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Jude Law is back on form
Latest Updated by 2006-09-12 11:04:55

All The King's Men showed up for this year's Toronto Film Festival.

As well as the movie of that name - a powerhouse remake of an Oscar-winning tale of political intrigue - the festival's guest list outgunned Cannes and Venice.

Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe, Dustin Hoffman, Kate Winslet, Sean Penn, Jude Law and Matt Damon were among those who appeared on the red carpet this weekend.

There was also a trio of world premieres of major movies which will soon reach British screens. Topping the list was All The King's Men based on the life of Louisiana governor Huey P Long.

First filmed in 1949, it is a tale about power grippingly told by writer/director Steve Zaillian, starring Sean Penn as Willie Stark, a politician who throws away the script. It is a mesmerising performance, reminiscent of Brando at his peak: maybe they should just give Penn the Oscar now and be done with it.

Jude Law is the best he's been in years as Jack Burden, the governor's fixer; and James Gandolfini and Anthony Hopkins give great supporting performances alongside Kate Winslet.

Actor/director Christopher Guest, of Spinal Tap fame, tackles the movie business in his latest, For Your Consideration.

It has more laugh-out-loud moments than any recent Hollywood comedies, but is more a series of funny scenes than a fully developed film.

Charting the progress of an indie drama called Home For Purim (which becomes Home For Thanksgiving once it picks up Oscar buzz), Guest's film features a largely botched cameo from Ricky Gervais.

The only real dud, though, was Ridley Scott's A Good Year, adapted from Peter Mayle's A Year In Provence, in which City whizkid Max inherits a crumbling French chateau.

The first 20 minutes are wonderful, thanks to a flashback to Albert Finney as Max's uncle, former owner of the chateau.

Equally good are early London scenes with Russell Crowe as the obnoxious Max.

Once the film hits France, the rot sets in faster than it attacks the chateau's vines.

A miscast Crowe shows little knack for comedy, smirking his way through scene after scene filled with clich¨??s about France. Sadly, a Good Year barely qualifies as plonk.

Editor: Donald

By: Nick RoddickSource:China Daily Website
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• The 63rd Venice Film Festival opens
• Toronto festival offers premieres, politics, stars
• Chinese film wins 2 awards at Montreal film festival

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