9:30 am - Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing - Ryerson
Great documentary that tells of the groups exploits from Natalie's famous putdown of Bush in London till the present day. Films shows the group dynamic and how they developed songs for their latest album. It also shows how they dealt with the backlash both personally and professionaly. Great music, humor and personality.
11:45 am - Pan's Labyrinth - Varsity 8
In 1944, Ofélia is forced to move into her stepfather's home, now that her motheris about to give birth. She hates her new life and her new father, the tyrannical Captain Vidal who is intent on snuffing out the rebel forces. Ofélia finds an ally in Mercedes, Vidal's servant, who is secretly helping the rebels. She also discovers a labyrinth near the house and meets its grotesquely fawnlike keeper, Pan, who gives her three dangerous tasks to complete. The movie is really does not depend on the fantasy world to give it life. The tension and suspense comes from the real evil that is Capt. Vidal. Wonderfully told tale that is dependant on our sympathies with Ofelia.
3 pm - The Namesake - Elgin Theatre
Mira Nair's adaption of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa LahiriAshoke's novel. Film tells the tale of Ashoke Ganguli and his wife, Ashima (Tabu), who seek a new life in the United States. Previews made it seem that the film is mostly about their son's (played by Kal Penn) struggles to maintain his heritage while prefering his new roots (American). But it is really a story about the parents. Their sacrifice and their hopes and dreams through their children. Film has an epic feel to it. Kal's son is arrogant for so much of the film that I never developed any sympathy for him. The emotional center was his mother Ashima. Film dragged at times, but is still moving.
6 pm - Starter for 10 - Ryerson
Coming of age tale in Britain of Brian Jackson. Brian's goal in life is to learn as much as possible. He also dreams of being on a quiz show. Both become possible as Brian attends an upper-class British university. But this all gets derailed as he falls in love. Cute story with a twist in the "big match" that you don't normally see. James McAvoy has been in three films at the TIFF and has shown that he has the prescence to be a star.
9:30 pm - Black Book - Roy Thomson Hall
Paul Verhoeven return to his native Netherlands for a film about a young Jewish woman's attempts to help the resistance during World War II. The film was plenty of action, double crosses, sex and comedy to keep the audience revited to the screen for its length. Not really a film to make you "think" as much as a "popcorn" film.