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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

September 10, 2010 at 4:32 PM

At TIFF: “Never Let Me Go,” and random sightings

TORONTO — I love it when I see two films close together that are utterly opposite. Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” this morning was all swirling melodrama, seething emotion and wild artistry; Mark Romanek’s “Never Let Me Go,” based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, is quiet, subdued, restrained — and nonetheless devastating. Not sure how I’ll write about this film when I review it in a few weeks — there’s a central plot point that’s revealed fairly early on, and certainly will be already known by those who’ve read the book, but I think the movie might work best if that particular point sneaks up on you — but I’ll say this. Carey Mulligan, who last year in “An Education” proved she could be a note-perfect teen (she’s actually in her mid-20s), here plays a character old before her time, weary and worn down and faded by what the world has imposed on her, and she’s lovely, bringing warmth to an otherwise cool (that’s part of what makes it so devastating) story. You’ll be hearing much, much more about this performance, particularly around Oscar time.
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(Photo: Carey Mulligan in Toronto, by Matt Carr/Getty Images.)
The crowds are already gathering around the fancier hotels uptown, looking for celebrities — any celebrity, I guess. I asked a few people who they were waiting for. “Don’t know” was the reply. Meanwhile, the gang behind the Joaquin Phoenix supposedly-faux-documentary “I’m Still Here” (haven’t seen it, but haven’t heard anything good), have announced that some Joaquin Phoenix imposter is hanging around TIFF and making red carpet appearances. Um, right. Nobody seems to care much.
“The King’s Speech,” with Colin Firth as King George VI, screened this morning and everybody’s raving about it. I’m seeing it tomorrow, then talking with the talented Mr. Firth. But now, I’m going to have a cheeseburger. More tomorrow . . .

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