‘Outlaw King’, Michael Moore film kick off Toronto film festival

Michael Moore’s new documentary about the Trump era opened the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday. (AFP)
Updated 07 September 2018
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‘Outlaw King’, Michael Moore film kick off Toronto film festival

TORONTO: The world premiere of Netflix’s Scottish drama “Outlaw King” and Michael Moore’s new documentary about the Trump era opened the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, kicking off 10 days of movies seeking to grab attention in the upcoming Hollywood awards season.
“Outlaw King” stars Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and director David Mackenzie walked the red carpet promoting the action movie about 14th century rebel Robert the Bruce and his fight to win back control of his homeland from an English occupying army.
In another Toronto movie theater, liberal activist Moore talked up “Fahrenheit 11/9,” his provocative look at the reasons behind the 2016 election of Donald Trump as US President.
“We explore the question of how the hell we got in this mess and how do we get out of it,” Moore told Reuters Television. “The film is also very much about who we are as Americans because he (Trump) didn’t fall out of the sky.”
Robert Redford, Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Viola Davis and Ryan Gosling are among other celebrities expected at Toronto, which has become a key showcase in the awards season that culminates with the Oscars on Feb. 24 next year.
The Toronto slate this year includes 254 features and 88 short films.
Fresh from its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival last week, singer Lady Gaga and actor-director Bradley Cooper bring their remake of music drama “A Star Is Born” to Toronto.
Actor-director Redford, 82, will present his final movie, crime comedy “The Old Man and the Gun,” after announcing his retirement from acting after a 50-year career.
Roberts, the latest Oscar-winning star to move into television, will present her psychological thriller “Homecoming” for Amazon.
The festival will also take on more serious issues.
“The Hate U Give” and “Monsters and Men” will look at the issue of police brutality in black communities, while “Hotel Mumbai” brings the story of the 2008 attack on a hotel in the Indian city to the big screen.
The 1988 US presidential campaign is revisited with “The Front Runner,” starring Hugh Jackman, about the derailing of Senator Gary Hart’s White House ambitions because of accusations of an affair.


All-star Mary Poppins sequel flies into view

Updated 18 September 2018
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All-star Mary Poppins sequel flies into view

  • The movie includes mixed live-action and animation scenes that are reminiscent of those that were cutting edge in the mid-1960s
  • “Mary Poppins Returns” is set for a pre-Christmas release in Britain and the United States

A view across the grimy rooftops of London? A nanny descending to earth with a flying umbrella? Dick Van Dyke? All are present and correct in the trailer for the “Mary Poppins” reboot that was released on Tuesday.
Julie Andrews, who won the 1965 Best Actress Oscar for her performance in the original, is replaced in “Mary Poppins Returns” by Emily Blunt as the unconventional governess who arrives as if by magic to heal a family in need of love.
In the sequel, it is 1932 and the boy, Michael Banks, has grown up and, helped by his sister Jane, is bringing up children of his own, in the absence of their mother.
The trailer gives few other clues to the plot of the musical, but showcases a stellar cast of British acting talent, including Ben Whishaw, Colin Firth and Julie Walters.
Meryl Streep also features, as does Dick Van Dyke who played the chimney sweep Bert with the so-bad-it’s-good cockney accent in the original. Now 92, the trailer shows him as lithe as ever, dancing on a table.
The Bert character — Jack in this film — is played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the rapper and composer who created the acclaimed musical “Hamilton.”
The movie includes mixed live-action and animation scenes that are reminiscent of those that were cutting edge in the mid-1960s but have a retro-charm now.
The original movie was based on the children’s books by P.L. Travers who famously objected to Walt Disney’s embellishments to her stories. It was a huge success and became a classic.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is set for a pre-Christmas release in Britain and the United States.