Part of the beauty of the Toronto International Film Festival – or any festival on the circuit, for that matter – is the vast swathes of movies cramming up the slate; there’s practically one to cover every genre. From the character dramas of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Demolition to Ridley Scott’s sweeping sci-fi adaptation of The Martian, TIFF 2015 boasts a line-up as rich as it is diverse.
On the documentary side of things, one project that has been garnering a lot of early buzz has been Michael Moore’s latest foray into the field with Where to Invade Next, a timely piece that places a laser focus on the militaristic culture of America and its ally nations. As the filmmaker’s first film in over half a decade, fans of his astute, unflinching style have been anticipating his study of the USA’s military-industrial complex for some time, and today Dog Eat Dog Films premiered the doc’s first clip.
It goes without saying that Moore is a director to divide the masses, though the early reviews that have been coming in for Where to Invade Next have been largely positive:
This is a happier Moore, he’s interviewing mostly people he agrees with – and there are a lot of funny moments – but that doesn’t mean his bite is gone. Moore’s bite is front and center (yes, to the point of being grating at times) but no matter his delivery, a lot of what’s in Where To Invade Next is too important to ignore.
This may be drive-by tourism on a highly selective, flattering and downright gluttonous scale, but there’s something undeniably sharp and buoyant about Moore’s globe-trotting, grass-is-greener approach that compels indulgence and attention. It may not win over his detractors, who are and remain legion, but with careful election-season targeting by a shrewd distributor, he might just have his biggest crowdpleaser since “Fahrenheit 9/11,” at home as well as abroad.
Fans accustomed to his harsh critiques of health care, the educational system and gun control in the U.S. may be a little surprised, but not disappointed, at this almost happy film full of lol moments. Instead of ranting over the conspicuous social failings he sees in the U.S.A., he humorously finds solutions to its ills by “invading” various countries and bringing back the victor’s spoils, which are simply other people’s good ideas. Funny and always on-topic without going overboard, it’s an engaging film that could broaden Moore’s fan base.
There’s no word of a release date for Where to Invade Next right now, but with scores of potential buyers at TIFF, don’t be too surprised if Moore’s latest is snapped up before long.