TIFF Review Closing Night Film: “Dalíland”

Dalíland was a mixed bag. Directed by the great Canadian filmmaker Mary Harron, it was also marred by the presence of Ezra Miller. Miller was really only in two flashback scenes. Ridley Scott was able to reshoot scenes for All the Money in the World, thereby erasing the presence of an abuser, in a very short turnaround period. Dalíland simply would have been better without Miller, even if they were unable to reshoot the flashbacks and only had footage of the older Dalí (Ben Kingsley) recounting his stories.

In any case, the costumes and music were fabulous. The other actors carried the film. The main thing that stood out was the philosophy behind Dalí’s art and the madness that made him so alluring. A couple of standout moments were the ass paintings and Gala’s (Barbara Sukowa) obsession with Jeff Fenholt (Zachary Nachbar-Seckel), the Jesus Christ Superstar singer who somehow managed to finagle quite a bit of money from her.

I love how last year at TIFF, everyone was wearing masks and it was at 25% capacity. It felt safe. This year, not only were masks not required, but it was at 100% capacity. Several sick people attended and a lot of those with coughs felt the need to be maskless. It felt really reckless to be watching the film, trapped in a cesspool. The volunteers and box-office were mostly organized this year. There were a couple of snafus and some did not know what was going on. That was okay! I just wish it had been a safer environment and that masks had been required or that sick people would have been forced to leave. There is no reason to risk everyone’s health for a few extra dollars.

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