Late (and late) on Sunday night we saw High-Rise (imdb | rotten tomatoes | tiff | av club) at the Visa Screening Room. Despite being quite close to the front of line, we had our worst seats ever. In our long history of going to that theatre we’ve never once had to sit in the balcony, let alone the upper balcony. I think the joint was full of media and industry people before we even walked in. Anyway.
I hadn’t paid attention to who the director was when picking this one — it sounded interesting, and Nellie was on board because The Hiddleston — so when Cameron Bailey introduced Ben Wheatley, we were excited. We saw Sightseers at the festival three year ago and loved it. Wheatley introduced most of his principal cast — Tom Hiddleston, Elisabeth Moss, Jeremy Irons, Luke Evans — before getting down to business.
Unlike many in the audience that night, neither of us had read the J.G. Ballard book on which the film was based, so we had no idea what we were in for. It was showy, to be sure…completely over the top while still clinging to a bit of staid, boring civility. So, the 70s, basically. The actors all did excellent work, but it seemed to veer from deep layers of style and eyebrow-cocking dialogue to utter anarchy in the span of a single scene.
I didn’t love it at first, but as I’ve let it sit I’ve appreciated it a bit more. But it’s not a movie I’d ever feel compelled to watch a second time. 6.5/10
And, with that, my TIFF was all but finished. Nellie had an extra screening tonight (because The Reedus) and we have a gala Friday, but to me the galas aren’t really a part of the festival, so…thanks, TIFF15. You were fun.
Cover photo from the TIFF site