BLOG: Movies I would love to watch at TIFF 2017

Are you ready for TIFF 2017?

 

 

Ever since I moved to Toronto, I have been going to Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) almost religiously, increasing the number of movies I watched every year. In 2012, during my time in college, it was only 1 movie, “Laurence Anyways by the Quebec director Xavier Dolan. In 2013, I watched 5 movies and experienced rush lines for the first time, lining up to see “The Fifth Estate” (which flopped but I still liked it), and then first disappointment as I missed out on the ticket for “August: Osage County”, and so on. In 2015, I beat my own record and watched 8 movies during the festival - for some of those movies I spent up to 4 hours in rush lines! It was intense! (You can read about my past experiences under Cinema tag.)

Unfortunately, last year I went on vacation right at the time of TIFF (which is beginning of September). I was very disappointed but seeing my family was more important. Unfortunately, this year I also going away.

 

So, to keep myself somewhat up-to-date with what is going on at the festival, I made a list of movies that would have been my initial list of movies to keep an eye out for. Obviously, it is not possible to watch so many during the festival (and still keep your full-time job), but it is always good to have 1-2 options to choose from for every day, as you never know if you are going to get a ticket or not.

 

I took the information about the movies from TIFF website, so please refer there for the schedule which will be available on August 22 at www.tiff.net.

 

 

A Fantastic Woman

Una Mujer Fantástica

Directed by Sebastián Lelio

Country: Chile

Duration: 103 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

 

Chilean director Sebastián Lelio follows his 2013 Festival hit Gloria with this drama about a young transgender woman struggling with both her own grief and societal prejudice after the death of her middle-aged lover.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/a-fantastic-woman/?v=a-fantastic-woman

 

Alias Grace

Directed by Mary Harron

Country: Canada, USA

Duration: 90 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Primetime

 

A layered historical drama based on of Margaret Atwood’s Giller Prize–winning novel about a poor Irish servant accused and convicted of murder, from director Mary Harron and screenwriter Sarah Polley.

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/alias-grace/?v=alias-grace

Black Cop

Directed by Cory Bowles

Country: Canada

Duration: 91 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Discovery

 

A black police officer (Ronnie Rowe Jr.) seeks revenge after being egregiously profiled and assaulted by his colleagues, in this searing political satire by actor-director Cory Bowles (Trailer Park Boys).

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/black-cop/?v=black-cop

 

Breathe

Directed by Andy Serkis

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 117 minutes

Year: 2016

TIFF 2017 Program: Gala Presentations

Actor Andy Serkis makes his directorial debut with the inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish (Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy), an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease.

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/breathe/?v=breathe

 

Call Me By Your Name

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

Country: Italy, France

Duration: 132 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

The latest from Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino ( I Am Love, A Bigger Splash) explores the tender, tentative relationship that blooms over the course of one summer between a 17-year-old boy on the cusp of adulthood (Timothée Chalamet) and his father's research assistant (Armie Hammer).

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/call-me-by-your-name/?v=call-me-by-your-name

Dark River

Directed by Clio Barnard

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 89 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Platform

Ruth Wilson stars in British filmmaker Clio Barnard’s atmospheric and layered drama about the old wounds and bitter new grievances that come to light when a woman returns home to settle the tenancy of her family’s Yorkshire farm.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/dark-river/?v=dark-river

 

Darkest Hour

Directed by Joe Wright

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 114 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Gala Presentations

Gary Oldman steps into the imposing persona of Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) period drama set in the early years of the Second World War, when Churchill’s rousing leadership inspired a nation.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/darkest-hour/?v=darkest-hour

 

Disobedience

Directed by Sebastián Lelio

Country: United Kingdom

Duration: 114 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

Sebastián Lelio (A Fantastic Woman, Gloria) directs Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in this adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel about a woman who returns home to her orthodox Jewish community in London and rekindles a romance with her cousin’s wife.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/disobedience/?v=disobedience

 

Euphoria

Directed by Lisa Langseth

Country: Sweden, Germany

Duration: 104 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program:Platform

Swedish filmmaker Lisa Langseth directs her Hotell star Alicia Vikander and Eva Green (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children) in this story of two estranged sisters attempting a difficult and ominous reconciliation, with supporting performances from Charles Dance, Charlotte Rampling, Mark Stanley, and Adrian Lester.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/euphoria/?v=euphoria

 

For Nonna Anna

Directed by Luis De Filippis

Country: Canada

Duration: 13 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Short Cuts

In this raw and graceful testimony of intersectional womanhood, a trans girl has to care for her Italian grandmother. She assumes that her Nonna disapproves of her — but instead discovers a tender bond in their shared vulnerability.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/for-nonna-anna/?v=for-nonna-anna

 

Kings

Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven

Country: France, Belgium

Duration: 92 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Gala Presentations

In the English-language debut from writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), a recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her multiple children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 acquittal of the policemen charged with assaulting Rodney King.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/kings/?v=kings

 

Mary Shelley

Directed by Haifaa Al Mansour

Country: Ireland, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, USA

Duration: 120 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Gala Presentations

Elle Fanning stars in this scintillating biopic of the Frankenstein author, chronicling her tempestuous marriage to dissolute poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the fateful night at a Swiss chateau that inspired her most famous creation.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/mary-shelley/?v=mary-shelley

 

Pre-Drink

Directed by Marc-Antoine Lemire

Country: Canada

Duration: 23 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Short Cuts 

Alexe, a trans woman, and Carl, her gay best friend, disrupt the boundaries of their friendship when they decide to have sex for the first time — and raw emotional truths collide with illusions of breezy detachment at a time of transition.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/pre-drink/?v=pre-drink

 

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

Directed by Angela Robinson

Country: USA

Duration: 108 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

Luke Evans (High-Rise, Beauty and the Beast), Rebecca Hall (Christine), and Bella Heathcote (Fifty Shades Darker) star in this biopic of William Moulton Marston, the American psychologist who put his progressive ideals about female liberation into practice by creating the DC superhero Wonder Woman and living in an "extended relationship" with his wife and another woman.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/professor-marston-and-the-wonder-women/?v=professor-marston-and-the-wonder-women

 

Submergence

Directed by Wim Wenders

Country:France, Germany, Spain

Duration: 112 minutes

Year: 2016

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

The new film from the great Wim Wenders (Pina) is a globe-trotting romance about a water engineer (James McAvoy) and a deep-sea researcher (Oscar winner Alicia Vikander) striving to reconnect although separated by oceans, continents, and civil war.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/submergence/?v=submergence

 

The Current War

Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Country: USA

Duration: 107 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) directs Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, and Katherine Waterston in this account of the race for marketable electricity in the United States between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/the-current-war/?v=the-current-war

 

The Death of Stalin

Directed by Armando Iannucci

Country: France, United Kingdom, Belgium

Duration: 107 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Platform

Armando Iannucci (Veep) directs Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, and Andrea Riseborough in this acerbic send-up of the Soviet Supremo and his band of scheming bootlicks.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/the-death-of-stalin/?v=the-death-of-stalin

 

The Upside

Directed by Neil Burger

Country: USA

Duration: 120 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Gala Presentations

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in this remake of the French hit The Intouchables, a dramatic buddy comedy about the unlikely friendship between a rich quadriplegic and his working-class caregiver.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/the-upside/?v=the-upside

 

Thelma

Directed by Joachim Trier

Country: Norway, Sweden, France, Denmark

Duration: 116 minutes

Year: 2017

TIFF 2017 Program: Special Presentations

Recently moved to Oslo to attend school, a young woman falls in love and discovers that she possesses terrifying powers, in this supernatural thriller from acclaimed director Joachim Trier (Louder Than Bombs).

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/thelma/?v=thelma

 

What Will People Say

Hva vil folk si

Directed by Iram Haq

Norway, Germany, Sweden106 minutes2017STCColourNorwegian, UrduWorld Premiere

TIFF 2017 Program: Platform

Nisha’s double life — obedient to her traditional Pakistani upbringing at home, typical Norwegian teenager to her friends — comes crashing down when her concerned parents kidnap her and send her to Pakistan, in Iram Haq’s personal, empathetic story of family, community, and culture.

 

http://www.tiff.net/tiff/what-will-people-say/?v=what-will-people-say

Let me know what you would like to see this year!

TIFF 2013 - Kill Your Darlings

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 Kill Your Darlings Movie Poster

"Kill Your Darlings" is a 2013 American biographical drama film written by Austin Bunn and directed by John Krokidas. The story is about the college days of some of the earliest members of the Beat Generation (Lucien Carr, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, and Jack Kerouac), their interactions, and the killing in Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City.

My luck was back today as I got to see Kill Your Darlings with Daniel Radcliffe. The start time was at 6.30om at Roy Thompson Hall. Seeing as yesterday the rush line was enormous for August: Osage County I didn’t really have much hope.

I arrived at the venue at 4.50pm and was surprised to see that the line was tiny. There were about 30-35 people ahead of me. It must have been the heat. Today was a crazy weather - almost +35C and high humidity. I doubted that I would be able to stay in the heat for so long to get a ticket.

Surprisingly, it was not that bad and I did have an umbrella with me. I met a nice teenaged boy from Ukraine with whom we talked about the movies and life and Canada.

The line started to slowly move around 6.25pm. At 6.50pm we were almost at the front of the line, and the movie was rolling credits. We were among the last 8 people to be admitted! I was lucky again!

We missed a couple of minutes of the movie though. It was also the venue with the tightest security I have seen at TIFF. We were directed all the way to the box office and then to the mezzanine with an insane amount of staff at each step, directing us where to stand and walk in one line. That was pretty strange after being left to our own devices at other venues the moment we got inside. Maybe it was so, because of some other events going at the venue (like a drinks/buffet for the sponsors at the terrace - but maybe it was unrelated).

I loved the movie. It was brilliantly shot and very emotional. The way some memories scenes unfolded through back motions and a bit surreal (in terms of very contemporary sounding music - contemporary for our age, that is) was mesmerizing. Daniel was amazing. I forgot that he used to play Harry Potter and was a British actor. All I saw was Allen Ginsberg.

I loved the emotions and how every character had his own demons to fight. How they wanted to make changes and were experimenting with everything, trying to define the norm. It was all about booze, smoke/drugs, sex and writing. They surely had fun.

I would love to see it again.

Also, not really recommended for anyone under 18, as there were quite a lot of racy themes.

There were no Q&As at the end, although the whole cast was sitting in the audience! The beam was light was directed at them after the credits started to roll and they all stood up. (Daniel is so adorably short!) I would have loved to have Q&As with them, but seeing as they were sitting at the balcony and not below, it was obvious that there would be none.

I think it is pretty cool that they stayed to watch the movie though. I honestly didn’t stay till the end of the credits, so I am not sure if anything happened afterwards.

That is the last time I was rushing the ticket this year. I am going to see three more movies (Blind Detective, Cold Eyes and Violette) but I have the tickets for all of them.

Stay tuned!

 

TIFF 2013 - Dom Hemingway

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 9, 2013

 

"Dom Hemingway" is a 2013 British-American black comedy–crime drama film directed and written by Richard Shepard.

I bought the ticket for Dom Hemingway knowing almost zero about the movie. Only thing I knew was that Jude Law was in it. And that was enough for me.

The venue was Princess of Wales and I was lucky to buy the ticket beforehand. I arrived there around 9.25pm (the movie started at 10pm). The line for ticket holders was UNBELIEVABLE. I mean it was my first time going for a movie with a ticket, but rush line compared to that is tiny.

We were told that people at the rush line probably won’t get any tickets. I wondered at that because I managed to get to see The Fifth Estate and 12 Years A Slave that were more high profile (in the regard of the buzz) and tickets for Dom Hemingway were available no prob…

The line started to move around 9.35pm. It was moving pretty fast, which is a good thing, since I was almost at the end of line (almost 2 blocks away from the theatre, so I had no idea what was going on at the red carpet, but I knew that Jude Law would be there). Seeing as I was almost at the end of the line, I got my place at the balcony. But it was OK.

The movie was presented by the producer, Richard Sheppard, and the whole cast. After the movie there were Q&As for about 15-20 mins. Everyone was joking and Jude Law was very funny and charming.

I can’t say I liked the movie a lot. It is an odd black comedy type of movie about an ex-con Dom Hemingway, who comes out of jail aster spending 12 years there. He tries to get back his money, his life, get in touch with his estranged daughter. There is a lot of swearing, vulgar jokes and randomness. The movie is funny, but if it weren’t for Jude Law, I would have never gone to watch that. Just not my thing. But Jude is really good, really believable and funny.

I liked Q&As. One of the things that I remember was when somebody asked how Jude prepared for the role and he said that he did nothing, ate lasagna for dinner, ice cream, whiskey, and was being lazy.

There is a bit of nudity in the movie. We got the view of naked Jude several time. Nothing obscene, but definitely not for kids :)

Another funny thing was when Madalina Ghenea said that Jude pushed her into the pool (during the pool scene) but she doesn’t really know how to swim, but she survived. She was very beautiful and wore a red dress, very similar to the one she wore in the movie.

Richard E. Grant was also in the movie and he was hilarious as a sidekick/partner to Dom.

Definitely a nice movie, but I wouldn’t put it one the must watch list, unless you are a hardcore Jude Law fan, because that man’s acting is great.

TIFF 2013 - Only Lovers Left Alive

Originally written: SEPTEMBER 7, 2013 "Only Lovers Left Alive" is a 2013 internationally co-produced vampire film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch, and starring Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright, Slimane Dazi, and John Hurt.

 

I arrived to the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema around 10:40am (the movie time was 12:15pm). I intended to arrive earlier, but I underestimated the distance. For some reason I thought it is an intersection with Yonge. Go me.

I got into the rush line. It was pretty short compared to the lines for The Fifth Estate and 12 Years A Slave. It was pretty quiet. Maybe because it was raining quite a bit.

At 12pm the line was not moving. And nobody was telling us how many people are ahead or how many tickets there might be. Compared to other screenings I went to, the volunteers here were few and not very talkative. Maybe it was the rain.

At 12:10pm the line moved a bit. Then a bit. It was moving very slowly. At 12:20pm somebody said that the movie had started (which doesn’t make sense because they wouldn’t be keeping people in the line then). Then 5 minutes later somebody said that they were going to start shortly.

There were few people ahead of me, when we heard that they would let 5 more people inside (they were letting in people in fives) and that was it.

I was lucky to be that 5th person in the line.

I got inside the theater when the movie was on already, but barely missed anything. I think they let in another 5 people after me, because I saw more people coming in later. But it was definitely not the whole rush line (compared to two other galas). And this was not even a premiere! I think there were about 30 people ahead of me in the line. So I estimate that there were about 40 rush tickets sold.

But I can only guess, since nobody told us how many people were in the line.

The movie was a visual and musical delight. Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton played vampires, a married couple, Adam and Eve. They were beautiful in their Yin/Yang harmony, a pair of glamoury and artistic hippies with fangs. The story is quite simple. It is less of a story and more of a painting, where you want to watch every detail for hours. Mia Wasikowska was Ava, Eve’s younger sister. She was adorable. John Hurt played an old vampire (hinted to be Shakespeare himself).

It was an odd but pretty movie, a very soft one, with no sex, no biting, no violence. It was so different from any other vampire movie that I have seen that I want to give Jim Jarmusch an Oscar only for creating his own folklore about vampires.

Acting was brilliant. It looked as if Tom and Tilda were not playing vampires, but rather themselves, being as deep, thoughtful, intelligent and lithe as they are in real life.

There was only one scene in which both of them were naked (nothing graphic though) - both of them are so thin! And Tilda is over 50! And she looks amazing!

 

I want that movie. I want to watch it again.

The movie was shot in Detroit, Colon and Tangier. The scenery was amazing. Every single frame is worth capturing.

I didn’t expect that there would be Q&A afterwards, since it was not a premiere and there were very few people, no paps and no buzz. But I was wrong! Jim Jarmusch, Anton Yelchin (who plays Adam’s friend) and Tom Hiddleston were there!

Oh my god. I still can’t believe I saw Tom Hiddleston! He is as charming and as polite in real life as everyone says he is. Anton was adorable. And Jim was freaking hilarious. He joked about Tom, saying that they, the producers, do not really care about how nice/not nice the actors are, so far they can do their job. He laughed and said that Tom is a very nice guy. All while Tom was looking down and being all adorably abashed about it.

There were quite a few questions from the audience (compared to the gala of "12 Years A Slave" where there were no questions from the viewers, only a couple from the host). Somebody asked Tom how it was to work with Tilda and he said that it was amazing. Compared their work to dancing. It was quite lovely (he sounded so adorable).

I was sitting at the far back, but I did manage to take a picture of all of them at the podium. They were also broadcasting the image to the screen. Which was very good because I could see them, compared to 12 Years A Slave (again), where I could see almost nothing from my balcony seat.

When the Q&As were done, I left, because I didn’t want to fight my way to the front to have another look at Tom (I am still wondering if he is as tall as he looks like on screen). People were very nice though, no rabid fangirls. Everyone was leaving (as if we didn’t have the freaking LOKI in the room, but seeing as it was a bit different movie from The Avengers, some people might have not seen it), I saw only a couple of people go closer to the cast and the producer, but I think only because they were already at the front.

It was quite lovely. And seeing Tom Hiddleston made me really happy! :) A photographer was snapping shots right behind my seat all through Q&As, so I am sure we all will see the pictures of my left ear from it on tumblr.

This movie is very much worth seeing. And also this also answers another questions - if it is worth going to any screening but galas/premium. Yes and yes.

And I can’t believe I got lucky again! Woohoo! Hopefully my luck holds through the rest of TIFF.

Happy movie watching!