Editor's Note: We can't all make it to the Toronto International Film Festival (which is too bad, since it's where some of the best films of the next year will be shown). But CT has the next best thing: daily updates during the Festival from our critic Ken Morefield. Stay tuned for the next week for capsule reviews and reflections on some of the world's most important movies.
Watermark, directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky
Can a Song Save Your Life? directed by John Carney
Belle, directed by Amma Asante
If Saturday was about some minor disappointments, Sunday was one of those TIFF days where the magic happens.
Every year at TIFF you can count on going into some film or another relatively blind—because it fits your schedule, because of a last minute cancellation or sell out, or perhaps because you hear something intriguing in a line—and end up falling in love, as much with the serendipity as with the film itself. This year that film was Can a Song Save Your Life?, a valentine to artists (particularly musicians) and New York City. (The film is directed by John Carney, who also made the breakout Irish musical-film Once, starring Glen Hansard and his Swell Season partner Marketa Irglova.)
A summary makes it sound utterly conventional. Mark Ruffalo (Dan) is a burnt out, recently fired recording studio executive; Keira Knightly (Greta) is one half of a music team who just got dumped by her boyfriend right as he hit it big. A friend takes her to an open microphone night to get over her depression and Ruffalo's character wanders in just as she performs to a lackluster and unenthusiastic crowd. You know the rest.
And you do. But you also don't. Because it's not that movie—it's ...