Our planned TIFF schedule wrapped up last weekend (except Nellie’s Norman Reedus expedition), but for the second year in a row we found ourselves invited to a Gala, just to supplement things. Last night T-Bone filled in for Nellie, who was destroyed with a summer cold.
The film in question was Stonewall (imdb | rotten tomatoes | tiff) and…oh boy. I went into this with some dread about what Roland Emmerich would do to such an important story, but tried to keep an open mind. Unfortunately, Roland Emmerich went ahead and made this into a Roland Emmerich film. I mean, there were no aliens or monsters or impending doomsdays, but he chose to present an inherently dramatic situation, and an absolutely pivotal moment in the history of the LGBT rights movement, as a 20-minute episode wrapped in a two-hour clichéfest. There were at least two scenes which should have been emotional or powerful, but were so hackneyed and stilted that the audience — a very friendly one, by the way — laughed out loud at the clumsiness.
The film was almost saved by full-on performances from Jonny Beauchamp and (in a smaller role) Vladimir Alexis, and the evening itself was saved by pre-film drinks with good company, but…man. Roland Emmerich.