#TIFF14: THE BEST-OF TIFF ’14!
It was a great TIFF ’14. I admit things were looking a bit scary with a smaller-than-expected Celebrity Guest List initially and lack of confirmations, but the Festival truly brought its A-Game and this indeed was one for the books! I distinctly remember feeling a bit of panic on the first Friday of the Festival trailing far off the pace I’m normally at, nabbing only a handful of Celeb Snaps. Once the Festival picked-up by the weekend, I found myself barely able to hang-on! What a wild ride!
Many will attribute the shift in pace of the Festival due to the well-publicized guideline changes set this year, making it impossible for any Studios/Filmmakers to premiere at TIFF within its first four days had it premiered elsewhere on the North American Festival Circuit. This in turn created room for several star-studded In-Conversation-Withs as part of the Festival’s Mavericks Programme with the likes of Denzel Washington & Antoine Fuqua, Richard Gere, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Juliette Binoche. We felt the pinch, believe me. This however is a Statement the Festival must make to secure its exclusivity and maintain its place as an important Fixture for Films on the Award Trail.
We loved seeing the Publicity Machine at work before our eyes. Stars in previous years who were on the inaccessible side, suddenly became warm to Fans. On the contrary though, we noticed a few Stars who normally are friendly and accessible become tough to access this TIFF. We’re looking at you, Channing. It always is a true testament to how much the Stars believe in their product when they are willing to bring it!
We also are not surprised that THE IMITATION GAME (review here) was awared the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Upon seeing it in advance of the Festival, we knew the Film had that something special and this will be the Film that makes Benedict Cumberbatch a household name in North America. How it shall fare this Awards Season remains to be seen, but given its Oscar-bagging connections – The Weinstein Co. – it should do just fine!
Our Contributors Jonathan Godfrey, David Baldwin, Justin Waldman and myself also might also have a thing or two to say about other deserving Contenders which premiered here at TIFF, which might not have gotten recognition. Baldwin has the highest praise for Eddie Redmayne‘s performance in The Theory of Everything (review here), while Godfrey still is singing the patriotic praises of the “cosmic” Maps to the Stars (review here). Waldman has a place in his heart for the overlooked Mommy (review here) and Pride (review here) – both which he feels will be Awards Season Candidates. I myself was spellbound by the meditative slow-burn of Foxcatcher (review here) and the devastatingly-good Whiplash (review here). Never discount Jake Gyllenhaal too as his self-starring and produced Nightcrawler was a bit of a Hit among Fans (review here)! And although we didn’t see it, Chris Rock‘s triumphant return Top Five had multiple Studios in a bidding war for distribution rights.
… and now for some Lists!
MR. WILL‘S TOP TIFF ’14 MOMENTS
1. Meeting Tom Hardy
2. Meeting Bill Murray
3. Meeting Benedict Cumberbatch x 2
4. Epic Reese Witherspoon Photo Op (after six tries prior)
5. Meeting Steve Carell
6. Meeting Melissa McCarthy
7. Ansel Elgort saying he had to get a Selfie with Mr. Will, followed by comment from him on Instagram.
8. Mr. Will‘s Epic Hat Fail, blocking Jennifer Garner‘s beautiful face
9. Meeting Miles Teller/J.K, Simmons WHIPLASH Combo
10. John Travolta‘s Fan Buffet outside The Forger Press Junket
MOST FAN-FRIENDLY CELEBS AT TIFF ’14
1. John Travolta
2. Tom Hardy
3. Reese Witherspoon (we are shocked!)
4. Benedict Cumberbatch
5. Chris Evans
CELEBS WHO OWNED TIFF ’14
1. Bill Murray
2. Al Pacino
3. Benedict Cumberbatch
4. Anna Kendrick
5. Steve Carell
1. Melissa McCarthy
2. Kristen Bell
3. Chris Pine
4. Elizabeth Banks
5. Cara Delevingne
1. Robert Downey Jr.
2. Tina Fey
3. Keira Knightley
4. Denzel Washington
5. Kate Winslet
CELEBS WHO MADE THE MOST OF TIFF ’14
1. Chris Evans
2. Steve Carell
3. Benedict Cumberbatch
4. Jon Stewart
5. Bill Murray
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Eddie Redmayne
3. Miles Teller
4. Felicity Jones
5. Ansel Elgort
FILMS TO LOOK-OUT FOR AWARDS SEASON FROM TIFF ’14
1, The Imitation Game
2. St. Vincent
3. The Theory of Everything
And last but not least, we must thank our wonderful Supporters throughout TIFF who make it all possible.
CP24 & Bell Media: Thank you for continuing to provide and support me with an Outlet to share my greatest passion with Ontarians at my favourite time of year. I look forward to working together again TIFF ’15!
H&M Canada: Everything I wear is H&M. Your Cardigans and Jackets were perfect for the indecisive hot-cold of TIFF ’14. Your clothing gives me confidence and comfort. Thank you.
Nikon Canada: Although I am still mastering my Nikon D3300 admittedly, many of my Photos were another level of fantastic. Capturing Photos in 24MP has given my Pictures a depth, clarity and level of detail which I’ve never before achieved. In the words of Joel McHale (at the Festival with Adult Beginners), “Are you sure this is the best Camera to take a Selfie with?” *SNAP* “I guess it is!”.
Novotel Centre Toronto: I am happy to have called you my home once again TIFF ’14. Billy and I miss our amazingly cozy bed and we appreciate the Puppy Welcome Package. This shows the level of attentiveness you have for your Clients. To be only minutes away from the thick of it all: the Movies, Parties and Celebrities and be able to crash in my Hotel Room for a quick recharge when I was in dire need of it was an absolute luxury I will not take for granted. The in-and-our privileges of your Parking Lot were a blessing as was the reliable Wi-Fi. The Staff always are accommodating, understanding and friendly. Without a doubt, I can recommend Novotel Centre Toronto as the place to stay during TIFF.
Samsung Canada: Communication is key to my Brand during TIFF and having access to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Tab S this year ensured I always was able to stay in touch and charged. When there was the ever rare lull in my day, I could whip-out my Devices and prep my Photos and Blog Posts, ensuring that I could actually spend precious time in my Hotel Room sleeping versus working. This meant so much to me and I basically cannot imagine my life without a Galaxy Tab S. Really!
Ford Canada: I have never experienced luxury like a LINCOLN MKZ. The Panoramic Roof was a dream. The 6-Speed SelectShift® was absolute state-of-the-art. The massaging chairs were decadent. The THX® II Certified Audio System was symphonic. The customizable interior lighting let me changing colours according to my mood. The Lincoln MKZ‘s concern for my safety with frequent alerts kept me focused on the road. Did I mention it’s awful easy on the eyes? I will never forget the TIFF in which Billy and I rolled in that silky, smooth Lincoln!
Out There with Melissa DiMarco: We always have a blast at Melissa’s Out There VIP Interview Studio and Hospitality Suite! Thank you for keeping Team Mr. Will fed and hydrated with your delectable goodies and thank you for embracing my Willionaire$!
NKPR IT LOUNGE: We are thrilled to have experienced the goodness enjoyed by the likes of Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cuasack, Justin Long, Jena Malone, Felicity Jones and several more! Thank you also for giving my Willionaire$ a taste of that Celeb Life with your generosity!
Touchwood PR: We love you and appreciate the Golden Tickets my Readers and I have been given thanks to your kindness. We value your friendship and are excited about what’s next to come!
Rock-It Promotions: We are honoured by some of the plum opportunities we were given this TIFF and we look forward to building our relationship with you in the future!
Shinan Govani: We are so proud to call you a Friend. You are one of TIFF‘s most omnipresent Stars. We continue to look-up to you and your profound influence on our thriving Celebrity Culture.
We hope you had a blast on our Digital Journey this TIFF ’14 and we can’t wait to do it all over.
Stick around, we’re at this year-round.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)