Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Fest Day 1: Welcome to Scotland

The photo was taken yesterday, when the weather cleared up for a rather stunning evening. It's been stormy and rainy all day today, the first day of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. This seems to be typical weather for this festival - which always makes walking around the city an adventure.

I came up on the train last weekend, just to have a few days outside London before the madness starts. It's been nice to just hang out, and of course watch a few films but not too many (press screenings started on Monday). I'm staying with a friend a 30-minute walk from the festival centre (where I am now), and the main cinema is another 15 minutes walking from here. So there's a lot of opportunity to get wind and rain swept. Not to mention the fact that every route seems to be a construction site. Including Princes Street, one of Europe's most famous boulevards, which is completely closed and all dug up for a tram project.

Anyway, I'm here to watch films, and I've already seen eight of them - plus 20 I'd already seen before that. So on Day 1 I'm already doing pretty well. Tonight, things kick off with a glitsy, star-studded international premiere...

Away We Go
dir Sam Mendes, 09/US ****
John Krazinski and Maya Rudolph are terrific as a young couple expecting their first child and trying to decide where to settle down and start their family. They criss-cross North America to see their friends and relatives, played in terrific scene-stealing performances by the likes of Alison Janney, Jeff Daniels, Catherin O'Hara and Maggie Gyllenhaal. But Krazinski and Rudolph give the film its heart - and it's a hugely engaging, entertaining film. The examination of what makes a family sometimes feels a little heavy handed, but it's great fun and warmly emotional too.

No comments: