Hello everyone! Another day of TIFF has come and gone. Today I saw 5 movies and overall it was a pretty good day- especially when it comes to documentaries. I’ve realized during this festival documentaries are often my favorite at these kind of events. They aren’t as highfalutin as the fiction often is and tend to be the big-hearted stories I gravitate towards.
Anyway, I had 3 documentaries and 2 fiction today so let me share my thoughts:
Listening to Kenny G
Everyone knows or perhaps dreads the saxophone turned elevator music of Kenny G. He is the most successful instrumental musician in history and yet his name is synonymous with muzak more than music. Listening to Kenny G explores this dichotomy and it’s overall pretty interesting.
I must own I do not like the saxophone or Kenny G’s music so some of the long musical performances were a little much for me in this documentary. However, I did enjoy the discussion about jazz vs easy listening and in particular how white artists since Elvis Presley have been appropriating the music of African Americans for their own benefit.
It’s also interesting how someone like Kenny G can be both hugely successful and yet seemingly equally hated. It must be a bizarre dichotomy to live in? He seems to take it in stride but I can’t imagine going through all that.
6 out of 10
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love and adore Julia Child. She is obviously an icon in the kitchen but I admire her spirit and moxie even more than anything she cooked. I love her so much I did a party for my book club a few years back and it was so much fun.
The new documentary Julia chronicles the life and influence of Julia Child and to be honest it is your average celeb bio-doc but I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it! It’s all about Julia and I love her so that’s all it needed to do. This documentary captures Julia’s love of life and how she dared to have a whole new life post 40. She didn’t publish her book or start her TV career until she was 50! As someone who just turned 40 that is very inspirational.
I also think Julia and Paul Child’s marriage is true relationship goals. He supported her in the long process of writing her book and she loved him till the end. It’s exactly what you want in a partner.
Julia Child was an awesome person and this documentary showcases that. Watch it!
8 out of 10
When you come from a large family like I do sibling relationships can be challenging. It’s hard to keep everyone in a family happy and content even in the best of times let alone in times of death and trauma. Montana Story explores the sibling relationship and asks how much should we expect of our brothers and sisters?
The film stars Owen Teague who is a young man trying to take care of his father who is on life support. His sister Erin played by Haley Lu Richardson comes into town and is full of opinions especially when it comes to her brother’s plans for her 25 year old horse named Mr T.
Montana Story was shot on 35mm film which you can see in the beautiful Montana mountain vistas. Some of the slice of life elements began to drag but the relationship between the brother and sister (and all their past baggage) really works.
If you are in the mood for some stunning cinematography mixed with lots of family drama give Montana Story a shot.
7 out of 10
I love inspirational documentaries and The Rescue is one of the best I’ve seen in a while. It tells the story of the Tham Luang Cave Rescue in 2018. Most of the movie is from the perspective of the British cave divers who came from thousands of miles away to save the 13 soccer players caught in the cave.
I remember hearing about this rescue but I didn’t know much about it. I hope you all get the chance to watch this film because I was riveted the entire time! I can’t believe the footage they got during the entire rescue. Even inside the cave they had great high quality footage! The interviews were also really good and as I heard them describe the risks of each step of the rescue I became more and more invested.
I guess they could have had more from the perspective of the families waiting to hear about their sons but I loved this documentary. It was sensational!
9 out of 10
Compartment No 6
Especially since most of us have been shut up for the last 2 years there is something very appealing about a road trip movie. In the case of Compartment No 6 it is a train road trip movie, which as it is something I have never done sounds very appealing!
Compartment No 6 tells the story of Laura (Seidi Haarla) who is traveling to Murmansk in the Arctic Circle as the final part of her stay in Russia. Once on the train she is assigned to a compartment with Polish man named Ljoha (Yurly Borisov). The 2 don’t have much in common but they bond over the course of their train ride and we get to follow them each step of the way.
For the most part I enjoyed this film. The script is truthful and sincere with 2 dynamic characters that grow and change on their journey. I did have a hard time warming up to Ljoha. He’s a bit too rough around the edges for my taste and I would have preferred more of a romance because that’s my jam but I’m sure some will be glad they didn’t go the cheesy romance route.
The pacing in Compartment No 6 won’t be for everyone but I think there is plenty to like in the sharp script and good performances. Give it a watch if you can.
6 out of 10
So there you have it 5 movies and 5 positive reviews! I hope you’re doing well and enjoying the festival if you get a chance to attend. Have fun!