Monday, September 21, 2009

Coming soon to a theater near you

The Toronto International Film Festival ended on Saturday and it was a huge success. In 10 days, 273 feature-length films were shown. Writer Leah Rozen, who was at TIFF, recommends 5 films to check out. Here are the three I most likely will see:

Leah Rozen writes:

• Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire. Plus-sized Mo'Nique, best known for her sassy star turns on such TV sitcoms as The Parkers and films like Soul Plane, will knock your socks off with her searing turn as an abusive mother in this heartbreaking, though inspiring, drama about a teenage girl trying to survive in 1980s Harlem. Mariah Carey shines in a supporting role as a social worker. The film won the festival's audience award. Opens Nov. 6.

• Whip It. Drew Barrymore takes her first shot at directing and comes up with a fun, female-bonding crowd pleaser. This coming-of-age comedy is about a 17-year old (Juno's Ellen Page) who finds meaning to her life when she joins an amateur, all-girl roller derby team in Austin, Tex. Barrymore, Saturday Night Live's Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis and Marcia Gay Harden costar. Opens Oct. 2.

• The Men Who Star at Goats. Clooney has another winner in this wacky comedy, about a real life, secret Army unit which hoped to apply psychic powers to military uses. It's all very bizarre and funny and sticks around just long enough, a breezy 93 minutes. Jeff Bridges contributes a hilarious supporting performance as a New Age guru, a sort of cross between Willie Nelson and The Dude, Bridge's own signature role from the Coen brothers' 1998's cult comedy, The Big Lebowski. Opens Nov. 6.

Read Leah Rozen's 5 TIFF picks here.