Day 2 of TIFF is now over and while my number of events/screenings has decreased from yesterday I will soon begin my craziness – before the weekend is over I hope to add another 10 films into my “watched” column. So here’s today’s offerings:

SOUTHCLIFFE (dir. Sean Durkin)

Southcliffe Ep1

In a rural area of England there is an event which causes a lot of loss to the members of the town of Southcliffe and in a four part miniseries we follow their time as it passes before and after the event. Filmmaker Sean Durkin makes an interesting decision to take this long form storytelling structure that was created for television and have it presented theatrically at the festival because I’m not quite convinced it works.

The story as itself is interesting and has a lot of well done things about it however it feels like a different experience seeing it in one sitting in a theatre where you’ve been forced into seeing this in sequential order and it reeks of a television trope of having to call back to a specific moment that we’re already aware of to remind us that something happened as if we’re a week apart from actually seeing it. There is also an element of disconnected storytelling where Durkin takes us on this journey through the eyes of different characters each time which helps to flesh out the world that is Southcliffe, however more times than not it just feels troubled.

I liked the show and feel it’s worth watching, but the experience theatrically was just questionable at times. On a side note, Eddie Marsan is just fantastic in this film.

Grade:

★★★☆☆

JASON REITMAN’S LIVE READ: BOOGIE NIGHTS

BOOGIE NIGHTS Live Read


The photo above was taken by Ryan McNeil of The Matinee and is used with his express permission. Read some of his great content over at The Matinee.

CAST

Marc-Andre Grodin was Scott J (originally by Phillip Seymour Hoffman)
Dane Cook was Reed Rothchild (originally by John C. Reilly)
Jason Sudekis was Buck Swope (originally by Don Cheadle)
Jarod Einsohn was Todd Parker (originally by Thomas Jane)
Jordan Hayes was Jessie St Vincent (originally by Melora Walters)
Olivia Wilde was Amber Waves (originally by Julianne Moore)
Scott Thompson was The Colonel (originally by Robert Ridgely)
Dakota Fanning was Rollergirl (originally by Heather Graham)
Josh Brolin was Jack Horner (originally by Burt Reynolds)
Jessie Eisenberg was Dirk Diggler (originally by Mark Wahlberg)

This was amazing. Last year I skipped the same event where Reitman gathered a cast to read the screenplay for American Beauty and something about it peeved me. So I decided without fail I would make it to this event, seeing it would be repeated, and when I discovered it would be for a PTA film I couldn’t resist.

So most of you, I’d assume, has seen the film and already love it like I do, but what this event taught me is how well a great screenplay comes across. For those who believe that it’s just the dialogue that makes a screenplay great it’s not. While we had the assistance of a visual, with a screenshot of the setting of whatever scene we were in from the film, overall I found myself barely looking at it as opposed to watching all the actors and Reitman just play along and describe the whole thing to me.

The stand outs from the cast were Jason SudekisDane CookJosh BrolinJarod Einsohn and Olivia Wilde. Sudekis and Cook killed every bit that they were given. Throughout the reading they would be given other smaller parts that were not cast and between Cook’s line reading for the role that was originated by Luis Guzman and Sudekis’ singing while playing the bit role that Alfred Molina did in the film they win. Brolin was a solid choice for Jack Horner and payed off perfectly while Einsohn worked because he had a lot of other bit roles, including a great moment as the guy banging Little Bill’s wife early in the film and I laughed so hard.

I liked the moments where the actors — as well as Reitman — would break and just admit how funny the screenplay is as a whole. And yes, Sudekis singing is perfection in a comedic bottle. However, the moment of the night for me, because I’m a bad person, goes to Olivia Wilde’s reading of the line “Just cum on my tits”during her first porn scene with Dirk.