TORONTO -- It was a bittersweet first screening of Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said" this afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival. The writer/director's new relationship film, a fine one, stars James Gandolfini in his final turn, a fine one too.
In introducing the cast at the elegant old Elgin Theatre, and one of the film festival's main venues, Holofcener closed with just a line to note that the most beautiful of them wasn’t with us. Like her scripts, the understatement was perfect. The applause that met it was heartfelt.
The film has a great cast that includes Toni Collette, Catherine Keener, Ben Falcone and is wonderfully anchored by a whimsical Julia Louis-Dreyfus. As Eva, a divorcee, she finds herself having a second go at love with Gandolfini’s Albert. Complications arise when she finds out he’s the awful ex her new friend and client, played by Keener, keeps talking about.
Though Holofcener has written a comedy, a sad irony can be found lingering around the edges. "Enough Said" is ultimately a movie about second chances and making your own happy ending. So it's hard not to wish that Gandolfini's real story paralleled the film's.
I know they are actors, and they are not the roles they play, but it’s impossible not to see a lot of Gandolfini in Albert. He's a guy who worries about his weight, but loves food too much to do anything about it. He’s a big bear of a guy, who can be easily wounded. He's a bit of a romantic who loves deeply. He is a guy you would like to spend time with.
Gandolfini gives Albert such extraordinary sweetness and tenderness that if you don't already love his acting, “Enough Said” just might win you over. I already did, so for me the performance was another chance to savor his singular talent.
When the film ends, a simple black and white title card follows. It reads: For Jim. Enough said.
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