Toronto International Film Festival ’14: Editor’s Picks

Gemma’s Pick: Cake (Daniel Barnz, 2014)

Cake tells the story of a woman in constant pain after a car crash leaves her scarred, suicidal, and alienating to those who attempt to support her. It may be surprising for audiences to discover that Jennifer Aniston leads this psychological drama as Claire. The glamour-less role is a departure from the romantic comedies such as We’re the Miller’s that Aniston has become synonymous for. Cake does however reignite the multifaceted acting chops that the actress has previously demonstrated in darker dramatic roles including The Good Girl and Derailed. Following its screening at Elgin Theatre on Monday afternoon, a standing ovation for Aniston has begun to garner her Oscar buzz, in what Deadline Hollywood has referred to as ‘her potentially career-changing film’, stating ‘She’s heartbreakingly good, alternately bitingly dramatic and funny in this story of a woman suffering with chronic pain.’ Hopefully fourth time’s a charm for Aniston at TIFF with Cake.

 

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Iman’s Pick: Girlhood (Céline Sciamma, 2014)

One film making the popular rounds at this year’s film festivals is Céline Sciamma’s third feature, Girlhood. The film showcases Sciamma’s knack for telling beautifully wrought coming-of-age tales – a theme in which she is well-versed, following the critical acclaim of her two pervious films “Water Lilies” (2007) and “Tomboy” (2011). If the title is anything to go off, Sciamma’s third film will be just as telling of female adolescence as her first two, and that is very exciting. The story follows Marieme (Karidja Touré), a shy teen from inner city Paris whose fate is changed when she falls in with a local girl gang. As the film develops, Marieme is seen growing into a befitting assertiveness that goes with being a member of a gang. This evolution in the main character is shown in a series of untitled chapters, which instead mark their transition with a fade into a black screen. With Girlhood making its way over to London Film Festival next month, it is bound to be another masterpiece by Céline Sciamma I will be rushing to see.

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