There is a total of 366 films being shown at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a dizzying experience trying to pin-point which movies you want to see. The heavy-weight like Rush, Gravity, Prisoners, and Mandela draw massive crowds. Soooo many movies to see and there’s something for every taste.
But sometimes, I like to take my chances. Yesterday, I had a full day of TIFFing from press conferences to events. As I passed by Roy Thompson Hall, I noticed the Visa Infinite tent. So, I went to the concierge desk flashed my card and to my surprise they offered me tickets to the film Young & Beautiful for that night. Amazing! I didn’t know anything about the movie, other than a brief description from the Visa concierge, but I love surprises!
I had a couple hours to spare before I hustled my way to the Visa Screening Room at the Elgin Theatre. When my friend and I got there we were surprised to find out that that these tickets also granted us reserved first row seating on the mezzanine. HELLO!!!!!
Young & Beautiful is directed by Francois Ozon (In the House, 8 Women, Under the Sand) and it’s a “coming of age” portrait about a teenage girl’s self discovery and sexual awakening.
The film description (from the official TIFF website) explains — Isabelle (Marine Vacth) is on summer vacation in the south of France when she takes up a desultory relationship with Felix (Lucas Prisor), a hunky German tourist. He is neither her emotional nor her intellectual equal. We will watch her give up her virginity to him, only to cast him aside without a care days later. We next meet Isabelle in the fall, back in Paris, where we discover that she’s set up a website to accept appointments from johns she will meet for sex in chic hotel rooms. She is a cool professional. But this does not mean she’s immune to the effects of the sexual whims of and occasional rough treatment from men. It is only with one regular client that she allows herself to experience any pleasure. That is until the unthinkable happens and she’s forced to deal with the consequences of her decisions.
My thoughts…. It’s not a heavy movie to watch but I did think to myself, “did I just watch a soft porn with hundreds of people in a theatre?” We’re left with not really understanding the reasons behind why Isabelle turns to being a call girl. Was it for money? Because she didn’t spend it. Was Isabelle trying to understand her power of beauty and wonders just how far she can push her own limits? Marine Vancth plays her role as Isabelle well and I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of her (no pun intended) as she continues to hone her acting career. The film does end on a surprising note and I will just leave it at that.
Young & Beautiful (French with English subtitles) will have a second showing on Sunday, September 15 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox 6:00 pm.
Link here for more details: www.tiff.net
If you have a Visa Infinite Card, you will definitely want to flash that baby at the Visa Experience to see what you’ll get perked! You may get lucky and score tickets like I did! More details here at www.visainfinite.ca or follow them on Twitter at #infiniteTIFF