TIFF 2012 Day 2: Spring Breakers & The Master

By @cj_prin
TIFF 2012 Day 2: Spring Breakers & The Master

It seems like the word of the day was “delay.” After arriving at Toronto the line-up for picking up tickets took nearly an hour. That’s not a complaint though, anyone who has been to TIFF is fully aware that waiting in line is just part of the festival. Either way, gone were my hopes of rushing Imogene or Paradise: Love so off I went to Spring Breakers.

Unfortunately Spring Breakers ended up getting delayed by over a half hour, meaning that in order to catch my next screening I had to bail out on the film towards the end (I’m guessing there were 15-20 minutes left). I can’t give a proper review, but from what I did see it seemed like Harmony Korine hasn’t really changed for me. With his previous films like Mister Lonely and Trash Humpers, Korine was able to pull out some beautiful, amazing moments but couldn’t sustain that feeling throughout. Spring Breakers starts out strong with a montage of college kids partying which is the first of many montages peppered throughout. These were the best parts of the film, but as a collective whole the film became exhausting. I’d rather not get into too much detail since I haven’t seen the entire thing, but I do know one thing for sure. James Franco kills it in this. Believe the hype.


Spring Breakers movie review
Spring Breakers

But of course, after Spring Breakers was the main event. I got in line for The Master and…ended up waiting some more due to an hour long delay. To add even more insult to injury, aside from a quick intro by Paul Thomas Anderson there was no sign of the cast and no Q&A. Considering the screening was charged at a premium because of a Q&A with the cast/director I’m guessing a lot of people weren’t too happy.

But on to the movie, which is sure to confuse many once it gets a wide(r) release. The film, which is simply about a mentally disturbed seaman (Joaquin Phoenix) becoming friends with the leader of a cult (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in 1950, has plenty of powerful moments. The use of 65mm film and feel of There Will Be Blood from the trailers might suggest a similarly epic story, but this is much more intimate than the insane bombast of Daniel Plainview. Phoenix wipes away his entire misstep with I’m Still Here in this, becoming so involved with his character that he’s unrecognizable at certain points. Hoffman is terrific as well, and the two of them getting Oscar nods is probably set in stone. My issue is that none of the great moments (and a shout out to the use of 65mm which was gorgeous) came together as a whole, which led to a very slow pace. I would need a rewatch to really settle in on how I feel about The Master, but my initial reaction is that it’s good. It’s just not the masterpiece that his last film was.

RATING: 7 (tentative)

The Master movie review
The Master

COMING UP: I start to head into the Wavelengths direction with the half-silent Tabu, followed by Haneke’s Cannes winner Amour and the return of Ryuhei Kitamura with No One Lives.

Recap of some of my Tweets from today:

Follow @WayTooIndie for full coverage of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival!

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