Film Scouts Diaries

2016 Toronto International Film Festival (41st Edition) Diaries
Films I saw at TIFF 2016 - N-Z

by Henri Béhar

Nocturnal Animals, directed by Tom Ford (USA/UK, Special Presentations)

A taut thriller as well as a psychological study of a woman in crisis, torn between two husbands, between the present and the past (real, fantasized, recreated), this fascinating and elegantly multi-layered work is a high-wire act.

Ornithologist, The, directed by Joao Pedro Rodriguez (Portugal/France/Brazil, Wavelengths)

Visually arresting - and aurally, even more so. For this is a film that does not drown you in the molasses of a symphonic orchestra gone haywire, but pays attention to the distinct sounds of the river, the mountain, the forest, and to the "conversations" between a Saint-Anthony-of-Padua-inspired ornithologist and the eerily attentive birds. Unique.

Queen Of Katwe, directed by Mira Nair (South-Africa/Uganda, Gala presentations

Based on the true story of a young Ugandan country girl who realizes she has a gift for chess that will take her all the way to the championship. Director Mira Nair deftly captures the vitality, messiness and, yes, beauty of the culture in an East African slum. Invigorating.

Quiet Passion, A, directed by Terence Davies (UK/Belgium, Masters)

Director Terence Davies channels himself into 19th century poet (and recluse) Emily Dickinson, subtly weaving domestic scenes with her luminous poetry.

Untamed, The, directed by Amat Escalante (Mexico/Denmark/France/Germany, Vanguard)

Sexual obsession, with a science-fiction twist like you have never seen before. Constantly unpredictable,
uncompromisingly liberating - and definitely weird.

Voyage of Time, directed by Terrence Malik (Mexico/Denmark/France/Germany,

A visual stunner. Mesmerizing.

Woman Who Left, The, directed by Lav Diaz (Philippines, Wavelengths)

Gold Lion winner at the Venice Film Festival, and nearly four-hours long. You have to be in the right mood and, more to the point, on the right tempo. I wasn't. Plus the film was subtitled into (a semblance of) English by a criminally illiterate entity. So I left the theatre determined to see it again, in better conditions.

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