride), the dramedy stars Mark Ivanir in the title role.


Daydream Nation 




Daydrem Nation tells the story of Caroline Wexler, a high schooler who’s moved to a tiny town where an industrial fire doesn’t stop burning and a serial killer is on the loose. After realizing she has very little in common with her peers, Caroline develops a connection with a young teacher. Written and directed by Michael Goldbach, Daydream Nation stars Kat Deninngs (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Charlie Bartlett) as Caroline. The film co-stars Josh Lucas, Andie MacDowell, Reece Thompson and Rachel Blanchard. 


127 Hours




Directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), 127 Hours is based on the real-life story of Aron Ralston, a rock climber who spent 127 hours stuck in a canyon wall back in 2003 after a boulder shifted and crushed his forearm. James Franco brilliantly plays Ralston on screen, and spends most of the film trapped. Boyle is able to develop a fast-pace through the effective use of flashbacks and music. But it’s ultimately Franco who captivates the audience.  

Related articles: (TIFF, movie reviews, Black Swan, 127 Hours, Daydream Nation)
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