To celebrate TIFF’s forthcoming retrospective on the cinema of Spielberg, a group of Cinephiles were invited to an evening of trivia and celluloid magic. Despite being familiar with the works of Steven Spielberg, being quizzed on his accomplishments was no easy feat. Luckily, sitting back to enjoy an original 35MM print of Jurassic Park was.
And for anyone in Toronto from December 21st – January 10th, TIFF will be screening 28 films from the incomparable director’s catalog. From Jaws to Amistad there is a bevy of beautiful films being exhumed from the archives and showcased on the silver screen. So be sure to stop by the TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre for a holiday dosage of nostalgia ultra. After all, nothing says Christmas like the movies.
More on TIFF‘s Close Encounters: The Cinema of Steven Spielberg Retrospective here.
Described both as rugged and refined, WESLODGE was one of our official partners of TIFF ’18! The King Street West hotspot in Toronto from premier hospitality group ICONINK, has hosted several stars during the Festival including this year, Isabelle Huppert, Chloë Grace Moretz and Maika Monroe.
Executive Chef Ben Heaton delivers a sophisticated spin on Canadian classics. Open for brunch and dinner, plus a late night menu, Weslodge has been a fixture in the City and for good reason!
Nashville Hot Chicken Wagyu Beef Footlong Burgers Striploin Steaks Buffalo Fried Chicken The Full Weslodge Brunch
We are giving our Toronto readers a chance to experience the star treatment at Weslodge with a $200 Gift Card which should be more than enough for a fabulous dinner for two!
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK. Be following and “like” this Post on our Instagram @mrwillwong for an extra chance. Tag a friend in the comments there!
You also may click “share” on this Post from Facebook too for another chance! Be sure to follow WESLODGE also!
Weslodge is located at 480 King St W Toronto, ON M5V 1L7
CRITICS ARE CALLING FIRST MAN “SPECTACULAR,” “A CINEMATIC TRIUMPH” AND “THE BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR.” UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNING DIRECTOR DAMIEN CHAZELLE INVITE YOU TO EXPERIENCE THE IMPOSSIBLE JOURNEY TO THE MOON. RYAN GOSLING AND CLAIRE FOY STAR IN FIRST MAN. IN THEATRES AND IMAX OCTOBER 12TH.
Mr. Will x Universal Pictures Canada want to give Readers a chance to attend an Advance Screening of TIFF ’18 selection, FIRST MAN.
Screenings take place as follows: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 10TH
TORONTO SCOTIABANK THEATRE TORONTO 7:30 PM
VANCOUVER CINEPLEX CINEMAS MARINE GATEWAY 7:00 PM
MONTREAL CINEPLEX MONTREAL FORUM 7:00 PM
CALGARY LANDMARK SHAWNESSY 7:00 PM
EDMONTON CINEPLEX SOUTH COMMONS 7:00 PM
On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s mission to land a man on the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the years 1961-1969. A visceral, first-person account, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the movie will explore the sacrifices and the cost—on Armstrong and on the nation—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and tell us what you would say to Ryan Gosling if you were stuck together on a rocket to the moon. Also please indicate your City. Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw for an extra chance.
Universal Pictures Canada release FIRST MANFriday, October 12, 2018.
And in a blink of an eye, another TIFF has passed and this one had us working right to the finish line! It’s only after the fact that we have a moment to take it all in how much we went through. We estimate double our average in Celebrity Snaps this year. That’s how star-studded TIFF ’18 was. It was that kind of a year!
We had the pleasure of previewing several of this year’s Awards Season contenders and we are waiting with baited breath to see A STAR IS BORN and GREEN BOOK, both outstanding, duke it out for Oscars glory in coming months. We loved both, are thrilled the latter was honoured with the People’s Choice Award at the Festival, but something about the former makes our heart sing. We cannot stop thinking about it or its Soundtrack. It takes a magical Film to do that.
Let’s relive some of my favourite star-studded moments of the Festival, as lensed through the Nikon D3400. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without this amazing camera which worked amazingly-well with our Blackberry Key 2 in terms of file transmission to ensure we were able to get our photos uploaded and edited within moments for you all to enjoy! The clarity of these snaps speak for themselves.
A STAR IS BORN Press Conference
We will never stop taking our signature Celebrity Selfies and TIFF ’18 was unforgettable even if we saw many returning faces. We wouldn’t have been camera-ready without the right gear and depending on each scenario, sometimes the Blackberry Key 2 worked best for those Selfies, sometimes the Nikon D3400 worked better. What matters is that more often than not, we got the snap! And many we did.
Here’s some of our faves!
Jamie Lee Curtis
John David Washington
Kelly Marie Tran
In case you missed our Television appearances during TIFF ’18 this is our first year hitting-up the three big media giants: Global, CITY and CP24 (Bell Media). Thrilled! Our brand continues to thrive as a Festival go-to and we are so happy for the recognition.
If you were in and around Roy Thomson HallTIFF ’18, you could not avoid Acura‘s presence at the Festival. We had the pure joy of test-driving the 2018 Acura ILX this TIFF. Sleek, stylish and sophisicated, we wouldn’t have endured those late nights and early mornings without the ILX. It was our MVP, no doubt.
We felt sheer confidence owning the road, empowered by its 2.4-litre, 16-valve, DOHC, i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine. The ILX operates at an impressive 201 horsepower, with engine torque of 180 lb.-ft. @ 3600 rpm.
Above this, we are reminded frequently of its safety features including a Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system, Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Blind Spot Information system (BSI) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM™) system. We’ll admit that those 4 AM drives home having slept an hour the night before during TIFF, can be a test of endurance. These features helped keep is safe and aware.
Parking in those tight, testy downtown parking lots is a challenge but the ILX’s Multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines made it all so easy!
With television appearances, screenings are star sightings around town to tend to, we cannot stress how crucial it was to stay connected with multiple USB charging ports, HandsFreeLink™-Bluetooth® capability and an 8-inch LED backlit VGA display. We love that Acura still believes in CD players in addition to an array of options to stream music off our phone, plus Sirius XM. We just wish there was a way to hear Google Maps through car’s sound system while listening to Sirius XM, the radio or CDs.
We admit being more tired than ever keeping-up with the Festival’s frantic pacing, that’s why we found real comfort retreating to our ILX for the occasional powernap. Its 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat and 2-position memory were our bed away from home and we loved being able to stare up through its moonroof and collect our thoughts and plan our next steps.
The ILX is a bit of a ‘gas guzzler’ with City/Hwy/Combined fuel economy of
9.4/6.8/8.2 litres/100 km. In some instances we found half a tank of gas gone after a day of driving and perhaps this is where Acura could take notes from its sister, Honda which has mastered fuel economy with its popular ECON mode option.
That being said, the 2018 Acura ILX is a statement of class, prestige and luxury. We will never forget the memories we made TIFF ’18 with it!
It’s hard to believe TIFF ’18 already has come to an end! Amidst the half-hour sleeps and hustling venue to venue we now can finally take a deep breath and appreciate what a wonderful Festival it was yet again! While this edition definitely was a bit of endurance test – we were working right to the end – it is one of those things you look back at and miss greatly. We already are strategizing for TIFF ’19 and believe us, we’ll be ready!
A warmhearted thank you to all our followers who keep us motivated on Social Media with all your encouragement and also our amazing partners: Nikon Canada, H&M Canada, Starbucks Canada, Blackberry Canada, Acura Canada, Britbox Canada, Dufflet Pastries, Chatime Canada, KANDL Artistique, INK Entertainment and CP24. We wouldn’t be doing what we do without YOU!
Also, a huge congrats to Leonardo who won our TIFF ’18 Survival Prize Pack! He was overjoyed and will be sure to spoil himself with all that swag!
This is the first year ever we’ve appeared in some form on Canada’s big three giants: Corus, Rogers and Bell Media with televised appearances on Global News, Breakfast Television and CP24 respectively. We also had to turn-down others unfortunately due to scheduling (every minute counts during TIFF), but there’s always hope we can take care of everyone next year!
I also must thank my amazing Team of Contributors who worked feverishly to get their Reviews in throughout the Festival to keep our Readers informed of what’s good. David Baldwin, Amanda Gilmore, Siobhan Rich, Justin Waldman and George Kozera, thank you for all the hard work you do!
While we simply were too exhausted to post last night, here are some Snaps from our final TIFF ’18 event, the Red Carpet of Closing Night Gala JEREMIAH TERMINATOR LeROY starring Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern and Jim Sturgess. We got to chat briefly with breakout stars James Jagger (son of Mick) and Kelvin Harrison Jr.
The Film is based on the Memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy by Savannah Knoop and is about a woman who spent six years masquerading as Writer Laura Albert‘s created teenage male literary persona JT LeRoy, directed and co-written by Justin Kelly. We ask stars Kevin Harrison Jr. and James Jagger about the importance of a story like this which examines gender confirmation and fluidity in the now.
Jagger: “I think it’s interesting in this industry that it’s taken so long for it to get to a place where it is now, there have been a lot of false hopes. I think finally we are seeing some true development. I think certain exponents of this Film have been working towards that for a really long time. I think it’s an exciting time to be alive!”.
Harrison: “We all have our online personalities that we like to put out there and this Film is the OG (original) version of what that was and I find that interesting, but we continue to be progressing.”
We ask Jagger and Harrison what drew them most to the Film?
Jagger: “It was the opportunity to be in scene with Diane (Kruger) and that really was the thing that drew me most. Diane I’ve been a fan of for a really long time. It was a good day, it’s been an absolute pleasure.”.
Harrison: “I was drawn to the idea of playing this Basquiat-type guy who gets to fall in love with someone interesting – we’re both really queer in the Movie and we love each other. That was interesting to me.”.
Harrison Jr. x Jagger
A cheerful goodbye to TIFF ’18, with waves from Dern and Stewart! See you next year!
While known much for his funny Films, Peter Farrelly, one-half of the Duo which brought us classics There’s Something About Mary and Me, Myself & Irene, gifts us at TIFF ’18 with the Sleeper Hit of the Festival, GREEN BOOK. The heartwarming Comedy details the unlikely friendship between a Concert Pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and his bouncer-turned-chaffeur Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen). While from completely opposite worlds, it is impossible not to be charmed by the back-and-forth banter between sophisticated Don and tough-talking Tony in this witty Script by the latter’s actual son Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Farrelly.
Performances are outstanding from our leading Trio. Mortensen continues to build his stellar catalog of work and is pitch-perfect throughout the Film’s light and heavier moments which don’t shy away from matters which still are true today. Ali is remarkable as Shirley, capturing his strength and fragility – we were spellbound. Cardellini while under-written and under-seen is a joy every time she is on-screen. We are thrilled for audiences to discover this gem, giving TIFF ’18 a much-needed lift of spirits.
GREEN BOOK screens Thursday, September 13Winter Garden Theatre 2:30 PM and Saturday, September 15 Princess of Wales Theatre (VISA Screening Room) 3 PM.
Making its World Premiere at TIFF ’18 is Felix Van Groeningen‘s adaptation of Memoirs Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff and Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines by Nic Sheff. The highly-buzzed Film details a father and son’s battle through drug addiction, relapse and reconciliation.
Stars Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell shine in this beautifully-acted Awards Season contender, the former capturing the essence of addiction and his character’s chasing euphoric highs and ultimate rock bottom. The latter embodies well a father’s pain and frustration in helping his troubled son, when the odds are stacked against both. Focusing less on emotional manipulation of its audience and more on the journey and its authenticity, Van Groeningen crafts a patiently-told story. While performances unquestionably are phenomenal, it is it tough to feel invested in a protagonist who continually makes wrong choices, despite Chalamet courageously trying to help us try to understand him. While its cohesiveness ultimately is its main downfall with frequent timeline jumping, fans of the source material and “It Boy” Chalamet will find beauty in this Drama.
BEAUTIFUL BOY screens Friday, September 7 at Roy Thomson Hall and then 8 PM at Elgin Theatre. It plays also Saturday, September 8 Ryerson Theatre10:45 AM.
Marie Colvin (Rosamund Pike) was an acclaimed Journalist who lived for covering stories on the front lines of war-torn nations. She lost an eye in a grenade attack in Sri Lanka, and started wearing an eye patch while continuing to cover the worst of stories. But as the years and wars wear on, so too does the PTSD of everything she’s seen.
In his Narrative Feature debut, Documentarian Matthew Heineman has crafted a Film that is gritty, real and immediate. You can see, hear and especially feel every whizzing bullet and every heinous explosion. The Film has an aura of authenticity that is made all the more frightening by the lack of obvious CGI. Pike is very good as Colvin, and fan favourite Jamie Dornan puts in admirable work as Photojournalist Paul Conroy. But the Film has a choppy, episodic nature that acts more like a glossy greatest hits album than it does a cohesively-structured Film. It jumps around recklessly, and by the time the Film ends, it felt like everyone’s motivations were completely superficial.
A Private War screens Friday, September 14 at 6:30 PM at Roy Thomson Hall [World Premiere] and 8:00 PM at Elgin Theatre, and Sunday, September 16 at 8:45 PM at Scotiabank Theatre.
Polish Director Pawel Pawlikowski’s follow-up to his Oscar winning “Ida” is another delectable black and white Feature that focuses strongly on his past and his heritage. Dedicated to his parents, COLD WAR is an exquisite love story between an older man and younger girl that is doomed from the start, yet lasts a decade throughout many countries in Europe during the cold war decade. Wiktor meets Zula when she auditions to join a folkloric song and dance troupe and the attraction is instantaneous. To a soundtrack of classic Polish songs enhanced by the twirling dance moves of the Oberek, COLD WAR is visually-exhilarating. While in Paris on tour, Wiktor defects but Zula stays behind and this Movie vibrates whenever the two reunite.
One word comes to mind when describing COLD WAR. Atmospheric. From the jazzy Soundtrack and the Cinematography to the hypnotic performances by the two leads, the tone is spellbinding. There’s another word to describe this Movie. Brilliant.
COLD WAR screens on Friday, September 14,6:00PM, Winter Garden Theatre and Sunday, September 16, 3:00 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox.