The Deep is the sort of film for which festivals like TIFF exist – ideally, that is. It’s very good, with a strong cast delivering restrained, naturalistic performances. It’s set in a milieu that’s hardly a cinematic staple (the Icelandic commercial fishery). And it’s arrived at TIFF as a world premiere but without benefit, as yet, of any North American distribution deals. The movie is based on a real-life incident, the 1984 capsizing of a trawler in the north Atlantic that claimed the lives of all crew members save one, a schlubby, hard-drinking Everyman named Gulli (a pitch-perfect Olafur Darri Olafsson). Director Kormakur matter-of-factly follows Gulli’s adventure, from arrival on ship, near-drowning and miraculous survival to elevation as both hero and scientific curiosity and return to the fishing life. Powerful, elemental stuff.
Sept. 9, 9:45 a.m., Yonge & Dundas; Sept. 16, 9:15 p.m., Scotiabank