TIFF 2019 Day 7 roundup: Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn, Natalie Portman's Lucy in the Sky get dismal reviews

FP Staff

Sep 12, 2019 14:14:10 IST

The Edward Norton written and directed period drama, Motherless Brooklyn, had its international premiere at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Wednesday. The story focuses on Lionel Essrog (Norton) with Tourette syndrome, who joins leagues with a private detective Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). After Frank is murdered, Lionel makes it his mission to uncover the mystery behind his death.

The film also stars Willem Dafoe, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Bobby Cannavale, Cherry Jones, Leslie Mann and Alec Baldwin.

Here are the first reviews of the film.

Collider wrote, "A noir like this requires its audience to pay full attention since you’re dealing with a big cast and lots of information, but Norton can’t keep it straight for his audience. Motherless Brooklyn isn’t confusing, but it can be listless, spending too much time on one scene while failing to establish what’s happening in another. Norton certainly didn’t need to hold his audience’s hand, but Lionel’s investigation can be so obtuse at times that the film can’t find a pulse."

Screen Daily said, "A handsome film that is always watchable, Motherless Brooklyn never quite hits the bullseye and may just be a case of Norton having bitten off more than he can comfortably chew."

Dirt Music

Jack Thorne's adaptation of the novel by Tim Winton, was screened at the festival. The premiere was attended by the film's cast and crew.

Variety wrote, "Centered on characters who act without much in the way of logic, with much of its dialogue confined to clipped bursts of unsatisfying Hemingwayisms, Dirt Music is a fine-looking romance that never finds the right key."

"But while Jordan’s infatuation with the landscape of Western Australia gives the film plenty of texture and atmosphere, the characters are underdeveloped, the story sparse. The popularity of the 2002 book should boost the picture’s profile, but it may struggle to achieve the word of mouth momentum necessary to do more than moderate theatrical business," said Screen Daily of the film.

Lucy in the Sky

Noah Hawley's space drama Lucy in the Sky, stars Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman in the lead. The film follows Portman's character Lucy Cola, an astronaut, who starts to lose touch with reality after coming back home from a mission in space.

Here are the reviews.

Collider said, "It’s a movie that feints at being invested in the emotional lives of women, but really just can’t get past its premise."

Variety said, "Lucy in the Sky is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the equivalent of Amazon Studios’ Lorena, which takes the feminist (although “humanist” would be equally apt) approach to a notorious tabloid case by approaching Lorena Bobbitt as a victim, and investigating what led her to lop off husband John Wayne’s offending organ. Hawley’s film wants to have it both ways, playing it sensitive one moment and sensationalist the next. But it does take the step of confronting the systemic flaw — workplace sexism — that played into Lucy’s actions."


Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 14:20:50 IST