Women’s issues dominate in Toronto

The International Film Festival has awarded actresses and directors

The actors Jessica Chastain and Benedict Cumberbatch, the directors Denis Villeneuve, Alanis Obomsawin and Danis Goulet, the cinematographer Ari Wegner and the singer Dionne Warwick were awarded this Saturday by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with the Tribute Awards of the sample Canadian.

All except Wegner were present in Toronto to participate in the Tribute Awards ceremony, which will be broadcast on September 18.

While this Sunday premiered “Le Ball des folles”, directed and interpreted by Mélanie Laurent, as well as the drama “Belfast”, by director Kenneth Branagh and starring actresses Caitriona Balfe and Judi Dench.

TIFF was also the setting for the premiere of “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” in which Jessica Chastain portrays the American televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker who created an entire television empire from her sermons.

“The Eyes to Tammy Faye”, which is directed by Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”, 2017) and in which Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones and Vincent D’Onofrio also take part, is Chastain’s second film in the XLVI edition of TIFF.

Chastain also stars, along with Britain’s Ralph Fiennes, in “The Forgiven”, an intense drama directed by John Michael McDonagh (“The Guard”, 2011) and which premiered on Saturday on TIFF as part of the Galas program.

Precisely “Le Bal des Folles” and “Belfast”, along with the Canadian “Lakewood”, by Naomi Watts, were included by the TIFF organization in the Galas program on Sunday.

In “Le Bal des Folles”, Laurent, who is also co-author of the script, shares the lead with actress Lou de Laáge. The film is based on the novel of the same title by Victoria Mas and addresses the misogyny of mental illness treatment and psychiatry in 19th century France.

Laáge plays Eugénie Cléry, a young nonconformist from a wealthy family who suffers trances during which she communicates with dead people. Against her will, her family decides to place her in an institution for women in which patients suffer all kinds of abuse, under scientific excuses, by doctors. Only Geneviéve (Laurent), a nurse at the institution, tries to understand Eugénie and treat her humanely.

In “Belfast,” Brannagh sets the action in his native Belfast in the late 1960s when Northern Ireland was experiencing a climate of civil war between the Protestant and Catholic communities, a period known as “The Troubles.”

It’s this vibe of street fighting and Molotov cocktails in a working-class Catholic neighborhood that Buddy, a boy played by Jude Hill, grows up in. His only escape is the movies, his parents (Jamie Dornan and Caitriona Balfe) and his grandparents (Ciarán Hinds and Judi Dench).

Dionne Warwick

Brannagh, who wrote the script, has acknowledged that “Belfast” is his most personal film. Meanwhile, critics have pointed out its similarities with “Roma”, by the Mexican Alfonso Cuarón, starting with the fact that Brannagh’s feature film is shot in black and white.

Finally, in “Lakewood,” directed by Phillip Noyce, Watts plays a mother desperately trying to save her son’s life.

Also premiered at TIFF “Lo invisible”, by the Ecuadorian Javier Andrade and which is interpreted among others by Anahi Hoeneisen, Matilde Lagos, Gerson Guerra and Juan Lorenzo. The film, which is the first in Ecuador to be exhibited at TIFF in almost 20 years, explores through a woman who suffers from depression after giving birth to the pressure exerted on individuals to fulfill the roles that society expects of each one.

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Women’s issues dominate in Toronto

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