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TIFF review round-up: 'Triage'

September 21, 2009 | 12:11 pm


Yes, the Toronto International Film Festival has come to an end, but the reviews of films screened there are still filtering in. Case in point: Danis Tanovic's "Triage," with Colin Farrell as a war correspondent struggling with the trauma he experienced while covering the conflict in Kurdistan. Reviews are, for the most part, mixed -- Variety, like many others, notes that "No Man's Land," Tanovic's 2001 effort (and a previous TIFF hit) about the tragic war in Bosnia, delivered a more effective meditation on the horror of battle ("the depiction of the endless strife and useless loss of life ... is now yielding diminished dramatic returns," sez Todd McCarthy).

But the majority seem to agree that the film's high point is the performance of recently knighted film legend Christopher Lee (in a continuation of an incredible career third act that has included two "Star Wars" features, the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and several collaborations with Tim Burton) as the grandfather of Farrell's wife (Paz Vega), who arrives to administer psychiatric aid. Art and Culture Maven describes Lee's performance as "astonishing," while Vanity Fair notes that his "tour de force" turn is worthy of an Oscar nomination. And the Hollywood Reporter pays tribute to one of Lee's most enduring screen appearances by saying, "Leave it to an 87-year-old ex-Count Dracula to show 'em how it's done." Right on. Meanwhile, "Triage" is still looking for a U.S. distributor.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: ASAP Films.