The Score TIFF review

The Plot

Two small time crooks drive to a remote location waiting for a big ‘score’ and pass the time by awkwardly interacting with the sparse customers and staff of a small café. But the longer they wait for their mysterious meeting the more complicated and tense their situation becomes.

The Good

Will Poulter continues to emerge as a truly magnificent and deeply likeable talent. Having well established a firm fanbase with his excellent big screen and television work he continues to inject an affable charisma into all his performances. In The Score an increasingly rugged Poulter provides the heart and humour of the film through his performance as Troy, a kind hearted and hapless reluctant hoodlum. The comical contrast and exchanges between him and his older far more abrasively menacing partner in crime are the firm driving force behind the films story.

Alongside Poulter, Johhny Flynn provides a convincingly antagonistic presence as Mike, Troy’s bullying and quite possibly dangerous criminal compatriot. Their sparring conversations lurch from absurdly comedic to genuinely tense throughout the film providing modest charm and intrigue.

Naomi Ackie likewise works well with Poulter to give the film some awkwardly simmering romantic chemistry, playing the café’s feisty barista Gloria. Her clashes with Flynn’s caustic Mike and unlikely chemistry with Poluter’s well intentioned thug Troy sets up odd and evolving dynamics that ultimately propel he film towards a vigorous finale.

The cast are also clearly enthusiastic and uninhibited about the film’s frequent musical demands, very obviously doing their best to inject subtle meaning and soft spoken melody into their singing. It’s to their credit, especially Poulter’s, that they manage to maintain a sense of momentum and reality despite the film’s whimsical eccentricities and constantly shifting tone.

The Bad

While musicals certainly attract a massive fanbase The Score is a strange breed of hybrid between a sluggishly paced indie drama and the more flamboyant musical genre. This unexpected mashup occasionally works well, but often seems to slow the pace of the film even further as characters interrupt normal scenes with lengthy musical mumblings. The almost complete lack of choreography and oddly passive nature of character’s entirely self-contained singing make the films musical qualities often feel somewhat unnecessary. Merely serving to mostly distract from an otherwise interesting conventional drama.

Though the film moves toward an ultimately interesting climax the film is a slow burn that pads a relatively simple story with its lengthy musical refrains. While some might feel it gives the film a unique personality and a literally lyrical quality, it’s certainly a devisees experiment. The understated performances and largely muted singing voices of the cast further adds to a slightly awkward school play feel every time a character breaks off into their own detached musical monologue.

The Ugly Truth

A talented cast and the novelty factor of the film’s quirky musical offerings makes The Score a watchable but likely divisive experience. Some will consider the film a memorable oddity while other audiences may find themselves less charmed by the films slow paced and unnecessary musical refrains.

The Harder They Fall Trailer Released

A new trailer has arrived guns blazing for Netflix new western romp The Harder They Fall. The film follow Loki and Lovecraft Country‘s Jonathan Majors as Nat Love a gunslinger who discovers that his sworn rival and mortal enemy Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), has escaped incarceration. This sets the stage for an explosive confrontation as Nat rounds up a posse of deadly individuals, determined to exact revenge against Rufus. Meanwhile Rufus clearly has his own plans for his newfound freedom and a host of deadly allies determined to keep him both free and alive.

The all star supporting cast includes Zazie Beets, Edi Gathegi, RJ Cyller, LaKeith Stanfield and Regina King.

The Harder They Fall will be in select US and UK cinemas from 22 October before heading onto Netflix on 3 November.

Till then check out the trailer below:

Licorice Pizza Trailer Debuts

Director Paul Thomas Anderson finally makes his long awaited big screen return with Licorice Pizza, a coming of age tale of messy young love set against the backdrop of the backdrop of LA’s San Fernando Valley in 1973.

Written, direct and produced by Anderson, the film marks the screen debut of Cooper Hoffman, the son of Anderson’s veteran collaborator, the lat Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  The son of the Oscar winning star plays Gary Valentine, a young actor falling hopelessly in love with a girl called Alana Kane (Haim’s Alana Haim) only to discover just how turbulent and troublesome adolescent romance is.

Bradley Cooper, Ben Stiller, Maya Rudolph, Sean Penn and John C. Reilly round out Anderson’s typically stellar ensemble all-star cast. Though the trailer below makes it very clear just how much of the film hangs on the seemingly capable shoulders of it’s young newcomers.

Drenched in a captivating soundtrack and boasting gloriously vintage visual charms the trailer gives a stunning indication of just how special this new projct could prove for a director already responsible for a glut of classic films.

Judge for yourself below:

New Don’t Look Up Clip Arrives

Netflix have released a new clip from Director Adam Mckay’s apocalyptic comedy Don’t Look Up.

The much anticipated cinematic treat stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence as a pair of astronomers who become aware of a comet heading straight for Earth. Unfortunately as reveled in this latest glimpse their dire warning about the literal end of the world aren’t particularly well received by Meryl Streep’s president and Jonah Hill’s chief of staff.

The truly impressive all star ensemble cast also includes Cate Blanchett, Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman, Tyler Perry and Timothée Chalamet. Making this one potential end of life as we know it you probably won’t want to miss…

Belfast Wins TIFF People’s Choice Award 2021

Kenenth Branagh’s crowd pleasing Belfast was officially unveiled as the winner of the top People’s Choice award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. With Scarborough and jane’ Campoion’s western drama The Power of the Dog among the noted runners up.

In the 13 years since “Slumdog Millionaire” won in 2008, the TIFF winner has gone on to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar 12 times and has won that award five times, including “Nomadland” last year.

Alongside Belfast The Rescue won in the documentary category whilst Titane collected the top honour in the Midnight Madness selection.

The Awards result in full:

People’s Choice Award: “Belfast,” Kenneth Branagh
First Runner-up: “Scarborough,” Shasha Nakhai and Rich Williamson
Second Runner-up: “The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion

People’s Choice Documentary Award: “The Rescue,” E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin
First Runner-up: “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over,” Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner
Second Runner-up: “Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award: “Titane,” Julia Ducournau
First Runner-up: “You Are Not My Mother,” Kate Dolan
Second Runner-up: “DASHCAM,” Rob Savage

Platform Jury Prize: “Yuni,” Kamila Andini
Honorable Mention: “Mlungu Wam” (“Good Madam”), Janna Cato Bass

Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award: “Scarborough”

Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film: “Ste. Anne,” Rhayne Vermette
Special Mention: “Scarborough”
Amplify Voices Award: “The Gravedigger’s Wife,” Khadar Ayderus Ahmed
Amplify Voices Award: “A Night of Knowing Nothing,” Payal Kapadia

IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Film: “Displaced,: Samir Karahoda
Honorable Mention: “Trumpets in the Sky,” Rakan Mayasi
IMDbPro Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Film: “Angakusajaujuq – The Shaman’s Apprentice,” Zacharias Kunuk
Honorable Mention: “Nuisance Bear,” Jack Weisman, Gabriela Osio Vanden
IMDbPro Short Cuts Share Her Journey Award: “ASTEL,” Ramata-Toulaye Sy
Honorable Mention: “Love, Dad,” Diana Cam Van Nguyen

NETPAC Award: “Costa Brava, Lebanon”
FIPRESCI Prize: “Anatolian Leopard”