Sunday, September 11, 2016

TIFF 2016: The Rehearsal

The Rehearsal was my first film of TIFF 2016, and it was a so-so start to the festival for me. The setting is a drama school in Aukland, New Zealand where Stanley (James Rolleston) is getting his bearings. A suburban sex scandal has unfolded involving a tennis coach and his young protege, and as Stanley becomes involved with the sister of the young player, he learns a little more about it than the public knows. Back at school, the students are broken into groups to create their end-of-year plays, and after thrashing about for a topic Stanley's group decides theirs will be about the the girl and her coach. The film is based on Eleanor Catton's book of the same title.

I found the film plodded along, with little motivation for most of the main events. The acting was excellent, but I found the direction lacking. I did not see what drew Stanley and Isolde together (other than perhaps Isolde being jealous of her more talented, more popular sister, and simply gravitating to someone who showed interest in her). It was not clear why Stanley would betray his girlfriend by exploiting her family's crisis. Another tragic subplot was similarly poorly motivated.

There was a brief Q&A after the film with director Alison McLean (a Canadian), the producers, and the actress who played the hard-driving drama teacher, but I did not find it especially insightful.

Hopefully things will pick up from here...

TIFF 2016 Overview

No comments:

Post a Comment