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.
Devil's Knot, directed by Atom Egoyan
Night Moves, directed by Kelly Reichardt
The Dark Matter of Love, directed by Sarah McCarthy
On Monday at TIFF, two high-profile directors presented films that left me curious after watching them and confused after listening to the directors discuss them.
Devil's Knot, Atom Egoyan's highly anticipated chronicle of the West Memphis Three, has a lot of ground to cover. It wants to summarize for those who have never seen the Paradise Lost documentary, present a small town in the grip of satanic panic, give a psychological portrait of a grieving mother, and champion the idealism of an investigator who stands up for due process while he thinks the accused are still guilty.
Egoyan stated in the post-screening discussion that the film was about "living with doubt," but the film doesn't really have any. It concludes with the most sympathetic character stating what he "knows in his heart" and a typed postscript informing the audience the trio of convicted murders were eventually released by the state of Arkansas and that DNA evidence pointed to another individual.
Strong performances from Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth keep the film afloat. But when one character is baptized late in the film and the minister whispers to her that God will never give her a larger load ...