While I appreciate seeing films ahead of time at press screenings because they allow me to get the jump on my writing well before the film is released, it can at times have an impact on how the film is seen. There isn't always a lot of excitement in the room, if you know what I mean. This was not the case for The Avengers. The room was packed and there were just as many cheers and as much applause as one would expect at a public screening. I too had a fantastic time with this giant blockbuster, which is the point after all. Click here to read my 4-star review of The Avengers.
Sadly, we can't love them all. When I caught Sarah Polley's Take This Waltz in a pre-TIFF press screening last year, I was not the least bit surprised when the press were asked to hold all their reviews until after the film had its first public screening. I found the film to be a particularly difficult one to sit through and, while I am not always this biting in my tone, I can be when the film actually angers me while I'm watching it. I tend to be more affected by disappointments than films I expected to not be great before going into them. I wanted this film to be better. Click here to read my 2-star review of Take This Waltz.
I see a lot of movies. Sometimes, I lose track of just how many. And, every now and then, I see too many movies at once and they all start to become the same movie in the back of my mind. Then there are films like Steve McQueen's Shame that are unmistakably distinct from the first moment you are fortunate enough to behold them. I've seen this film three times now and I am mesmerized by it every time. For me, it is an instant classic and this is why I rewarded it with the highest honour I can in a film review. Click here to read my rare 5-star review of Shame.