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TIFF 2012 – ChickFlicking Picks (Nadia Sandhu)

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t narrow this list down to just ten. It was just too hard a mission this year-  there are a lot of films that qualify as chick flicks at TIFF 2012, and a lot of them are no doubt coming soon to a theatre near you.  So while we await our bumper crop this fall and winter, Chickflicking has picked a cross-section of films that span our newly established criteria, represent a good cross section of TIFF Programmes, and hopefully strike a good balance between soon to be campaigning for Oscar and perhaps never to be seen outside of the festival circuit again.

Without further ado, these are the chick flicks I would be seeing if I had a spare moment this TIFF.  Can I get a drumroll please?

Pictures and descriptions (italics) from www.tiff.net.

GALAS

A Royal Affair – Historic Scandal? Period Costumes?  Need you ask why?

This sumptuous historical drama from writer-director Nikolaj Arcel (screenwriter of the original version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) chronicles the scandalous love triangle between a queen (Alicia Vikander), her German doctor (Mads Mikkelsen), and the mad King of Denmark (Mikkel Følsgaard).

Love, Marilyn – For the documentary and Marilyn lovers out there (and for some reason there sure are a lot of you Marilyn lovers out there).

Love, Marilyn takes an intimate look into the never-before-seen letters, diaries and notebooks of Marilyn Monroe. Appearing on screen to perform Marilyn’s words are renowned contemporary actresses, including Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, and Glenn Close.

MASTERS

Amour – Because love is ageless.

Screen legends Jean-Lous Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are ineffably moving as an elderly couple facing their own mortality in the Palme d’Or–winning new work by modern master Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon).

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Anna Karenina – If you have to ask, you should not be watching chick flicks.

Keira Knightley re-teams with director Joe Wright (Atonement) for this visionary adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel about a society woman torn between loyalty to her husband and the desires of her heart.

 

Ginger and Rosa – Girl Drama 1- The BFF.  This is one special presentation that doesn’t have distribution yet.

As the Cold War meets the sexual revolution in 1960s London, the lifelong friendship of two teenage girls (Elle Fanning, Alice Englert) is shattered by ideological differences and personal betrayals. This new film from director Sally Potter (Orlando) also stars Annette Bening and Christina Hendricks.

 

Imogene – Ladies, I’m sure you can relate.

Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon headline this hilarious comedy about a washed-up playwright who, after faking her own suicide as a ploy to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention, winds up remanded to the custody of her wackily dysfunctional family.

To the Wonder – So Terrence Malick made a chick flick eh?

Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko star in the new film from Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.

DISCOVERY

Blancanieves – A re-imagining of the classic Kirsten Stewart film.

A gorgeous, black-and-white homage to the Golden Age of Europe’s silent cinema, the intoxicating Blancanieves relocates the tale of Snow White to a sweepingly romantic vision of 1920s Spain, where a young girl escapes from her wicked stepmother to find fame as a matador.

The Deflowering of Eva Van End – Who can resist this title (and German exchange students)?

The ugly duckling of a fraught middle-class household has her life turned upside-down by the arrival of a handsome German exchange student, in this caustic, absurdist satire of petit-bourgeois family life from Dutch director Michiel ten Horn. 

CITY TO CITY 

Born to Hate… Destined to Love  – We’ll excuse the title change, because what the world needs right now is an edgy Bollywood Romeo and Juliet.

A love story set amidst political violence in northern India, this romance follows Hindu Parma (Arjun Kapoor) and Muslim Zoya (Parineeti Chopra) as they try to escape the restrictive demands of their families. Better known for glossy entertainments, Bollywood’s Yash Raj studio delivers a surprisingly gritty reflection of the new India.

CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA

3 – Can you really ever go back?

Dissatisfied with his new life (and wife), a man tries to insinuate himself back into the home of the ex-wife and daughter he left ten years before, in this heartwarming and hilarious comedy-drama from Uruguayan director Pablo Stoll Ward (25 Watts, Whisky).

 

All That Matters is Past – Love triangle!

Reunited after years apart, childhood sweethearts William and Janne are forced to confront the dark secrets of their past-and the menacing presence of William’s pathologically jealous brother — in this haunting story from celebrated Norwegian director Sara Johnsen.

A Werewolf Boy – All you need is the love of a good woman.

In this wistful fantasy, a beautiful teenage girl is sent to a country house for her health, where befriends and attempts to civilize a feral boy she discovers on the grounds — but the beast inside him is constantly waiting to burst out.

VANGUARD

Blondie – Girl Drama 2- Family Edition.

When three estranged sisters reunite for their domineering mother’s birthday bash, old wounds open and conflicts rise to the surface, in the powerful and daring new film from Jesper Ganslandt (The Ape).

BONUS PICK!

Jayne Mansfield’s Car – Like sentimental male bonding dramas?  There’s a Bromance for that.

A top-notch cast — including Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon and John Hurt — star alongside writer-director Billy Bob Thornton in this drama set in 1969 Alabama, about the culture clash between two families — one American, one British-brought together by the death of a loved one.

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