My husband and I are becoming movie nuts. We saw 11 movies at the Toronto International Film Festival (also know as TIFF). And recently we went to something called NIFF, the Naples Independent Film Festival for another movie fix! Here’s what we saw:
The Chef’s Wife – Marithé works in a training center and her task is to assist people who are seeking alternative job options. One day, Carole arrives at the center, looking for new professional opportunities. She can no longer stand the pressure of working with her talented Michelin-starred chef husband, Sam, nor does she want to live in his shadow. She has never completed her studies and reaches out to Marithé to turn her life around. The two women hit it off immediately, bonding over their desire for change. Both want more out of life in the workplace and in their personal life but both are not sure of how to obtain it. When Marithé meets Sam, she can’t help being attracted to him. Suddenly she has some very personal motives in helping Carole to start over… Director Anne Le Ny with Emmanuelle Devos (Carole), Karine Viard (Marithe), and Roschdy Zem as Sam. French with English subtitle. At least a 3 out of 5.
The Vanished Elephant – Edo Celeste is a renowned crime novelist, who is writing the final book in the series about his alter ego, detective Felipe Aranda. Edo is obsessed with the disappearance of his fiancee Celia, which took place the day of the 2007 earthquake in the southern coast of Peru. Seven years later, an enigmatic woman brings Edo dozens of cryptic photos that may help solve the mystery of Celia’s disappearance. Edo senses that he’s being tempted into a dangerous game, but believes this is the only way to find his fiancee alive. A labyrinth of clues submerges Edo in a race through the streets of Lima and the deserted beaches of Paracas. His final destination will confront him with the ultimate riddle any writer could face. Lots of twists and turns and a very unexpected ending. Director Javier Fuentes-Leon with Salvador del Solar in the lead role. Another 3 out of 5.
It’s Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong – An attraction forms when a Chinese American girl visiting Hong Kong for the first time meets an American expat who shows her the way, but timing may not quite be on their side. A walk and talk romance set in the beautiful city of Hong Kong, the film asks the question – what happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time? Director Emily Ting with Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg as the couple. What was so wonderful about this movie is the setting, particularly as we lived in Hong Kong for three years and every scene prompted amazing nostalgia. A 4 out of 5.
The Girl in the Book – Set in the world of New York publishing, a young book editor is forced to confront a troubling chapter from her past when a bestselling author re-enters her life. The subject matter of this film – sexual abuse – is difficult but this story is told so well and with such a delicate touch that it is highly watchable and the ending is very satisfying. Director Marya Cohn in her first film with Emily Van Camp and Michael Nyqvist in the lead roles. I think this was my favourite, a 4.5 for me.
Tumbledown – Hannah struggles to move on with her life after the death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer, when a brash New York writer named Andrew forces her to confront her loss and the ambiguous circumstances of his death. Director Sean Mewshaw, with Rebecca Hall as Hannah and Jason Sudeikis as Andrew. Romance with more complexity than most, a 4 out of 5.