Friday, September 6, 2013

TIFF 2013: One Movie About Sex is a Dud; Another Movie About Love is Very Sexy

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 12:00 PM











I must confess to some breathlessness in watching Blue Is the Warmest Color at the Toronto International Film festival. Yes, some of the scenes are indelibly graphic and unlike any I have seen on film. But the lust is tempered with honesty and intimacy, making the love-making scenes between its two lead characters, Adele and Emma, so breathtaking.


Blue is everywhere at the beginning of this French drama: it is the color of Adele's sweater, scarf and even her backpack. It is also the color of the fingernails and hair tint of Emma, Adele's first love. Nearly three hours later, Adele wears a dazzling blue dress as she strolls away from the camera lens. In between is an equally dazzling story that already has audiences and critics back on their heels.



The two leads, Adele Exarchopoulos as Adele and Lea Seydoux as Emma, shared the top acting prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival and it is my sense that Exarchopoulos will be a global star in no time. She's gorgeous, sensitive, heartbreaking, sensuous and... I'd keep gushing all day if I was allowed


If you haven't yet heard about Blue Is the Warmest Color, you soon will. It's already been rated NC-17 for its extremely mature content. I truly hope that Boise finds a home for this film. It can't be missed.



And now, some bad news.


Joseph Gordon-Levitt banked quite a bit of capital in 2012. He co-starred in hit after hit: Looper, Lincoln, The Dark Knight Rises. So, it was with a healthy dose of expectation that he arrived at TIFF with his first feature-length effort, which he wrote and directed for himself to star in: Don Jon.


It's about sex. In particular, it's about Internet porn, a lot of Internet porn. And Gordon-Levitt had a choice: he could either seriously consider porn addiction or make fun of it. Unfortunately, he chose the latter and it lands like a wet noodle. With stereotypes flooding the screen, this film will probably find some amount of success someday airing at 2 a.m. on MTV 2. It's just creepy. And the laughs? If you'll pardon the pun, you can count them on one hand.


Yes, Scarlett Johansson is in Don Jon and yes, she's a knockout. But her finger-waving Jersey Girl impression is stale in the first 30 seconds.


What a shame.



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