Toronto 2011: Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Twixt’ not wowing the critics


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Francis Ford Coppola’s “Twixt” sounds like a candy bar, but critics at the Toronto International Film Festival are not too sweet on the filmmaker’s loosely autobiographical vampire story.

The movie, which premiered Sunday afternoon in Toronto, is looking for a domestic theatrical distributor. If the director of “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now” hoped the early notices for the occasionally 3-D production starring Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning would help prepare a sale, he might consider a different plan.


Here’s a roundup of some of the early reviews and Twitter beat downs:

“While his last film, ‘Tetro’ showed signs of recovery from his slump of many years, he now unveils at this very public film festival, ‘Twixt,’ easily his silliest work ever… One can reflect on what the young Coppola, with his masterful camera work and vivid imagination, might have done with such an opportunity. Unfortunately, the present-day one produces only tepid and tired imagery that would not earn high marks in any film school.” -- Kirk Honeycutt, the Hollywood Reporter

“The staging is at times awkward and many of the supporting actors laughably amateur. As much as the budget appears to have been a constraint on the effects of the film, it shouldn’t have affected the acting or coherency of the picture…. While those looking for a few midnight movie scares will find themselves very disappointed, the film is funny, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not.” -- Cory Everett, indieWIRE’s the Playlist

“Not just the worst film he’s made, but possibly the worst film to ever play this festival. Incomprehensibly bad… Coppola winded me so much I’m done with movies until midnight. I admire the idea of Coppola as film student, but this is literally a terrible student film that doesn’t belong in a fest.” -- Drew McWeeny, HitFix

“The visual layering -- which, in its sudden flashes of color and use of dreamy black-and-white, suggests something like ‘Sin City’ crossed with Godard’s ‘In Praise of Love’ -- is extremely striking, and two 3-D sequences make effective use of the format…. ‘Youth Without Youth’ strained to find visual correlatives for its pretentious source material, and ‘Tetro’ was so studied that even Vincent Gallo seemed subdued. But Coppola’s new ‘Twixt’… improves on those films mainly by being a goof, albeit one apparently laced with autobiographical details.” -- Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago


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-- Emily Rome

Top photo: Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning in ‘Twixt.’ Credit: American Zoetrope.