TIFF 2016: Our Review of ‘Colossal’



There’s a constant absurd nature to Colossal, but it is unquestionably the most majestic, controlled, and powerful absurdity possible. The entire conceit of this drama-fantasy hybrid is a stretch, but the film is so perfectly executed, so wonderfully balanced, that what unfolds is an impactful medley of joy, despair, hatred, wonder, and humour.

With Colossal, though, the less you know, the better – so we’ll be vague. From Nacho Vigalondo, this capricious and at times darkly depressing film follows Gloria (Anne Hathaway) from the big city back home to the suburbs, looking to collect herself after being broken up with and accepting a problem with drinking too much.

There she reconnects with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), a friend from her past that givers her a job at his bar, stuff for her empty family home, and some needed company.

But weird things are going on too. Gloria is especially unnerved when a strange disaster occurs halfway around the world. Something bizarre, jarring, and significant takes place that captures her attention, irrevocably altering her existence.

What follows is spellbinding, a blend of magic and humour and morbidity that is surprising if for no other reason than it all meshes so well. Hathaway is tremendous, anchoring a film that needs its determined, tired female to carry the way. She is our admirable, unenviable heroine throughout, subject to male possession, societal expectations, inner demons, and an unexpected burden.

All of it combines for something unforgettable and jaw-dropping. The last moment of the film is perfect.

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