TIFF 2013 Day 1: The Fifth Estate


I’m not going to lie, but Thursday was a disappointment of sorts.

I was planning to go to the red carpet at Roy Thomson to catch a glimpse of one of my favourite actors Benedict Cumberbatch but decided to rush a film because my friend wanted to.

We were going to rush The Past directed by Asghar Farhadi if we couldn’t get into The Fifth Estate. But because there were two galas of Fifth (one at Elgin and the other at Roy Thomson), we managed to get in at Elgin.

Before I talk about what I felt about the film, I’d like to start off by saying that I’m a tad upset that neither Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Dan Stevens, Carice van Houten and Alicia Vikander decided to show up at this venue. As I saw that Joseph Gordon-Levitt attended the Looper premiere at Elgin last year, I was kind of expecting the same this year. But alas, it was not meant to be. 

Anyways, what I did manage to see was a touching tribute to the late movie critic Roger Ebert and an introduction by The Fifth Estate’s director Bill Condon.

Condon, as you might know directed Chicago, Dreamgirls and two Twilight movies.


As for The Fifth Estate itself, I was left feeling underwhelmed by the film. As an opener for the festival, it had a lot of momentum going for it. Hot actor, relevant topic of Wikileaks and an awesome trailer.

I guess with all of that, the movie became way too hyped up. Although the movie tries to be exciting, it could have been way more suspenseful. To me, there were definitely issues in the script where it felt like the story was going from one place to another. It could have probably used a couple more edits.

I also found myself getting bored during many scenes. Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci (two very talented actors) were completely underused. In fact, they could have even been omitted from the film completely because they were barely seen on screen! And also, with me not being completely clear on all the complicated issues of Wikileaks, I often felt that there was too much information being thrown at me with little explanation.

The good however, was Benedict Cumberbatch and his portrayal of Julian Assange. Call me biased, but you can clearly tell Cumberbatch gave his all in the role, completely transforming himself to the bleached-hair hacker/Wikileaks founder. His gestures and accent appeared on point and so were his expressions. My personal favourite part however, was him dancing in the club.

That’s not to say that the topic of Wikileaks isn’t important for a film. As we are living in a world consumed by media, I do have to say that this movie made me research more about international issues and Wikileaks.

But as for whether you should rush to see the film when it comes out? I’d say it would probably be best to wait for discount movie Tuesdays or catching the many other films Benedict Cumberbatch will appear in this year.


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