Typical Montreal behavior: reading while waiting in line for the movies.
The winners have been announced for the 2008 Montreal World Film Festival, and to our surprise they corresponded closely with our own choices.
Best Film went to Okuribito, "Departures," the Japanese film about the cellist who becomes an undertaker. After seeing 20 movies, including nearly all of the competition entrants, I still felt that this was the best - the most creative and unusual, with the most to say.
The People's Choice, not surprisingly, went to Ce qu'il faut pour vivre, the Quebec film about the Inuit man with TB.
Best Short Film was an animation by a young Canadian director/animator called "The Necktie;" it had taken him five years to make and was absolutely remarkable.
Best actress was Barbara Sukowa in The Invention of Curry Sausage; best actor went to Eri Canete for The Voyage of Teo, about a young boy who becomes separated from his father after the two try to cross the US/Mexican border. This was also a very good film; I'm sure it will be distributed in the U.S.
Varg, "Wolf," about the Samii reindeer herders, won an ecumenical prize and was named by the jury for best artistic contribution.
Best Screenplay went to Bienvenido Farewell-Gutmann, which we saw over the past weekend. J. remarked afterwards that it had felt like a movie made out of a play, and that's true. It was a very good screenplay though, a Spanish psychological drama about the machinations of three people vying for the job vacated when the boss of a pharmaceutical company dies.
We also saw three other films that are worth looking for in your area over the next year: Lluvia, "Rain," a drama/love story set in Buenos Aires; Todos Estamos Invitados, "Who's Next," a tense drama about terrorism in the Basque region; and "All Inclusive", an excellent Chilean/Mexican film about a dysfunctional family on vacation at a Mexican all-inclusive resort, with the problems of each family member playing out under the gathering clouds of an approaching hurricane. This one wasn't in the competition, but J. said if it had been, it would have been his top pick. We both put the Inuit film in second place, and rated "the Invention of Curry Sausage" third because of Barbara Sukowa's performance, or perhaps tied with "The Voyage of Teo."
The intrepid duo, reflected in a window while on line for the final film of the festival.
I've never seen so many films in such a short time, and it was great! I'm not sure if we're experiencing relief or withdrawal at the moment, but I know I'm already looking forward to next year.