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Dear Evan Hansen Kicks Off #TIFF21: Our Members React
September 10, 2021
In the spirit of the Toronto International Film Festival‘s 2021 hybrid edition, our critics are split! The festival kicked off yesterday with the big screen adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen. Some members of the TFCA crew were taken by its unabashed cheese, while others deemed it a hate crime against cinema. Some members don’t seem to mind the casting of 27-year-old Ben Platt as a high school student, although even the positive side admits a level of creepiness.
View from the balcony:
— Radheyan Simonpillai (@JustSayRad) September 9, 2021
On the plus side
DEAR EVAN HANSEN – Suspend disbelief beyond the musical tropes and snark about lead casting, it's a moving and effective take with exceptional performances, that takes a sticky story and makes it work within context of an emotional piece that earns its tears. #tiff21 pic.twitter.com/1APupMSwyl
— Jason Gorber (@filmfest_ca) September 9, 2021
Yes! Also, I feel that carping about too-old high-schoolers has been off-limits since Stockard Channing broke the grey ceiling in Grease. She was 33!
— Chris Knight (@ChrisKnightfilm) September 10, 2021
Perhaps Stephen Chbosky should have opted for the de-aging VFX a la The Irishman
My favourite part watching Dear Evan Hansen was the afternoon shade creeping through the makeup on Ben Platt's face. #TIFF21
— Radheyan Simonpillai (@JustSayRad) September 10, 2021
We’re not sure if Glenn and Rad are referring to the same scene.
My review of the #TIFF21 opening gala, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, is now up @nowtoronto. The changes work really well. Platt is great (he's only creepy in one scene). And Adam Adams has a bigger part than Julianne Moore. https://t.co/j3uuS3uTVD
— Glenn Sumi (@glennsumi) September 10, 2021
Tina’s back! (Although she probably wishes it was for a different assignment…)
holy shit i reviewed something https://t.co/ud6VkoPfxL
— tina hassannia (@tinahassannia) September 10, 2021
Other members eat the cheese up.
I really enjoyed DEAR EVAN HANSEN. It's a good pick me up that tugs at heartstrings with an important message. A little bit of unabashed catharsis goes a long way right now. #TIFF21
— Pat Mullen (@cinemablogrpher) September 9, 2021
And others cut right through it.
— Sarah Hagi (@KindaHagi) September 10, 2021
Meanwhile, as the jury debates Evan Hansen’s fate, some other members braved TIFF Digital Platform for their own opening night alternatives.
Catching up with a Sundance stand-out
Didn’t know they still made movies like that. A young rider. An older rider. A trainer & the perfect ride. A snapshot of an enduring subculture. Faces that catch the fading light. The final two mins? The expressions on Clifton Collins Jr’s face – sublime pic.twitter.com/nM5KbmtV8r
— Eli Glasner 🎥 (@glasneronfilm) September 10, 2021
Courtney Small raves about the TIFF Docs opener:
— That Shelf @ #TIFF21 (@ThatShelf) September 10, 2021
And Barry reminds us that there’s no place like home:
— Barry Hertz (@HertzBarry) September 10, 2021
Stay tuned for more member reactions throughout the festival!