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Our own little filmfest

Last weekend was a gloomy-rainy-indoorsy weekend here in Ottawa, so Danielle and I decided to get geared up for the filmfest by… seeing a bunch of films. Friday night we saw Little Miss Sunshine, and all I gotta say is, GO SEE IT NOW. If this is not the funniest movie you’ve seen all year, then you have no soul. Very well crafted, funny, moving story, well acted, and totally heartfelt. Don’t miss this one.

Other films we saw:

He Died With a Falafel In His Hand – This Australian feature was funny and quirky and different, but not quite the laugh-fest I think we were hoping for. I mainly picked it for its name though, so what can you really expect?

The Closet – Danielle insisted I see one of French superstar actor Daniel Auteuil’s films before we go to the fest since we have gala tickets to the screening of “Mon Meilleur Ami.” In “The Closet”, Auteuil plays Francois Mignon, a rather sad, dull man about to get fired from his rather dull job in the accounting department for a condom factory. On the suggestion of his neighbour, rather than committing suicide, he comes out of the titular “Closet” as a means of scaring the suits into letting him keep his job out of fear of being labelled discriminatory. The plan works, and the film plays out like your typical (though better-than-average) american comedy. Overall, the film was light, fun, and Daniel Auteuil was really great as the loveable loser.

Open Water – I saw this flick in the theater when it came out, and really enjoyed it, so I didn’t mind renting it again so Danielle could see it. I love the whole independent nature of this film – how it was shot on DV on weekends by a husband and wife production team with no crew and no real budget. There are no special effects, so when you see a shark on screen, it’s the real deal. The film is superbly acted, and the pace and tension are perfect throughout. For such a low-budget flick, there are some really amazing and memorable shots throughout.

Talladega Nights – I was really disappointed in this one. I know a big part of it had to do with the audience we were with – we caught a Sunday matinee on a long weekend. The place was full of kids and the jokes were just flying over most of their heads. I think I would have enjoyed it more in a better audience, but I was still disappointed in the overall package – just not as funny as I’d have liked.

World Trade Center – Since 911 everyone’s been waiting for the film adaptations with much trepidation – the fear was that an interpretation could end up disrespecting the tragedy and the memories of those lost by being too judgemental or political or corndog patriotic or outright racist. I really thought that United 93, and now World Trade Centre, have both done a really good job of telling parts of the story without passing judgement on the events or the politics surrounding them, something that I think is really important. The events of 9/11 have been politicized enough. It’s time to respectfully remember.

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