TIFF 2007: Erik Nietzsche Into The Wild
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TIFF 2007: Erik Nietzsche Into The Wild

Today’s Reviews:
It sounds unfair to hold directors who are the children of directors to a higher standard than other new filmmakers—but is it really? There is such a wealth of connections and expertise within a phone’s reach that it’s utterly disappointing when someone like Jason Reitman just poops out the latest in Hollywood’s line of safe, fake “indie” films that have absolutely nothing indie about them. Juno MacGuff, a precocious sixteen-year-old with the voice and knowledge of her (far older) screenwriter, plans unprotected sex despite being observably more intelligent than that, then runs from an abortion clinic despite being observably tougher than that, and so on. The film is just full of weak logic and poor development, with a lazily pleasant narrative that builds to a sucker-pleasing ending. Why waste your time making lightweight fare like this with limitless resources? The worst crime might be the waste of Michael Cera, though. 2/5
Erik Nietzsche The Early Years
It’s a bit of a shame that everyone knows that Lars Von Trier wrote this, as the single best joke in the entire thing centers on the “reveal,” which doesn’t actually happen until well into the credits. A satire of Danish film school, it’s surprising how little bite this film has from a firebrand like Von Trier. It raises a few weak smiles, but is often quite boring, and there’s really nothing to be said for the direction (from Jacob Thuesen), either. Passable for Von Trier completists and probably quite funny if you have an in-depth knowledge of the Danish film industry (we don’t, unfortunately), but otherwise a bit of a washout. 2/5
Into The Wild
Sean Penn wrote and directed this real-life story of a privileged American college graduate (Emile Hirsch) who leaves his family and possessions behind to hitchhike his way to Alaska and live off the land in total isolation. It’s a tough story to tell, epic in content and length, but Penn knocks it out of the park. But it’s the young Hirsch that carries the film on his back. It’s a performance that almost goes beyond acting, as we witness the development of a fresh-faced boy on graduation day to a starving and diseased loner two years later. Along the road, Hirsch meets up with Katherine Keener, Vince Vaughn and in the film’s heartbreaking penultimate sequence, Hal Holbrook, in a sure-to-be Oscar-nominated role. An enveloping, transporting masterpiece. 5/5
Today’s Listings:
3:00 p.m. – Juno (Special Presentations) – Ryerson Theatre
3:30 p.m. – Man From The Plains (Special Presentations) – Wintergarden Theatre
4:15 p.m. – Erik Nietzsche The Early Years (Contemporary World Cinema) – Cumberland 1
4:45 p.m. – My Enemy’s Enemy (Reel to Real) – Scotiabank 14
6:00 p.m. – Redacted (Special Presentations) – Varsity 8
6:00 p.m. – Programme 4 (Short Cuts Canada) – Review – Cumberland 3
7:00 p.m. – Encounters at the End of the World (Real to Reel) – Scotiabank 3
7:15 p.m. – To Love Someone (Contemporary World Cinema) – Cumberland 2
9:15 p.m. – My Kid Could Paint That (Real to Reel) – Review – Cumberland 1
9:45 p.m. – The Exodus (Vanguard) – Cumberland 2
10:00 p.m. – Run, Fat Boy, Run (Contemporary World Cinema) – Isabel Bader Theatre
11:59 p.m. – Stuck (Midnight Madness) – Ryerson Theatre