Montreal International Film Festival Midway Report

Hopefully you have had a chance to catch some of the screenings currently taking place at the Montreal World Film Festival. For their 30th year, the festival has been offering plenty of international films and hosting special activities for moviegoers to enjoy.

I recently had the opportunity to view a Japanese film entitled "Uchôten Hotel," a fun filled comedy about the Avanti hotel's plans for a New Year's party. The hotel staff is under pressure to get all the details in order before the big celebration, and everything that could go wrong, does. Some hilarious sequences set off one disaster after another surrounding a scandal stricken politician, a famous singer who is contemplating suicide, the manager's ex-wife who shows up with her current husband and a gold digging tramp in search of her next victim. To make matters worse, a ventriloquist set to perform at the New Year's party is devastated when his duck escapes, causing all kinds of havoc for anyone that dares to get in his way. The director, Koki Mitani has put together an entertaining film and the audience enjoyed it.

Another good pick is "Mon Frère Se Marie," directed by Jean-Stéphane Bron. This Switzerland / France collaboration is a comedy that was actually inspired by the director's own experiences. This movie follows the story of a dysfunctional family where the adopted son is set to get married and invites his biological parents from Vietnam to attend. His current family is in shambles, with the adoptive parents divorced and barely able to spend a few minutes in each other's company without arguing. His siblings do their very best to get the wedding details in order before the big day and try to keep up appearances in front of his real parents. When his parents arrive with the hopes of seeing him part of a happy family, the adoptive family must go to great lengths to conceal the truth.

Some upcoming films include A film from India entitled "Yatra." Directed by Goutam Ghose, the film follows the journey of a celebrated writer who travels to New Delhi in order to receive a prestigious award. This leads him to a meeting with a filmmaker and a look at past memories. "Approaching Union Square" an American film by Marc Myers is based on his stage monologues bringing together eleven tales of New Yorkers looking for love and closeness in their city. You still have until September 4th to view films. Enjoy the festival.

photos by Sylvain Legare of The Montreal International Film Festival

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