TIFF 2017 Day 8: “Molly’s Game,” “Thelma,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “The Upside”

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Day 8 was real good! Saw some pleasant surprises as well as revisiting one of my favorite films of the year. Films include Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” Joachim Trier’s “Thelma,” Martin McDonaugh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” and Neil Burger’s “The Upside.” Here we go!

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“Molly’s Game,” dir. Aaron Sorkin

Molly Bloom, a young skier and former Olympic hopeful becomes a successful entrepreneur (and a target of an FBI investigation) when she establishes a high-stakes, international poker game.

There are definitely a few “first feature” issues in terms of editing and pacing, but Aaron Sorkin proves to be a very talented director with the extremely entertaining, “Molly’s Game,” infusing a lot of energy into nearly every scene. His writing is expectedly in great form, giving Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba a lot to work with, leading to strong performances.

4/5

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“Thelma,” dir. Joachim Trier

Supernatural thriller where a young woman discovers she has strange powers.

“Thelma” is a beautifully atmospheric film with stunning cinematography and a haunting score. Eili Harboe’s performance is excellent.

4/5

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“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” dir. Martin McDonaugh

A woman takes on the local police department after her daughter is murdered.

Had time to catch this gem again. Honestly even more convinced that “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” has strong awards appeal across the board. Might also be my favorite Martin McDonaugh film, I’ll have to think about it.

4.5/5

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“The Upside,” dir. Neil Burger

A comedic look at the relationship between a wealthy paraplegic and a unemployed man with a criminal record who’s hired to help him.

While it’s definitely predictable and there isn’t really anything particularly special in the execution of the story, “The Upside” does partially work due to great chemistry between Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, both giving surprisingly deep performances.

2.5/5

If you want to stay updated with all my reviews at TIFF as I see the films, follow me on my Letterboxd.

Day 9 up next!

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