Don Jon presents an unfiltered
Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a guy who loves his porn, his friends (Rob Brown, Jeremy Luke), his
family (Tony Danza, Glenne Headly and Brie Larson), his porn, his faith
in God (typified by his pious attendance at weekly confessions), his
workout routine and, in case I failed to mention it, his porn.
Thank you, Toronto International Film
Festival (TIFF), for such a marvelous birthday party. If I couldn’t have
been at home among family and friends, I’m not sure I could have
imagined a better way to celebrate. The first day of the festival was a
decidedly low-key affair. Festival programmers eased us into the
proceedings with a teasing platter of tasty bites and a bit of fizz in
our glasses to whet the appetite.
Adam (Mark Ruffalo) is charming,
good-looking and professionally successful with an easy-going air about
him. Mike (Tim Robbins) gives the impression of being a wise mentor. And then there’s Neil (Josh Gad),
who is obviously a bit of a bumbler. And what do they have in common? They’re
all in a sex addiction support group, Mike as Adam’s sponsor, and all in
various stages of recovery.
The Cincinnati Festival (CFF) kicked off
its fourth year last weekend and continues through Sunday with
screenings at various venues (though most will take place at Tower Place
Mall). The festival boasts some 100 films (including 39 feature-length
offerings) across numerous genres and styles, none more anticipated than
the local premiere of Cincinnati native Tom Berninger’s Mistaken for Strangers, which screened Sept. 6 at Memorial Hall.
A Variety “Breaking News” alert
arrived via email trumpeting, “Venice Joins Oscar Race with ‘Philomena,’
‘Gravity,’ ” and just like that the race is on to tantalize and tease
critics and audiences with the first bite, that world premiere of the
titles that will likely be on the lips of film’s tastemakers during the
In Still Mine, writer-director
Michael McGowan presents us with Craig Morrison (James Cromwell), an
80-something farmer, a tireless and practical man with a large family
and an even larger kingdom, which he manages with common sense and
The Spectacular Now’s Sutter (Miles Teller) leads a good life, a
damned good life for an onscreen high school senior. He may
seem all too familiar to those of us weaned on the John Hughes teen
comedies of the 1980s, because if you squint and tilt your head to the
left a little, Sutter is the modern-day incarnation of Ferris Bueller.
Allen turns his attention to the
financial crisis of 2008 and a Bernie Madoff-type named Hal (Alec
Baldwin), one of those Wall Street titans building cloud-based castles
in the sky that blot out both the sun and common sense. He’s gruff and
arrogant, all façade with no substantive core inside his bulked-up
Maybe I’m as juvenile as my wife thinks, but the bit in trailer for Rawson Marshall Thurber’s We’re the Millers
where Jason Sudeikis, as a scheming drug mule who hires a fake family
to smuggle drugs across the border, launches into a Bane voice (spoofing
Tom Hardy’s villain from The Dark Knight Rises) just sends me
into a fit of hysterical laughter.
Schrader has had a long and often tumultuous career in movies. The 67-year-old
Michigan native began his obsession with cinema as a critic in the early 1970s,
one of the most creatively fertile periods in American movie history.
A few times each year, certain films
challenge me on a deeper, primal level. They rattle the critical cage,
issuing a call that necessitates a response from more than the safe
sanctity of the intellect. They demand a blood offering from the heart.
With certain directors, every new release
takes us back to the first time we experienced their work. We remember
the visceral thrills, the powerful sensuality or the intellectual
austerity that captivated us and we want relive those sensations, which
means we set the bar at a level so high that only a talented few can
The Way, Way Back starts right off
with that signature scene from the trailers. Duncan (Liam James), a
slightly awkward 14-year-old, sits in the back of an old station wagon
that belongs to Trent (Steve Carell), the new boyfriend of his mother
Pam (Toni Collette).
Director Lee Daniels (Precious)
finds himself in a most curious position less than two months from the
release of his new film, a historic drama detailing the life of Eugene
Allen (here known as Cecil Gaines and played by Academy Award winner
Forest Whitaker), a quiet Everyman who served eight presidents during
his time as a butler in the White House