No matter where I am, it is a fair bet that I am less than five miles from Jessica Biel. Hollywood's Most Talentless Actress is in Toronto this week promoting her new film, I Still Pronounce You Chuck and Larry...wait, that's not what it's called. It's actually called Easy Virtue, and in it Jessica Biel plays glamorous divorcee Larita Huntington, a character who, one assumes, is easy and lacking in virtue. And if The Biel pulls off high-class period pieces as capably as she managed comedies (I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry), action thrillers (Next), war movies (Home of the Brave) and annoying indie dramas (London), it's not looking good for Easy Virtue.
Of the 300-ish feature films playing at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, Easy Virtue won't be among the ten I'll be seeing. When Eric and I choose our movies each year, our prevailing logic is that we first eliminate any big-name films that will be opening at your local multiplex shortly after their Toronto premieres. Why fly 3000 miles to another country to see Burn After Reading or Me and Orson Welles a week before I can drive a mile and see it at the Century City 15? Last year, we passed over The Brave One, Rendition, and Elizabeth: The Golden Age at TIFF (and then again when they were released theatrically), instead discovering gems including smaller wonders like Boy A and My Winnipeg. We did also see Battle in Seattle at TIFF '07, and while it was fun to sit in on the freewheeling post-film Q&A starring Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, and a mysteriously unincarcerated Michelle Rodriguez (among others), I'll let you decide for yourself when it's finally released here whether or not it's worth it (Actually, fine, I'll spoil it for you: it's not.)
Instead, we look for a mix of the big and small, foreign and domestic, fact and fiction. This is how we ended up with a healthy mix of ten films you'll probably never see. But it least it keeps of out of sight and out of mind of out-of-talent Jessica Biel.
[WARNING: This article features spoilers about movies you're never going to see. So if you don't like having movies you'll never see spoiled, you are way too sensitive about spoilers.]