2016 certainly was one for the books. I admit feeling terribly guilty every time someone claimed how horrible the year was when I secretly felt otherwise! Whether it be the amazing Films I saw, singling-out LA LA LAND, which I will say is the one of the finest to be released in the past decade, or songs on the radio – we love a return to strong melancholy melodies – the year gave us many memories to hold on to. And to think we used to scoff at Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars and The Weeknd … now they’re on repeat on our Spotify account.
If there was a big name in town, we were there and this will be defined as the year we met our faves Gwyneth Paltrow, James Corden, Anne Hathaway, Taraji P. Henson, Rooney Mara and Emma Stone. We admit, we’re a bit mortified we’ll run out of heroes to meet!
And let’s not forget my love of horses. My travels to New York and California brought me together with icons like California Chrome, Beholder, Lady Eli and star of tomorrow, Classic Empire – the early favourite for May’s Kentucky Derby. My favourite horsey moment though? Meeting “Princess” aka A Pic by MrWill, my own namesake, for the first time back in February! I will miss her as she enjoys the sun and sand in Florida this winter, but look forward to her being a tough machine in the spring after her winter training.
Join me on a walk down memory lane one more time! And check back this weekend as we check-in with Team Mr. Will including Justin Waldman, Jon Godfrey, Dave Baldwin, Siobhán Rich, Amanda Gilmore + George Kozera as they give us their Best-Ofs!
TOP TEN FILMS
1. La La Land
3. Bridget Jones’s Baby
4. Nocturnal Animals
7. A Bigger Splash
9. Florence Foster Jenkins
Into You – Ariana Grande
Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers ft. Daya
Let Me Love You – DJ Snake ft. Justin Bieber
Starboy – The Weeknd
24k Magic – Bruno Mars
Cheap Thrills – Sia ft. Sean Paul
Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande
No – Meghan Trainor
7 Years – Lukas Graham
Lifted – CL
All About Us – Jordan Fisher
Love Like That – Mayor Hawthorne
Just Like Fire – P!nk
This is What You Came For – Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna
Lost Boy – Ruth B
Treat You Better – Shawn Mendes
Spirits – The Strumbellas
Let it Go – James Bay
Work from Home – Fifth Harmony
City of Stars – Ryan Gosling
Audition – Emma Stone
One of our favourite TIFF bashes annually is the UniFrance Party, held at The Fifth Social Club. While the Red Carpets during the Festival are very Hollywood-centric, this one event stretches the scope of the Festival to include French-language Film. Several high-profile names graced the Carpet at the Party this year including iconic actress Isabelle Huppert and auteur Filmmakers like Paul Verhoeven, François Ozon and Olivier Assayas. Legendary French actress Agnès Varda who was a dear friend of the late Jim Morrison, also attended in a rare appearance.
The Cocktail Party is brought to us by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée (CNC), Ministère des Affaires Etrangères et du Développement International (MAEDI), Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Institut Français, Procirep, Mairie de Paris, Air France, Lacoste, m0851 and Renault Nissan.
Paul Verhoeven’s eclectic career has won him legions of Fans in both the mainstream and Arthouse worlds. The Basic Instinct helmer continually has pushed the envelope with several bright spots in his career like Starship Troopers, Total Recall, RoboCop and we actually “got” Showgirls and are unafraid to admit it.
He returns with French psycho-sexual Thriller Elle, which after drawing several raves at Cannes, now makes its way to Toronto where it should make a splash.
Centering on video game company executive Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) who mysteriously gets attacked, she makes it a mission to find her assailant after failing to get the help of police. He edges-in dangerously close, ready to attack again at any moment and the suspense at time becomes unbearable.
Cleverly-crafted, we find ourselves mesmerized by the effortless cool of Michèle in what is an unforgettable performance by the legendary Huppert. We navigate through her complex world of lies, secrecy and seduction. All the while she must consolidate her strained familial relationships with her mother, son and her imprisoned father, while we learn more about her deep, dark past.
ELLE screens at TIFF ’16 Friday, September 9, 2016 at 5:30 PM VISA Screening Room and Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM TIFF Bell Lightbox.