At TIFF, Hereafter is dividing critics, which I predicted would happen. So here are some the good and the bad.
1. Todd McCarthy from Indiewire:
"That said, the film has distinctive ambitions, visits unusual places and creates a special mood that are somewhere in the neighborhood of haunting, an achievement enhanced by the director’s own musical score and Tom Stern’s atmospheric cinematography, which also features a moving camera more than is the norm in Eastwood’s films. It’s an offbeat, unexpected work with a thoughtful, rational approach to material usually dealt with in hyperbolic, sensationalistic terms."
2. Roger Ebert
"Eastwood and his actors achieve a tone that never forces the material but embraces it. It is never dreamlike, but it could be described as evoking a reverie state. These people are not hurtling toward the resolution of a plot. There is no “solution” to their stories. There are various degrees of solace, or not. They don’t punch the dialogue. They don’t “act.” They lack the certainty to impose themselves. Damon in particular is reserved and sad, because of a power that has become a burden to him. “Hereafter” is unlike any film Clint Eastwood has ever made, but you’d think he’d been preparing it for years."
1. Jeffrey Wells from Hollywood Elsewhere
"Banal. Okay, so-so, mild, auto-pilot, meh. Matt Damon is good — I believed his readings and conveyances. But some of the dialogue (including some of Damon’s) is too flat, too on-the-nose. And those teardrops falling down those cheeks…twice! I will however give points — everyone will — to the Southeast Asian tsunami sequence that opens the film. It’s quite thrilling, scary…although it does, truth be told, ‘look’ like CG."
Oscar Hopes: Not sure, needs more reviews. The older critics tend to like it better than younger critics, which could play well seeing as the Academy tends to be older. I think it's still in the derby.
John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole is getting pretty good word coming out especially for its stars.
Pete Hammond from Deadline:
"I think there is none better than Nicole Kidman making a major artistic comeback after a string of disappointments that include Australia, Nine, Margot At The Wedding, The Invasion, Fur, and Human Stain. She turns in a brilliant performance in Rabbit Hole, which had its gala world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival Monday night"
"He also brings out strong, naturalistic work from Nicole Kidman (I have not enjoyed her this much in some time), Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest that have enough awards potential for buyers to take what I can only assume will be quick notice."
Oscar Potential: Two former winners, and a popular actor all combine forces and are said to be great. If there is a good campaign, their star power alone puts them into the big time.