#TIFF20: “SPRING BLOSSOM”
By George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Despite her luminous smile, it becomes quickly apparent that 16-year-old Suzanne (Suzanne Lindon) is bored. She is clearly not interested in the nonsensical prattle of her friends and classmates and escapes being in their company as often as possible. Even when she decides to go to a classmate’s house party, much to the surprise of her parents and older sister, she doesn’t quite fit in – she doesn’t like beer and when asked to rate all the boys there from 1 to 10, she tellingly replies with “they’re all 5s”. Then one day, passing a theatre on the way home from school, she notices a handsome, curly-haired and bearded man. Raphael is 35 years old and an actor and she senses that they are kindred spirits. They ultimately meet and realize that, despite their age difference, they are compatible in so many ways and a relationship slowly blossoms.
SPRING BLOSSOM, from France, is an atmospheric, languidly paced tale of love, made remarkable due to the immeasurable talents of Lindon. Not only is she the star of this Movie, she wrote the Script when she was 15-years-old and directed this Feature as well. Reminding me of a young Genevieve Bujold, she has the screen presence and charisma that rivals the auspicious debuts of Julia Roberts and Leonardo DiCaprio. Bathed in whites, her directorial choices mostly hit the spot despite a few self-indulgently choreographed moments. As a Writer, her ear for dialogue is authentic and fluid and the Plot is believable, never prurient. Arnaud Valois registers beautifully in the role of Raphael and never fails to captivate.
With Paris as a backdrop, I was swept away in a haze of Gauloise while being transfixed throughout SPRING BLOSSOM.
SPRING BLOSSOM screens at TIFF ’20 as follows:
Thu, Sep 10
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Fri, Sep 11
Online at Bell Digital Cinema
Streaming in Canada. Available from:
Thu, Sep 17
TIFF Bell Lightbox
#TIFF20: FIRST ROUND OF ANNOUNCEMENTS
By Mr. Will Wong
So things will be a bit different this year amidst this pandemic. TIFF unveiled what this year’s Festival will look like and there will be physical screenings and drive-ins, digital screenings, virtual red carpets, press conferences and industry talks. The Festival is still slated to go September 10–19, 2020. Film Premieres will be downsized to 50 films only including the likes of:
–Ammonite, directed by Francis Lee (United Kingdom) – starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan
–Another Round, from director Thomas Vinterberg (Denmark) starring Mads Mikkelsen
–Bruised, the debut film from director Halle Berry (USA) – she also stars
–Concrete Cowboy by filmmaker Ricky Staub (USA) starring Idris Elba and Jharrel Jerome
–Fauna, from director Nicolás Pereda (Mexico/Canada) starring Geordy Skolnick and Sammy Mena
–Good Joe Bell by director Reinaldo Marcus Green (USA) starring Mark Wahlberg and Connie Britton
–Spring Blossom, the debut film by director Suzanne Lindon (France) starring Raymond Aquaviva
–True Mothers by director Naomi Kawase (Japan) starring Arata Iura
TIFF Ambassadors will be taking part in the Festival including Ava DuVernay, Taika Waititi, Anurag Kashyap, Nicole Kidman, Martin Scorsese, Nadine Labaki, Alfonso Cuarón, Tantoo Cardinal, Riz Ahmed, Rian Johnson, Jason Reitman, Isabelle Huppert, Claire Denis, Atom Egoyan, Priyanka Chopra, Viggo Mortensen, Zhang Ziyi, David Oyelowo, Lulu Wang, Rosamund Pike, Sarah Gadon, and Denis Villeneuve.
Also added to the list of Ambassadors are: Hiam Abbass, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Shamier Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, Olivier Assayas, Gael García Bernal, Derek Cianfrance, Mark Cousins, Julie Delpy, Barry Jenkins, Jia Zhang-ke, Barbara Kopple, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Brie Larson, Kasi Lemmons, Tatiana Maslany, Carey Mulligan, Genevieve Nnaji, Alanis Obomsawin, Natalie Portman, Zachary Quinto, Isabella Rossellini, Albert Serra, Wim Wenders, Olivia Wilde and Donnie Yen.
Derek Cianfrance (A Place Beyond the Pines, Blue Valentine), will lead a Dialogues session and actor and producer David Oyelowo will be a guest speaker as part of the TIFF Rising Stars programme.
It remains to be seen if talent physically will be in attendance this year.
The TIFF Tribute Awards, which honoured the likes of Meryl Streep and Joaquin Phoenix last year, also will be held once again this year. Kate Winslet wil receive the TIFF Tribute Actor Award on September 15 in a virtual event.
TIFF Artistic Director and Co-Head Cameron Bailey says, “The pandemic has hit TIFF hard, but we’ve responded by going back to our original inspiration — to bring the very best in film to the broadest possible audience”.
More details to come. We appreciate so much the Festival still putting its best foot forward in trying times and you can bet our Team will still be there to deliver you coverage!
(Photo credit: Lionsgate Films)