Both for his skillful portrayals of life on the lunatic fringe, and his capacity for playing dual roles on the screen – at once the architect of his own delirious demise and a bemused spectator to it – Johnny Depp has become Hollywood’s designated stand-in for the late Hunter S. Thompson, and rightly so.
Thompson, whose hedonistic exuberance and wry self-awareness inform the hard-living alter egos that people his fiction, returns, at least in spirit, in The Rum Diary, Bruce Robinson’s cheerfully meandering adaptation of the author’s second novel.
Summer is officially over, but Hollywood is still churning out enough remakes (Footloose, The Thing), tech-savvy adventures (Real Steel) and physics-defying thrillers (In Time) to make the adjustment that much smoother. With the first weekend of October about to begin, let's take a look at what the month has to offer.
Real Steel (Oct. 7)
The fighters: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie
Calling the shots: Shawn Levy
The 34th Toronto International Film Festival, billed by organizers as "the most important festival after Cannes," concluded Sunday, Sept. 19, with the announcement of this year's Audience Award winner: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's account of Bertie (A Single Man's Colin Firth), the man who overcame a humiliating stutter to become King George VI. (Bay Area moviegoers will get a sneak peek of Speech when it opens the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.) Here's an account of the 10-day Toronto festival's highlights, lowlights and (almost) everything in between.
The cast sounds promising: Billy Bob Thornton as an icy studio head; Mickey Rourke as an amoral lowlife; Chris Isaak as a drunken philanderer who can’t resist making sloppy passes at his son’s dates; and the late Brad Renfro, in his final role, as a jittery hotel clerk with possible connections to the shadiest of underworlds.