Day 6 was a slow day for me. And by slow I mean I only saw two movies. Actually, it was kind of nice to bring it down to just the two. Of course, that doesn’t mean I got any extra sleep or felt any less exhausted, but I suppose it provided a bit of relief after a few more busy days.
Of course, the risks were piling on, even in this day of only two movies. To the Wonder, the new film from Terrence Malick, was already getting some very mixed buzz out of Venice and various press screenings. Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers looked good, but then so did his previous film, Kill List, and I was decidedly unimpressed by that one. Still, I was prepared to jump in, and in fact I was expecting to enjoy both.
To the Wonder
I don’t really have much to say about Malick’s latest effort, and that’s not because To the Wonder lacks for things to say. In fact, it’s got quite a lot of depth, showing off a beautiful, almost melancholic take on the difficulties of having a relationship and making it last. The problems for me arrive with the side-story, which is thematically related, but too expansive and religious in nature. It never fits with the scaled back and intimate parts of the film. Still, it’s a visually stunning work with many moments of resonance.
From there I got to hang around a bit, sat by as Ryan McNeil recorded a podcast about To the Wonder with Tom Clift, and eventually made my way to the line-up at the Ryerson for Sightseers.
Where to begin with the awesomeness that is this film? Ben Wheatley has a pretty dark sensibility, and the visual abilities to match. Combine that with an uproarious script from Steve Oram and Alice Lowe and the result is one of the best dark comedies I’ve seen in ages. It’s basically about a couple who go off on a road trip around Britain, only to have the man turn out to be a serial killer. Then, instead of freaking out, his girlfriend decides to join in on the killings. It’s seriously fucked up, but also hilarious.
Lowe and Oram also star in the lead roles, and it’s clear they’ve developed these characters over a long period. The bring so much charm and bizarre comedy to situations that would otherwise be simply horrific. The film is also spry and energetic. It’s just under 90 minutes of blood and laughs, and I’d rather leave the rest of the surprises for you to see when the film is finally released.
The Q&A for Sightseers was pretty damn hilarious as well, which is hard to say for a lot of other Q&As at the fest this year. Once that was over my day was done and it was back home to rest up for a much longer day of movies.