Day two of TIFF ’18 has gone exceedingly-well and we’re happy to deliver you some of that starpower we witnessed around the City! While stars of breakout hit CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, were busy promoting their latest projects around town, one thing’s clear – fans still very much are in love with these two actors. Everywhere I went, new faces were asking where they could find Chalamet, walking around proudly displaying their memorabilia from the Film.
While we caught wind of BEAUTIFUL BOY stars Steve Carell and quietly entering and exiting their hotel, followed by a dinner at Sotto Sotto Thursday night, they were out in full force today and we’re thrilled to have snapped them, taking-in that adoration and excitement for the Drama based on a true story and memoirs from a father and son who went through the rigors of addiction and rose above. Fans not only queued hours on the Red Carpets at the Elgin and Roy Thomson Hall to see them, they also waited at the back of the theatre for a chance to see them exit too.
We once again were blessed by Queen Julia Roberts‘ presence this year, promoting not one but two projects – a new Amazon Series titled HOMECOMING and her latest Film, BEN IS BACK which is said to place her in prime contention for an Oscar as a mother who must stop her family from falling into shambles after her son (Lucas Hedges) resurfaces and she realizes he’s still in harm’s way. Fans queued hours to see her at Ryerson Theatre and got exactly what they asked for as she graced the Red Carpet, signing several autographs.
We still remember fondly the last time Dev Patel was at TIFF with LION and we loved that Film so much. Excitement is just as high for his two TIFF ’18 Films, HOTEL MUMBAI and THE WEDDING GUEST. We spotted his MUMBAI Co-Stars Armie Hammer and JasonIsaacs out too!
DONNYBROOK premiered at Winter Garden Theatre tonight and stars Frank Grillo, Jamie Bell and up-and-comer Margaret Qualley (daughter of Andie McDowell). It centers on two men from very different worlds, competing in a bare-knuckle brawl.
Others we spotted around town, including Jude Law at TIFF ’18 for VOX LUX, which saw Natalie Portman arriving a bit late for, plus legend Danny Glover, who is at the Festival with The Old Man & The Gun, plus up-and-comer RJ Cyler (Power Rangers):
We were up and at ’em early and so honoured to appear on Breakfast Television with Winston Sih! In case you missed it, you can watch it again here:
The 90th Academy Awards took place at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles tonight. Sweeping top honours after gaining the most nominations (13) was Guillermo del Toro‘s Toronto-filmed Fantasy The Shape of Water winning four awards including Best Picture, Directing, Production Design and Original Score. The Film’s Toronto Crew celebrating tonight at Palais Royale, were credited for being a part of the Film’ success. del Toro, who has been vocal about his love for Toronto using the City regularly to base his productions, encouraged other Genre Filmmakers to continue breaking ground with the door he helped open.
While many saw Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as the favourite to win Best Picture, it still took acting honours for Leading Actress with Frances McDormand and Supporting Actor with Sam Rockwell. McDormand gave a memorable speech which had her laughing nervously, devoting her time on-stage getting all her fellow female nominees to stand together in a call for inclusion and equality. Both The Shape of Water and this premiered at TIFF ’17 with the latter winning the coveted People’s Choice Award and the two are released by Fox Searchlight.
Dunkirk‘s win tally would come in at three with scores for Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Film Editing.Blade Runner 2049 by Canadian Director Denis Villeneuve, would win for Cinematography and Visual Effects. Disney’s Coco was awarded Animated Feature and also for Original Song with Remember Me, performed on the broadcast by Gael García Bernal, Miguel and Natalie Lafourcade. Call Me By Your Name earned one win for Adapted Screenplay. Allison Janney nabbed Supporting Actress for her work in I, Tonya, which presenter Jodie Foster who appeared on-stage in crutches, would joke that Meryl Streep was responsible for her injury, having “I, Tonya-ed” her.
The Evening was hosted by Funnyman Jimmy Kimmel who tackled head-on several issues of now including #MeToo and #TimesUp using case in point, the substantial pay gap between Mark Wahlberg and MichelleWilliams on re-shoots for nominated All the Money in the World. Despite both being represented by William Morris Endeavor, Wahlberg was paid eight-times Williams‘ salary, although the former made right by donating his earnings to #TimesUp.
Kimmel joked that the Oscar statue is the ideal man in that he “keeps his hands to himself, never says a rude word and doesn’t have a penis. He is a statue of limitations”. A running joke for the evening was that the winner with the shortest speech would win a jet ski in the same vein as The Price is Right, which Leading Actor winner Gary Oldman was clear he wouldn’t be winning as he took his time thanking those responsible for his success. Oldman‘s Film Darkest Hour would win also for Makeup.
See Kimmel‘s running joke with the help of Helen Mirren:
Following an outcry that the Oscars lacked diversity, that certainly was addressed full force this year and repeatedly the theme of inclusion was brought-up throughout the night. We would see female nominees in categories like Directing (Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird) and Cinematography (Rachel Morrison, Mudbound) and first-time Nominee Jordan Peele winning Original Screenplay for Get Out. A Fantastic Woman starring Chilean transgender Actress Daniela Vega, would win Foreign Language Film. Basketball icon Kobe Bryant also would win his first Oscar for Animated Short Film, Dear Basketball.
Hot off its four Oscar nominations today including Best Picture, Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name continues to be a fan favourite for many including ours, and we were fortunate to have it Premiere here at TIFF ’17. Right in time for that important announcement Author and Professor André Aciman who wrote the Novel on which the Film is based, is in Toronto.
Appearing last night at a Book signing preceded by an In-Conversation-With at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Aciman did the rounds earlier today.including The Morning Show (National Edition).
Aciman had several interesting things about his acclaimed Novel and revealed he didn’t have enough courage to submit the “dirty story with a peach” to his agent. What makes Call Me By Your Name unlike other Films centering on same-sex love is that the two central characters are not oppressed. He tells the Audience, “I’m usually ahistorical. I hate realism. I wanted the love of two men to exist as it should: outside of disease, outside of prejudice, outside of bullying, outside of danger.”.
We were lucky to get a Snap with Aciman on his way out:
Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced at 8:22 AM ET in Los Angeles with Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish filling hosting duties. Leading the way with 13 nominations is Guillermo del Toro’s Toronto-made Romance-Fantasy The Shape of Water with 13 nominations including Best Picture, Directing, Lead Actress (Sally Hawkins), Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Original Screenplay and more.
Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which like The Shape of Water is distributed by Fox Searchlight and winning the People’s Choice Award at TIFF ’17, is seen as the Best Picture favourite. It comes hot-off a win for Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes and three Screen Actors’ Guild Award wins earlier this month. It gets seven nods including Directing, Lead Actress (Frances McDormand), Supporting Actor (Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell), Directing and Original Screenplay, among others.
While there was uproar that Greta Gerwig was omitted from Directing honours at the Globes, the Academy shows their respect for the Lady Bird Helmer in light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp initiatives at the forefront of discussion. Rachel Morrison also becomes the first woman ever to get a Cinematography nod at the Oscars for Mudbound.
Director Jordan Peele like Gerwig finds Oscars recognition with his first Feature, the Horror Get Out. The Film sees Daniel Kaluuya up for Leading Actor and Peele up for Original Screenplay.
Being in the news much of late with allegations of sexual misconduct, James Franco was omitted from the list despite great acclaim for his The Disaster Artist. The Film centering around “the worst Movie ever made”, The Room, does get a nod for Adapted Screenplay. Others are expressing discontent Armie Hammer for CallMe By Your Name and Wonder Woman were disregarded.
Singer Mary J. Blige gets her first Oscar nomination as an Actress (Supporting) for her work in Mudbound. She also is up for Original Song with Mighty River from that Netflix release.
Canada gets recognized with Canadian-produced Animated Feature The Breadwinner, in which Angelina Jolie produced. Many thought her First They Killed My Father would get a Foreign Language Film nod but alas it missed.
See more of this year’s Nominees below:
Foreign Language Film
The Academy Awards air 8 PM ET on Sunday, March 4, 2018 on ABC.
Truly we are blessed to work with an outstanding Team whom we wouldn’t be able to do it without. While you will see many Year’s Best Lists pop-up around this time of year, what makes our Team unique is that we genuinely are paying Filmgoers like you. These are real opinions without the critical pretension, of individuals who know a lot about Film and individuals who live and breathe Film. We all work day and night jobs like all of you, juggling screenings and junkets into our crazy schedules for the love of Film.
We thank David Baldwin, Jonathan Godfrey, Siobhán Rich, Amanda Gilmore and Justin Waldman for their amazing work on the daily!
We thank you for joining us on our adventures throughout the year and hope you’ll be around as we share our thoughts with you on the upcoming 2018 slate.
From our family to yours!
The real world may have been a complete nightmare in 2017, but the celluloid world was nothing short of incredible. Each month gifted us with exceptional films that continually surpassed any and all expectations. While there were some terrible stinkers sprinkled throughout, 2017 will go down as a banner year for cinema. There was something for everyone, from blockbusters to indies to everything in-between, and it was incredibly hard to narrow down a list of just 10 of those films. I could easily list 10-20 more genuinely outstanding pictures — it was really that great of a year. And while there is a dark cloud over Hollywood right now, I’d like to think this year’s films prove that we are finally moving in the right direction instead of reliving the past.
1. The Shape of Water
2. The Big Sick
3. Baby Driver
4. Ingrid Goes West
5. Get Out
6. Call Me By Your Name
8. The Disaster Artist
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
10. I, Tonya
The Red Turtle
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Ghost in the Shell
Blade Runner 2049
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
These are the movies that moved me the most this year. Many of them performed poorly with regards to revenue and reviews. Nevertheless, I enjoyed them deeply, and in my own way. They are all passion projects that were beautiful to behold. So much so that I don’t have an overall “favourite.” I have “favourites,” and I can’t wait to find ten more in 2018.
The Big Sick
Call Me By Your Name
Don’t Talk to Irene
Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I found it incredibly difficult to narrow down my list this year. Presented as always in alphabetical order, this list does not include Logan, Wonder Woman or Baby Driver but does include a movie that was criminally left off TIFF’s list for Canada’s Top Ten. I included a comedy that had people falling off their seats and one that reflects what my family looks like. I also snuck in some early favourites to balance out my top two foreign films from TIFF ’17 and a late entry which blew me away. Finally, I rounded out my top twelve with a few hits from TIFF that will definitely be making a comeback during Oscar season.
Call Me By Your Name
The Florida Project
A Ghost Story
The Shape Of Water
The Disaster Artist
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
My Top Ten are in no particular order. In my Top Ten there are Films that I found unique, told honest depictions of the human condition and/or pushed the boundaries of filmmaking. All the Films showcase outstanding acting, writing and direction done by all involved. These Films are in my Top Ten because no matter what time they came out throughout 2017 they have stayed with me until the end. And will probably stay with me throughout the years to come. Hope you enjoyed them if you have seen them. And I hope you seek out the ones you haven’t!
2017 has been one roller coaster of a year for Hollywood, or Christopher Plummer being in like every movie (ha!). However if you can look past all the horrible things that have plagued Hollywood this year, there are plenty of quality films that hit the silver screen this year. In absolutely no particular order here at my top ten movies for 2017.
The Big Sick
Call Me By Your Name
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Disaster Artist
The Shape of Water
These films all possess something to them that made them stand out this year, whether it be the subject matter, the performances, the unexpected fantastic ride it took you on, each of these 11 movies gave me something this year. As well they all have massive re-watch value and are endlessly delights to watch.
For Mr. Will‘s Best-Of 2017 including Movies, Music and Celeb Spottings, click here!
Mongrel Media x Mr. Will want to take you to see acclaimed TIFF ’17 selection CALL ME BE YOUR NAME! This was one of our favourites this year. Up for grabs is a Prize Pack which includes a Run-of-Engagement Pass for two to see it and also a copy of the Novel on which it is based, plus a digital download for Director Luca Guadagnino‘s stellar Film, I AM LOVE.
Teenager Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet) is spending the summer of 1983 at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. His days are filled with a variety of cultural activities, including transcribing classical music, reading books, and hanging out with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel).
Things change for Elio when a charming American named Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives to intern for Elio‘s father (Michael Stuhlbarg), who is an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture. Elio develops feelings for Oliver, and is pleased when those feelings are returned.
Now that’s more like it! We are still a bit bummed about Eminem cancelling on TIFF ’17, but today cheered us up! See some of the massive stars in and around town today at the world’s greatest Film Festival!
We ❤ Lady Gaga and when a last-minute addition was made to premiere her Netflix Documentary GAGA: FIVE FOOT TWO here, we realized how much that TIFF ‘17 game had stepped-up! Gaga appeared at an previously unannounced Press Conference today for the Documentary and a select handful of fans were lucky enough even to get the Selfie! She arrived right in the nick of time riding shotgun in her SUV.
I, TONYA gets its Premiere tonight and the buzz is feverish for the Tonya Harding Biopic. Stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney are getting major Oscars buzz for their portrayals of the disgraced Figure Skater and her mother respectively. Also here is Captain America star Sebastian Stan who plays Harding‘s husband. All were incredibly-nice to fans as they did the rounds today!
Boston Marathon Drama STRONGER comes into TIFF ’17 with some buzz and we welcome back Jake Gyllenhaal who by now should be an honourary Torontonian! Also with him were Co-Stars Miranda Richardson and Canada’s own Tatiana Maslany, the latter enjoying a Cali Love smoothie.
After kicking-off TIFF ’17 with Opening Gala BORG/MCENROE, Icelandic star Sverrir Gudnason was out earlier doing Press for the Film. Oddly, Co-Star Shia LaBoeuf who plays his Tennis arch-rival, was missing in action!
Opening Night Gala at TIFF ’17 is Tennis Drama BORG/McENROE. While its star Shia LaBeouf often is known for trouble in the news, he was all a gentleman for fans waiting for him at the Film’s Press Conference, walking the line signing autographs and doing photos-with. While it rained on his way out, he insisted on walking umbrella-free despite a Handler trying to keep him covered.
Later in the day, we spotted his iconic Co-Star Stellan Skarsgård, father of Alexander and Bill, the latter destined for Box Office glory starring in Stephen King’s IT this weekend. Opting to slip early out of his Premiere, he stopped for a quick Photo before heading out for a bite.
Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet are gaining huge Oscars momentum with their latest, an Adaptation of CALL ME BY YOUR NAME by Director Luca Guadadigno (A Bigger Splash, I Am Love). The Trio walked the Red Carpet tonight for the Film at Ryerson Theatre and were amazing, causing quite a commotion!
It’s not every day we see Eminem in Toronto and today was supposed to be our lucky day! The Actor/Rapper produces BODIED from Music Video Auteur Joseph Kahn and was slated to appear at its Premiere at Ryerson tonight but cancelled late.
Coming-of-age stories are hardly anything new. Neither are stories about young men learning to accept their sexuality. What makes Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name unique is its dedication to expressing its young protagonist’s story in a way that is no way exploitative while still being completely honest about the struggles of the 17-year-old.
Elio (Timothée Chalamet) lives “somewhere in Northern Italy” with his parents (Amira Casar and Michael Stuhlbarg, whose emotional Third Act soliloquy is a highlight of the Film). Every year the Perlmans invite an American university student to study with them for the summer. This year’s guest, Oliver (Armie Hammer), has caught the attention of all the girls in the village. Stuck on the sidelines, Elio isn’t sure if he’s jealous of Oliver or the girls. As the summer draws to a close, Elio makes the first move and changes the power dynamic in his relationship with Oliver leaving both emotionally vulnerable.
Standing as a servant to the Film but never overtaking the action, the music, highlighted with original songs by Sufjan Stevens, is nothing short of perfection. Perhaps the least well known of the cast, Chalamet’s performance is astonishing even in scenes where Guadagnino’s imagery leans toward becoming too heavy-handed. Call Me By Your Name is an absolute must-see during the Festival.
Mongrel Media will screen Call Me By Your Name at TIFF ’17 at the following times:
Thursday, September 7 7:15 p.m. Ryerson Theatre Friday, September 8 9:30 a.m. TIFF Bell Lightbox
We don’t believe TIFF ’17 at last has arrived and although we’re feeling a bit sink or swim about it, we choose to dive on in and conquer! Running today, Thursday September 7 through Sunday, September 17, year after year we show the world why it is our Film Festival is the world’s greatest. The star power is beginning to pour in and around town tonight we spotted a few high profile arrivals!
See who we saw:
We love Charlie Hunnam and just seem to have the best luck with him. Although we’ve met him more than half a dozen times now, he is just as amazing every time to his Fans. Trying to make an incognito escape out of Pearson Airport, he right away was spotted by several eager Fans whom he promised to stop and greet after he put away his luggage in his SUV. Despite his best efforts to have everyone form a line, that fan excitement got the best of them but he still was amazingly accommodating. Hunnam is here for Papillon from Director Michael Noer. More here.
Even a week after seeing Luca Guadagnino‘s CALL ME BY YOUR NAME we still are mesmerized by the Oscar-caliber performances of its two leads Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Hammer arrived in Toronto bundle in a ski sweater and was more than nice to fans who surrounded him. Even two handlers blocking him wasn’t enough to stop Hammer from showing his giving side. You must see this Film. We can’t stop thinking about it! More here.
She’s certainly a visionary and an Icon of the Fashion and Music realms. Multi-talented Grace Jones makes a rare appearance at TIFF ’17 in Sophie Fiennes‘ (sister of Joseph and Ralph) Documentary, GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI. We spotted both in town tonight and we are over the moon about getting photo with Jones. She rarely does this. More here.
While he is here to film Christoph Waltz‘s GEORGETOWN, Straight Outta Compton and 24: LEGACY star Corey Hawkins surely will be seen this weekend celebrating TIFF. The Actor was spotted arriving in town tonight and amazingly gracious with a growing crowd of Fans hoping to get a snap with him. For one, his Compton Co-Star Jason Mitchell appears in Mudbound from Netflix, premiering at the Festival!