TIFF: Day 8 lookahead

arts-coco-392.jpg A Parisian clothing designer and exiled composer are attracted to each other in Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky. (TIFF)

Hey, the hurricane of American stars has been downgraded to a mere trickle, so this edition of the TIFF lookahead is going to focus on some interesting non-Hollywood product.

What is it about Coco Chanel? Probably her style and elegance, valued especially at a time when the world seems to lack both of those things. The past few months have seen several biopics about the esteemed French fashion designer. Last year, Shirley MacLaine won a Golden Globe for her work in Coco Chanel, and a few months ago, Coco avant Chanel – starring Audrey (Amelie) Tautou – was released in Europe. And let’s not forget the Chanel bags in Sex and the City.

Tonight, the French film Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky gets a TIFF gala. Director Jan Kounen explores the post-World War One friendship between these two iconoclastic geniuses – it seems the composer of The Rite of Spring spent some time with his wife and family at Chanel’s villa. Anna Mouglalis plays the fashion icon and Mads Mikkelsen – also at TIFF for the Viking flick Valhalla Rising – is Stravinsky.

Til Schweiger is one of Germany’s biggest movie stars; if you happened to see Quentin Tarantino’s >Inglourious Basterds, you’ll remember him as Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz, a rather vehement Nazi killer. His latest German film is Phantom Pain, which is based on the life of Steven Sumner, a Canadian cyclist who lost his leg.
Not as gloomy as it sounds, it gets the early evening gala slot at Roy Thomson Hall.

From Australia, we have The Waiting City. Like Canada’s Cooking With Stella, it’s about a married couple that travels to India. But Stella is essentially a comedy, and this certainly isn’t. The pair (played by Radha Mitchell and Joel Edgerton) land in Kolkata to try to adopt a girl, but the process hits some major hurdles; eventually, so does their relationship.

-- Greig Dymond