After seeing twenty films in eight days, I can confirm that Movie Maker got it right. The 15th Calgary International Film Festival was definitely an crowd pleaser. Featuring World, North American and Canadian premieres (in the case of The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet, pictured above – both the 2D and 3D North American premieres), as well as films with huge awards buzz (like Whiplash and Foxcatcher), and an emphasis on Canadian and Albertan films, CIFF’s programmers put together a selection that genuinely had something for everyone.
Documentaries about musical icons tend to be either too worshipful, or too determined to find the warts part of a warts and all biography. Heaven Adores You looks at the late Elliott Smith and his music in a way that, while it leans a tiny bit toward the former, doesn’t hesitate to include Smith’s flaws. Given his unique talent, the result is a fascinating, slightly melancholy, yet overall positive look at a talent for which the word genius actually applied. The film made me want to replay his music.