The Worst Person In The Wold TIFF Review

The Plot

The third film in director Joachim Trier’s ‘Oslo Trilogy’ follows a young Medical Student Julie on a journey torn between a relationship with a significantly older comic artist and a young barista she bonds with following a chance encounter.

The Good

Joachim Trier’s acclaimed storytelling reaches a compelling climax with this black comedy that bears all the hallmarks of rapidly becoming an instant classic. Fiercely subverting the longstanding and increasingly tired romantic tropes the film is imbued with a rich lyrical charm and raw quality that is by now utterly lacking in the overly sanitised and saccharine offerings of cheerful but blandly formulaic Hollywood romantic comedies.

Leading actress Renate Reinsve launches herself towards assured stardom with a performance that has already deservedly seen her collect top acting honours at the Cannes Film Festival where the film itself was rewarded with the Palme d’Or. Reinsve’s performance as Julie is both nuanced and compelling. Her character grapples with the poignant existential struggles of desire, aging and the daunting prospect of defining herself and her relationships.

Centred around Reinsve’s grounded and authentic emotional portrayal the film is able at times to indulge in truly joyous flights of fantasy. One hallucinogenic sequence in particular lurches towards surreal horror, whilst another breathtakingly captures the adrenalin fuelled passion of new attraction in a city that is otherwise reduced to an absolutely literal standstill. It’s an unforgettable and poetic metaphor packed into a film which consistently delivers evocative emotional truths.

The film’s darker and bittersweet tone also provides an edge and melancholic depth to the story that goes beyond the usual simple catharsis of celebrating great love by proxy in more typical romantic comedies.  It’s an exceptional example of storytelling that speaks to universal truths that are by turns inspiring and unavoidably painful.

The Bad

Despite the film’s many undeniably well-crafted qualities it remains true that for those seeking the simple feel good escape of a relentlessly cheerful romantic comedy this film may be a little too close to reality to meet their needs.

Though some will identify more directly with the existential melancholy and malaise this story offers, for those that don’t it might at times be a slightly unwelcome reminder of those apparent real world anxieties.

In pursuing a more authentic exploration of the bittersweet realities of romance the film knowingly sacrifices some of the emotional sugar rush provided by romantic dramas that merely conveniently sweep past these messy layers of tragedy and lingering confusion.

The Ugly Truth

Fully deserving of the it has already amassed The Worst Person In The World is a rare gift of a film that demonstrates the true strength of international cinema that exists beyond the starch confines of lazy Hollywood blockbusters and cliché ridden genre cinema. Visually unforgettable, charming and emotionally charged this is effective and essential storytelling at its’ finest.

Tim Federle Directing Sister Act 3

In 2020 Disney previously announced to investors plans to make a third Sister Act movie with star Whoopi Goldberg returning to the iconic franchise to both star and produce. It has now been confirmed who will helm the project. Tim Federle the director of High School Musical The Series will be taking control of the project.

Apparently Federle has continued to impress the studio with his recent work on the still yet to be released Better Nate Than Never  making them confident that he’s a safe pair of hands to guide the admittedly unexpected sequel to fruition.

The plot of the new Sister Act film has not yet been specifically revealed, but obvious speculation is that Whoopi Goldberg’s Deloris will be finding herself once more in some form of trouble alongside the nuns and students of St Katherine’s Roman Catholic Church.

Tyler Perry is also attached to produce the project with ambitions for the finished film to make it’s debut on Disney + at some point in 2023 or early 2024.

Ridley Scott Says Gladiator 2 Ready To Go

Veteran director Ridley Scott 83 has insisted that the long awaited and seemingly unlikely sequel to his iconic Russell Crowe action epic Gladiator is ready to go and will be his next project once his current Napoleon project wraps.

Already in 2021 the director responsible for iconic classics like Alien and Blade Runner added two new films to his ever growing catalog, with both The Last Duel and House of Gucci releasing in October and November respectively.

After five decades his drive seems as high as ever with a Gladiator follow up apparently set to launch into production as soon as Kitbag, his current period project completes.

Ever since the original Gladiator film catapulted Russell Crowe to action superstardom and became an undisputed instant classic there have been eager plans for a sequel. Previous ideas for the project had Russell Crowe set to reprise his role as Maximus, either by exploring his backstory and rise through the ranks of the roman army, or perhaps seeing him literally reincarnated to return him from the afterlife.

Those rumoured plans are now decades old so it remains to be seen to what extent Crowe and Maximus will feature in the sequel project or whether it will merely be a the story of entirely new gladiators entering the fabled blood stained battlefield of the coliseum, perhaps during the rule of a very different emperor.

In either case Scott has confirmed that he has people polishing a script of some sort now.

“I’m already having [the next] Gladiator written now, so when I’ve done Napoleon, Gladiator will be ready to go.”

Wonka Musical Prequel Cast Grows

The cast of Director Paul King’s musical prequel Wonka continues to grow as cameras start rolling. The latest announced additions to the line-up include Rowan Atkinson, Olivia Coleman and Sally Hawkins. Timothee Chalamet is firmly in place in the lead role playing Roald Dahl’s ironically weird and wonderful chocolate factory owner in his younger days.

Paddington director King has already packed his supporting cast with familiar faces such as Tom Davis, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Simon Farnaby, Matt Lucas, Paterson Joseph, Rich Fulcher, Jim Carter and Keegan-Michael Key.

The vast line up of actors will be accompanied by a soundtrack provided by The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon, giving at least some indication of the musical style the prequel may be adopting.

The official announcement of the unexpected prequel project had this to say about its intentions to explore the backstory of one of Roald Dahl’s most iconic character, going even further beyond the reimagined backstory provided by Tim Burton’s most recent big screen incarnation of the character with Johnny Depp.

The announcement claims the new film will explore

“Vivid, mythical beginnings of the imaginative young inventor before he becomes the renowned scrumdiddlyumptious Mozart of chocolate”

The film will be arriving in cinemas 17 March 2023 so this is one sweet treat that may take some time to prepare.

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain TIFF Review

The Plot

A biopic of titular eccentric Edwardian artist Louis Wain, who became unexpectedly famous for his adorable cat illustrations, whilst also struggling with the burdens of tragic loss, depression, family responsibilities and financial woes.

The Good

Benedict Cumberbatch’s ardent fanbase gets to enjoy another quirky performance from the much beloved actor, providing a look at a mostly forgotten artist with a special appeal for feline lovers. Those familiar with Wain’s work will at least be pleased to see much of the same brightly coloured and unapologetically twee whimsy packed onto screen.

Throughout the film there are also occasional flashes of talent in truly poignant moments that shine through, particularly between Cumberbatch and Claire Foy as Wain’s terminally ill wife. The authentic love and affection between them is one of the perhaps few tangible qualities the film possesses. It’s a genuine journey of loss that carries emotional weight in spite of the film’s wider struggles to refine its’ overly eccentric tone and muddled messages.

The Bad

Drolly narrated and frequently overwhelmed by an overabundance of heavy handed quirkiness this is a film that frantically struggles to charm audiences with oversaturated but mostly hollow visual charms.

It’s a sometimes perplexing mess of mixed intentions too as the film seemingly struggles to reconcile precisely whether it intends to celebrate Wain’s singular artistic achievement of cute cat drawings as legitimately vital artwork or merely to instead lament that this is tragically the only expression the world knew of his apparent artistic gifts. The seemingly insurmountable burden for the film is that it’s difficult to either take Wain’s mawkish feline images seriously or to somehow reimagine him as some kind of overlooked genius based upon very little else.

Benedict Cumberbatch playing the titular Wain don’s a comically flamboyant moustache and once again seemingly slips into increasingly familiar ‘neurodivergent’ mode. Unfortunately having already famously tread this territory with both Sherlock and The Imitation Game, this third time is sadly not a charm. Like the film as a whole Cumberbatch’s performance is well intentioned but often lost amongst a clumsy bustle of quirks and exaggerated eccentricity.

Perhaps the most awkward challenge for Cumberbatch is that Wain’s elaborately affected mannerisms are neither played for unashamedly silly comedic effect nor enough on their own to somehow transform Wain into a significant artistic figure beyond his singular embarrassingly kitsch achievement. It’s sadly impossible to avoid the impression that the film is by default suggesting that Wain should somehow be celebrated merely because he had a somewhat lively and ‘unusual’ personality, beyond the fact he drew some popularly cute cartoon cats.

The Ugly Truth

As an artistic biopic this is a film that struggles to adequately explain why Louis Wain’s fleeting fame for drawing mawkish feline doodles deserves to be either celebrated or instead lamented. Efforts to overwhelm audiences with a barrage of quirkiness never succeeds in distracting from that awkward question. Wain’s insubstantial artistic achievements leave Benedict Cumberbatch’s elaborately moustached and ‘whimsical’ performance feeling even more awkward at times.