Big-name adaptations, incendiary docs, and shorts on TIFF’s fourth day.
So you went to the Cloud Atlas premiere and had some deep thoughts about reincarnation, soulmates, and Tom Hanks’s ugly Van Dyke beard: what next? TIFF-goers in search of ambitious adaptations of respected novels—a surprisingly well-represented genre this year—might be interested in Midnight’s Children (), Deepa Mehta’s long-gestating adaptation of the Salman Rushdie novel, written by the Booker Prize winner himself. We found it a vibrant portrait of a nation with some skillfully executed magical realism.
If the cosmic register of Cloud Atlas and Midnight’s Children aren’t your thing, consider Central Park Five (). Ken Burns’s latest doc, co-directed with daughter Sarah Burns and Dan McMahon, is a meticulous account of the 1989 case of the Central Park Jogger in New York, which saw five black and Latino teens tried and sentenced for a sexual assault on the basis of coerced confessions and racial profiling. Short Cuts Canada’s second programme () also screens today; its highlights include Stephen Dunn’s Life Doesn’t Frighten Me, an overly quirky but still resonant coming-of-age film about a sullen girl and her rough-hewn grandfather (Gordon Pinsent!); and Struggle, Sophie Dupuis’s sensitive profile of a teen leaving her small town in Quebec for Montreal to end a complicated relationship with her brother.