2019 was a remarkable year in Cinema. More than ever are we seeing Netflix and female Directors at the forefront and you will see this in the Team’s year’s best. Once again we are thrilled to share our favourites with you and would love to see how these align with your own personal faves. If you haven’t caught-up yet on your 2019 viewing, we hope the Team gives you some inspiration for your Holiday viewing!
Enjoy the rest of your Holidays and to an even more amazing 2020!
Team Mr. Will
L to R: Jonathan Godfrey, David & Alyssa Baldwin, George Kozera, Justin Waldman x Mr. Will
(There in spirit: Amanda Gilmore, Siobhán Rich)
A farewell to beloved Thompson Diner, where we held our 2019 Holiday Brunch.
In my opinion, this year has been one of the strongest years in Film for a VERY long time. We had amazing diverse creative talents in front and behind the camera who have worked together to make outstanding work, which is precisely why making this Top Ten list has been extremely difficult for me. I would love to write a Top 30 list if I was allowed, but sadly I’m not. Because of this, I have made my list according to my favourite films of the year that I could also re-watch multiple times for years to come. I have also added some honourable mentions because let’s face it, this year was flipping awesome!
DISCLAIMER: I have yet to see 1917 at the time of writing this list.
The Films below are listed in alphabetical order, they are not ranked.
Booksmart Honey Boy Jojo Rabbit Joker Knives Out Late Night Little Women Marriage Story Parasite Us
Honourable Mentions: The Peanut Butter Falcon: an extremely touching and unique coming-of-age story. Ready Or Not: an inventive thriller with one wickedly funny and badass female lead. Rocketman: I LOVEElton John and this film was a knockout!
Written in order the release, the following are my faves for 2019: winter began with If Beale Street Could Talk, a tale of struggle set to a mesmerizing score. Next, Alita: Battle Angel, a great anime adaptation with mesmerizing MOCAP (Motion Capture) work. Spring brought Toy Story 4, a 3D spectacle for the ages; and Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, another spectacular Script from Tarantino. IT Chapter 2 scared me silly this summer, and A Hidden Life was my TIFF ’19 darling. Fall brought with it a Trilogy of favorites: the powerful performance piece, Joker; the breathtaking animation of Frozen 2; and of course, a forever favorite, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Winter has returned, and with it, Little Women, a wondrous adaption to warm this holiday season. I have high hopes for 2020, including: Dune, Tenet, Mulan, No Time to Die and Bill & Ted Face the Music.
2019 was a banner year for me, watching movies in a darkened theatre. I saw many impressive features from either first-time Directors or from established awards winners. Netflix, the little distribution company that could, released movies that were eclectic in genres and superior in quality and for the second year in a row, one of its offerings made my list as Number One. I saw movies that bored deeply into my skin and heart and mind and soul. It is with apologies to the Christmas releases that I have yet to see (Little Women, Bombshell, 1917, Uncut Gems) and too many Honorable Mentions to list that I submit my Top Ten of 2019:
1. Marriage Story 2. Jojo Rabbit 3. Waves 4. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood 5. Parasite 6. The Irishman 7. Knives Out 8. The Last Black Man in San Francisco 9. Joker 10. Rocketman
2019 has certainly been an interesting year for movies. We saw the end of The Skywalker Saga, the warfare between Netflix and Distributors continues to grow increasingly-tense, Scorsese and Iger are teasing a conversation. Movies had more surprises this year, and there have been some genuinely heartwarming and enlightening movies this year. In alphabetical order here are my top 10 movies to end out the decade.
Booksmart Olivia Wilde directing Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever may have been the most unexpected, most hilarious thing I have seen all year but this Movie is endlessly-fantastic. It is the only Movie I have seen countless times this year, it became an instant classic for myself, that will be adored for the ages.
Jojo Rabbit Taika Waititi in my mind can do no wrong when it comes to filmmaking. Ragnarok, What We Do In The Shadows,and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi constantly delivers genuinely heartwarming and hilarious movies. Jojo Rabbit is no exception to that, the WWII satire is everything I expected of it and more.
I love some brilliant Joaquin. I love me some Joker. I just love this Movie. It is haunting and ingenious, but please for everything that makes this great, do not make a Sequel.
This Whodunit was one of the biggest questions from this Agatha Christie-esque film. It was marvelously-acted, packs a punch, and let’s face it, were all obsessing about knitted sweaters now.
I couldn’t begin to tell you what I thought I was getting myself into when I went to see this. All I can tell you is that it is one of the strangest, brilliant movies I’ve seen all year and I still think about it all these months later.
Moment of truth, this was my first Little Women and what Greta Gerwig manages to do with it is nothing short of inspiring. However when you have Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep and Saoirse Ronan its also hard not to be delighted the entire time.
This was horrifying. Ari Aster still manages to haunt me with his brilliant Horror Film. The Director’s Cut is significantly better than the theatrical cut as well, as well as more haunting when you pay attention to the background. There is nothing else to say.
If you’ve seen it, you know EXACTLY why its on the list. If you have not, why are you waiting? Stop reading immediately and go see the Movie. There is literally no reason not to. It is brilliant and deserves all the acclaim.
Give Sandman everything. This Movie is neurotic, anxiety-inducing acid and you cannot look away. I felt dirty after watching the Movie, but I can’t shake it. Adam Sandler has never delivered a better performance.
This Movie broke me, is the easiest way to put it. It is beautiful, it is tragic, it is heartwarming, it is heartbreaking. This Movie launches a rocket right into the feelings and explodes on impact.
2020, you’re the start of a new decade, you better deliver as well as if not better than 2019.
1. Parasite 2. Jojo Rabbit 3. Marriage Story 4. The Farewell 5. Us 6. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood 7. Honey Boy 8. Blinded By The Light 9. 1917 10. Booksmart
2019 will go down as one of the best years for Film this decade – maybe even the singular best one. There is so much to say about these ten brilliant Films, and even more to say about the multitude of films that did not make this list. Yes, many will remember this year for the end of The Avengers and Star Wars Sagas. But others will remember it for the magnificent new discoveries that were made, for the masters making some of their best work to date and for the actors we completely wrote-off giving us plenty of reasons to remember them again. I lived, breathed and loved so many movies this year. And know that with the impending birth of my first child, that so much about next year and the next decade of my filmgoing life is going to be so drastically different. So it might just be the nostalgia talking, but I doubt I will ever see another exquisite year of Cinema like this ever again.
Wrapping-up Canadian Screen Week, March 25-31, 2019, the 7th edition of the Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala took place tonight at Toronto’s Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. The week-long series of awards and events presented by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, serve to honour excellence across multiple platforms in the Country from Film, to TV to Digital Media.
Noticeably absent this year was these presence of English-language Feature films up for Best Motion Picture, with French-language films leading the way. Coming-of-Age Drama A Colony: Blackfly by Director Geneviève Dulude-De Celles won the coveted award ultimately. Teen Actress Emilie Bierre won Best Actress for her work in the Film which sees her grappling with bullying entering junior high school.
The Great Darkened Days earlier in the week swept the Gala Honouring Cinematic Arts, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, with wins for Sound Editing, Costume Design, Art Direction/Production Design, Cinematography and Actress in a Supporting Role (Sarah Gadon).
Ryerson graduate Jasmin Mozaffari was awarded for Direction with her debut effort FIRECRACKERS which premiered at TIFF to much acclaim. “I am honoured to be part of the group where 60% of the nominees were women” , she says.
ANNE WITH AN E had tied with SCHITT’S CREEK with 15 nominations apiece. The former would prevail though with seven wins at the Broadcast Gala including Best Drama Series and Best Lead Actress, Drama Series (Teen Actress Amybeth McNulty). CARDINAL also would win seven Awards in the Television categories including Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Program or Limited Series, Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse.
Honouring a Canadian talent making waves abroad, the Radius Award was presented tonight for the first time ever to Toronto’s Stephan James who starred both in Awards Season contender and winning, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK and also Amazon Prime Series HOMECOMING alongside Julia Roberts. He came with his brother Shamier Anderson and they told the Newsroom about their joint venture, The B.L.A.C.K Ball which earlier this Awards Season was held for the first time ever in Los Angeles with the likes of Tessa Thompson, Tiffany Haddish, Jesse Williams, Amandla Stenberg and more attending.
Other Awards handed-out tonight included the Academy Icon Award which honoured the Cast of THE KIDS IN THE HALL. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Filmmaker Deepa Mehta (Water, Beeba Boys), while Funnywoman Mary Walsh was handed the Earle Gray Award. The first-ever Industry Leadership Award went to our dear friends at Entertainment One.
For the first time ever this year, the Canadian Screen Arts Festival took place at Cineplex theatres every Saturday in March from Iqaluit to Vancouver, giving audience a chance to see some of this year’s nominated Films including Sashinka, Stockholm, What Walaa Wants, Immaculate Memories and Just a Breath Away.
See some Snaps from the night:
The Cast of Schitt’s Creek
Four-time Canadian Screen Award winner, Catherine O’Hara
Beth Janson, CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television
Billy Campbell, Cardinal: Blackfly
Karine Vanasse, Cardinal: Blackfly
Stephan James x Shamier Anderson
Cindy Sampson, Private Eyes
Melanie Scrofano, Wynonna Earp
Kim Coates, Bad Blood
The Cast of Kim’s Convenience
Aaron Ashmore, The Killjoys
Sarah Gadon, The Great Darkened Days
Tynomi Banks, Canada’s a Drag
Moira Walley-Beckett, Amybeth McNulty x Miranda de Pencier of Anne With an E
Natasha Negovanlis x Elise Bauman
Rebecca Romijn x Jerry O’Connell
Yannick Bisson, Murdoch Mysteries
Tori Anderson x Allan Hawco
Catherine Reitman x Danielle Kind x Philip Sternberg of Workin’ Moms
Jasmin Mozaffari x Caitlin Grabham, Firecrackers
The Kids in the Hall
See our Highlight Reel with our George Kozera (@PartyG):
Now in their 34th year, the FILMINDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARDS took place in Santa Monica this past weekend, celebrating the achievement in Independent Film over the past year. Taking top honours was Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, winning Best Feature. The Adaptation of the Novel by James Baldwin also was awarded Best Director and Supporting Actress, Regina King who the next day, would win an Oscar for the same performance.
As is consistent with most of this Awards Season, we’ve seen a split in the recognition of Films and the Spirit Awards were on-trend. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? and SUSPIRIA received two awards each, the former winning for Best Supporting Actor, Richard E. Grant and Best Screenplay, Jeff Whitty and Nicole Holofcener. Grant shared some inspiring words about his experience playing Jack Hock, himself having seen several of his friends die victims of HIV. He dedicated his award in memory of those who passed away as a result of the disease.
The Cast of SUSPIRIA received the prestigious Robert Altman Award, honouring its Female Ensemble including Chloë Grace-Moretz, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Dakota Johnson and more. Its Cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom also was awarded for her work.
Hosted by Aubrey Plaza, the audience were treated to her expletive-filled dead-pan humour where several including Netflix nor even THE FAVOURITE Director Yorgos Lanthimos (equating the sound of his name to a Harry Potter spell, “You just shout Yorgos Lanthimos and someone gets fingered in a corset!”) were safe from her jokes. Kidding aside, she points out that 60% of Director nominees at the Spirit Awards this year were women, stating “Don’t get too excited, in this case 60% just means three women, but calling it 60% makes it sound way scarier to your uncles.”. On the growing phenomenon of Films getting digital releases over theatrical, she says, “I truly believe people should see movies how they’re meant to seen in the theatres.”.
Plaza‘s amazing Opening Monologue
Not only did Best Actress winner Glenn Close rule at the Awards, she and her adorable Havanese dog Pip charmed on the Blue Carpet, she dressed in a shimmery pink lamé suit, before getting her own private dinner hosted by Chanel at STK. Pip also attended.
The Cast of Suspiria also ruled the Blue Carpet with Mother Suspiriorum herself, Dakota Johnson, leading the charge and giving her time generously to fans who queued on the sand for a chance to see the stars.
See some of our Snaps:
Glenn Close x Pip
Barry Jenkins and “If Beale Street Could Talk” Team
Josh Hamilton, Elsie Fisher x Bo Burnham
Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth and the ladies of Suspiria
Chloë Grace Moretz x Riley Keough
Ray Romano x Mark Duplass
Yalitza Aparicio x Javier Bardem
Taraji P. Henson x Shangela
You also cannot miss Shangela’s daring performance
We attended together with our friends at Hollywood Suite, the exclusive broadcaster of the Spirit Awards and will never forget this amazing journey. Their Cam Maitland did an awesome job interviewing talent on the Blue Carpet which will air at later points. You can subscribe via your television provider at $6 per month, plus basic cable. Hollywoodsuite.com.
eOne Films x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see IF BEALE STREET COULD TALKThursday, December 13, 2018 as follows:
Scarborough – Thursday December 13 – 7pm at Eglinton Town Centre
Vancouver – Thursday December 13 – 7pm at International Village
Calgary – Thursday December 13 – 7pm at Eau Claire
Ottawa – Thursday December 13 – 7pm at Lansdowne
Halifax – Thursday December 13 – 7pm at Parklane
Victoria – Thursday December 13 – 7pm at Odeon Victoria
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk, is the story of Tish, a newly engaged Harlem woman who races against the clock to prove her lover’s innocence while carrying their first-born child to term. It is a celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, their families and their lives, trying to bring about justice through love, for love and the promise of the American dream.
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK and indicate your City there. Re-Tweet this Tweet for an extra chance from @mrwillw.
eOne Films release IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK in select cities this Christmas, everywhere January 2019.
One of the most buzzed Films of TIFF ’18, we present to you the new Trailer for IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK from the man who brought us Best Picture, MOONLIGHT!
Based on James Baldwin‘s novel, Tish races against the clock to prove her fiance’s innocence while carrying their first child to term. A celebration of love told through the story of a young couple, trying to bring about justice through love and the promise of the American dream.
See the Trailer:
eOne Films release IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK Friday, December 13, 2018.
Following-up on the Best Picture-winning success of Moonlight, Director and Writer Barry Jenkins brings to TIFF ’18 his much-awaited Adaptation of James Baldwin‘s 1973 Novel, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK. Just as relevant then as it is today, Harlem-set love story examines racial profiling, wrongful incarceration and injustice.
The stunningly-shot Story centers on young lovers Tish (Kiki Layne) and Fonny (Toronto’s Stephan James) who learn they are expecting a child. Divided by the justice system which sees Fonny imprisoned for a rape he didn’t commit. It is here we witness the strength of familial bonds and determination to overcome the worst case scenario as Tish and Fonny‘s love must withstand the rigours of dire circumstance. Brace yourself for some gorgeous Cinematography and outstanding work from veteran Regina King as Tish‘s mother Sharon. While it didn’t quite touch our core quite like Moonlight, Jenkins’ unique ability to pace a scene and tell a story is remarkable.
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK screens Sunday, September 9, 6 PM at Princess of Wales Theatre VISA Screening Room and Monday, September 10, 11 AM at Princess of Wales Theatre VISA Screening Room.
It was an action-packed Day One at TIFF ’18! We had a blast doing the rounds including an appearance on Global News Toronto with Farah Nasser, plus a stop-off at NKPR‘s famed gifting lounge where Rolling Stone will be doing their portraits this year!
It was an intense day but we were game snapping stars of the Opening Night Gala THE OUTLAW KING, a Netflix Film starring Chris P,ine and Aaron Taylor-Johnson! The stars did doubke-duty walking the carpets at Princess of Wales Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall, super-gracious!
Some Can-Con for you. Toronto’s Patrick J. Adams, formerly of SUITS, was spotted back in town for CLARA.Stephan James stars in IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, the latest by Barry Jenkins who directed Best Picture, MOONLIGHT, at TIFF a couple years back!
The time has arrived. We waited every year with baited breath for those Toronto International Film Festival guest announcements and finally they have been announced! While several marquee titles like Beautiful Boy, First Man, Destroyer, Wildlife, High Life, A Star is Born, If Beale Street Could Talk and Ben is Back embark on their Awards Season trails, Toronto once again readies itself for the massive onslaught of starpower and talent set to shut down the City post-Labour Day.
With multiple titles at the Festival, stars like Jake Gyllenhaal, Dev Patel, Amanda Steinberg, Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman are set to make the best of the Fest!
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Mahershala Ali and Hilary Swank also will be having In-Conversations-With! More on that here.
Toronto’s own Drake also will introduced highly-buzzed MONSTERS AND MEN, Jason Reitman is back with fan favourite Live Read of The Breakfast Club and THE FIRST MAN will be presented at Ontario Place‘s Cinesphere!
Announced to attend TIFF ’18 earlier today are:
Who are you most excited to see?
Our Team are prepping feverishly for this our biggest and best year yet at TIFF as we get ready to bring you the buzz on all the biggest stars and Films of the Festival.
More on some of TIFF ’18’s most-talked-about titles here.
In the meantime, start planning your Festival, who and what you’ll see right here.
Running Thursday, September 6, 2018 through Sunday, September 16, 2018, the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival is just around the corner. Bringing together Film lovers from all around the world, TIFF is once again set to draw some major talent to our City and Films and their connections get a leg-up on the Awards Season trail. Year after year, the Festival has been a powerful predictor of power-players at the Oscars and this year is no different. In light of recent tragic events in Toronto, a Press Conference was decided against this year with a press release announcing this year’s first round of Films. And just like us, we know you’ll be thrilled at some of the Films to grace the screens this September in the City!
17 Galas and 30 Special Presentations were announced including 21 World Premieres and TIFF always delivers! We’re thrilled that among the hotly-buzzed Films we’ve been longing to see, A STAR IS BORN (Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper), BEAUTIFUL BOY (Timothée Chalamet, Steve Carell), LIFE ITSELF (Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac), FIRST MAN (Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy), WILDLIFE (Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan) and THE HATE U GIVE (Amandla Stenberg).
See some Trailers:
Fans can expect this to be a big year with acclaimed Filmmakers like Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Damien Chazelle (La La Land) all returning with eagerly-awaited followups. Jake Gyllenhaal also will have a high profile at the Festival with two eagerly-awaited Films in WILDLIFE and THE SISTERS BROTHERS. The same applies to Dev Patel who should be here for HOTEL MUMBAI and THE WEDDING GUEST.
Diversity, inclusion and gender equity continue to be a focus for the Festival. TIFF‘s mission to “share her journey” by giving a voice to females who are underrepresented as a whole in the filmmaking community in-front and behind the camera is more pronounced than ever. 13 of this year’s Features in fact are made by women. Learn more about TIFF’s five-year initiative here.
Some highlights from today’s TIFF ’18 announcements:
Hotly-anticipated Galas at TIFF ’18 are highlighted by BEAUTIFUL BOY starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet; and WIDOWS, Oscar-winner Steve McQueen’s follow-up to 12 Years A Slave starring Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez. The Film is written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn and is sure to be one of the biggest Films of the Festival.
Other World Premieres announced today are HIGH LIFE, the Sci-Fi Drama and English-language debut of legendary French Director Claire Denis starring Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Mia Goth; HUSBAND MATERIAL from prolific Indian Director Anurag Kashyap; the latest from Nicole Holofcener,THE LAND OF STEADY HABITS, starring Ben Mendelsohn and Edie Falco; the multi-generational Drama LIFE ITSELF, from This is Us Creator Dan Fogelman, starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening and Antonio Banderas; THE PUBLIC, from Emilio Estevez, starring Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright, Gabrielle Union and Michael K. Williams; the Period Drama RED JOAN, starring Judi Dench; as well as Director George Tillman Jr.’s highly-anticipated Adaptation of THE HATE U GIVE starring Amandla Stenberg.
But that’s not all. Other hotly-anticipated Films announced today that have already or will be premiering at other festivals include Oscar-winner and TIFF darling Damien Chazelle’s FIRST MAN starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy; Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A STAR IS BORN starring Lady Gaga;Sundance hits THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and Elizabeth Chomko’s WHAT THEY HAD starring Hilary Swank, Blythe Danner and Michael Shannon; Zhang Yimou’s Chinese epic SHADOW; and GALVESTON, the English feature directorial debut of Actress Mélanie Laurent, starring Ben Foster and Elle Fanning.
We are waiting with baited breath on news of this year’s Opening and Closing Night Galas.
Some of the Films in the Special Presentations Programme with the most buzz this year include IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK by Director Barry Jenkins and ROMA by Director Alfonso Cuarón.
TIFF ’18 will be showing a lot of due love for Canadian Filmmakers. The opening night Special Presentation goes to MOUTHPIECE Directed by Patricia Rozema, who was here a three years ago with her Film Into The Forest. Jason Reitman will be back again with THE FRONT RUNNER, starring Hugh Jackman. We will also be getting the latest work from Canadian Directors Kim Nguyen, with THE HUMMINGBIRD PROJECT, and Don McKellar, with the Adaptation to the beloved Canadian Novel Through Black Spruce.
Female empowerment is front and center at TIFF ’18. One of the biggest Films to showcase this at the Festival is Colette staring Keira Knightley. The Film is about a woman who agreed to become a Ghostwriter for her husband. After the Novel received much success, she fights for creative ownership while overcoming the societal constraints of early 20th century. There are also many Films directed by females within the Special Presentations Programme.
CANADIAN PROGRAMME (Updated: 8/1/18 4:00 PM)
Canadian World Premieres announced today include environmental conservation documentary ANTHROPOCENE from Directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky; Miranda de Pencier’s THE GRIZZLIES, a true story about Inuit youth; Barry Avrich’s Documentary PROSECUTING EVIL: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF BEN FERENCZ, chronicling the life of the last surviving Nuremberg Trial prosecutor; Akash Sherman’s Sci-Fi Drama CLARA starring Suits’ Patrick J. Adams; Jasmin Mozaffari’s FIRECRACKERS, about two young women and their attempt to leave the misogyny in their small town behind; Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein’s psychological Sci-Fi thriller FREAKS starring Emile Hirsch; Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown’s EDGE OF THE KNIFE, the first feature-length film made in the endangered Haida language; Darlene Naponse’s FALLS AROUND HER, starring Tantoo Cardinal as a world-famous Anishinaabe musician; Maxime Giroux’s absurdist allegory THE GREAT DARKENED DAYS; and Renée Beaulieu’s Drama LES SALOPES OR THE NATURALLY WANTON PLEASURE OF SKIN, about a wife and mother facing the consequences of her secret life.
Of the 19 feature-length titles announced today, nearly 50% are directed by women.
TIFF will additionally host the Toronto premiere of THE FALL OF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE, directed by Oscar-winning Canadian Director Denys Arcand, and the Special Event World Premiere of SHARKWATER EXTINCTION, the final Documentary made by Rob Stewart. The late intrepid Filmmaker and Documentarian passed away early last year during filming.
See the Trailer for Sharkwater Extinction:
TIFF also announced their Rising Stars for 2018 today. Those selected stars are Devery Jacobs (Kahnawà:ke Mohawk born Actor and Filmmaker), Lamar Johnson (Gala World Premiere THE HATE U GIVE), Michaela Kurimsky (World Premiere FIRECRACKERS) and Jess Salgueiro (World Premiere and Special Presentations’ Opening Night Film MOUTHPIECE).
And in a surprise announcement at this afternoon’s Press Conference, Writer/Director Xavier Dolan‘s (currently in Toronto filming IT: CHAPTER TWO) highly-anticipated THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN was announced as a World Premiere in the Special Presentations Programme. The long awaited Film stars Kit Harington, Natalie Portman, Jacob Tremblay, Thandie Newton, Sarah Gadon and Bella Thorne and is destined to be one of the hottest tickets at this year’s Festival.
Still no word on the Opening or Closing Night films, but some over-eager film fans may have gotten a taste of what’s to come later this month. And if the rumours are to be believed, we are in for some very exciting announcements over the next few weeks!
PLATFORM PROGRAMME (Updated: 8/8/18 11:45 AM)
The Platform Programme quite literally its namesake, a platform for Directors who are unique, bold and unafraid to tackle any subject matter. In previous years, films such as Moonlight and Sweet Country were a part of the Programme and even won the coveted Platform prize, which is worth $25,000 CAD. This year’s Programme shows no signs of slowing down and is gifting us with some risk-taking films..
Out of the 12 Films that were announce, four are directed or co-directed by women, while seven feature powerful female leading roles. Two Films featuring strong female leads that already have people talking are Destroyer and Her Smell.Destroyer is directed by Karyn Kusama and stars Nicole Kidman as a Los Angeles police detective who is forced to face her personal demons. Her Smell is the newest Film from Director Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip) and stars Elisabeth Moss as a talented but self-destructive musician.
Out of the 12 Films there are 10 having their World Premiere at this year’s Festival, which includes the opening and closing night Platform films. The Opening Night Platform selection is Donnybrook which is the fourth-feature Film for Writer-Director Tim Sutton (Dark Night). It stars Jamie Bell and Frank Grillo as two men who are determined to compete in a bare-knuckle brawl with a cash prize. The Closing Night selection is Jessica Forever which is the Feature debut for Co-Directors Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel. The Film takes place in a dystopian world where violent misfits reign supreme, but one woman and her family are fighting for peace.
DOCUMENTARIES (Updated: 8/9/18 1:30 PM)
This year TIFF is bringing 27 feature Documentaries from 19 different countries to Toronto audiences. Out of all those films, one-third of them are directed or co-directed by women. There are a few documentaries that examine the topic of women creators and the #MeToo movement. Some of the Documentaries on those topics are: the World Premiere of Alexis Bloom’s Divideand Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes, which documents the Fox News Creator who was ousted for allegations of sexual harassment; the World Premiere of Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything which is an examination of gender dynamics in Hollywood and is executive produced by Geena Davis; and Mark Cousins’ Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema which explores international cinema through the lens of women directors.
Politics is another topic getting a lot of attention in the TIFFDocs Programme. To name a few there is Vitaly Mansky’s Putin’s Witnesses, which focuses on the Russian President, and Errol Morris’ American Dharma, which looks at Trump’s previous strategist Steve Bannon. However, TIFF has decided to start the TIFF Docs Programme off with a bang with the World Premiere of Michael Moore’s newest Doc Fahrenheit 11/9, which is a radical and humorous look at the United States under the Trump administration.
And for those who enjoy a doc about artists you love there are some for you to check-out. The first is the World Premiere of Quincy which is co-directed by Quincy Jones’s daughter Rashida Jones and Allan Hicks. It follows the labours and legacies of the legendary Music Producer. Then there is the TIFF Docs Closing Night Film, Searching for Ingmar Bergman which is Directed by Margareth von Trotta and follows the groundbreaking Director and his impact on filmmaking.
MIDNIGHT MADNESS (Updated: 8/9/18 1:30 PM)
TIFF unleashed their Midnight Madness line-up today and it looks to be one of their strongest in years. THE PREDATOR, Writer/Director Shane Black’s star-studded reinvention of the legendary Series, will act as the Programme’s World Premiere Opening Night Film. The highly-anticipated HALLOWEEN Sequel, starring ‘Scream Queen’ Jamie Lee Curtis and written by Danny McBride, David Gordon Green and Jeff Fradley, will also see its World Premiere at TIFF ’18. Other World Premieres include Peter Strickland’s IN FABRIC, telling the tale of a cursed dress and the poor souls who come into contact with it; Kiah Roache-Turner’s Social Media-infused Horror film NEKROTRONIC starring Monica Bellucci; Henry Dunham’s all too relevant thriller THE STANDOFF AT SPARROW CREEK, regarding a neighbourhood militia’s involvement in a mass shooting; Emma Tammi’s horror on the American frontier THE WIND and Vasan Bala’s Bollywood Action-Thriller THE MAN WHO FEELS NO PAIN (the first Indian film at Midnight Madness!). Sundance hits ASSASSINATION NATION and CLIMAX, as well as Cannes favourite and Closing Night selection DIAMANTINO, will also be screening during the Programme.
GALAS, SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS + MASTERS PROGRAMME (Updated 8/14/18 3:00 PM)
Within one week, TIFF added a whopping 115 films to its slate today, including the announcements of the Opening and Closing Night Films.
David Mackenzie’s OUTLAW KING will open the Festival on Thursday, September 6. The Period Drama about the rise of 14th century Scottish hero Robert the Bruce stars Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Lady MacBeth’s Florence Pugh. The Film hails from Netflix, which alongside numerous other titles appearing at the Festival, suggests a very sharp divide between this Festival and the illustrious Cannes Film Festival, which banned such titles from competition this past May. TIFF’s Closing Night Film is JEREMIAH TERMINATOR LEROY, a true story about the enigmatic literary artist. It stars Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart. Plan your red carpet campouts accordingly.
Additional World Premiere Galas announced today include Peter Farrelly’s first Drama, GREEN BOOK, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali; as well as Thriller THE LIE, from Toronto-born Writer/Director Veena Sud, starring Peter Sarsgaard, Mireille Enos and Joey King. Some of the World Premieres announced as Special Presentations include Jonah Hill’s directorial debut MID90S; Sam Taylor-Johnson’s adaptation of A MILLION LITTLE PIECES starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton and Charlie Hunnam; Jeremy Saulnier’s Thriller HOLD THE DARK starring Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough and Jeffrey Wright; Max Minghella’s directorial debut TEEN SPIRIT starring Elle Fanning and Rebecca Hall; Annabel Jankel’s postwar-Drama TELL IT TO THE BEES starring Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger; and Chanya Button’s VITA & VIRGINIA starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki as Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf. Other highlights include Paul Greengrass’ 22 JULY, the true story about the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack; Nick Hamm’s DRIVEN, the star-studded true life tale about the rise and fall of John Delorean; and the International Premiere of Joel Edgerton’s highly-anticipated BOY ERASED starring Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Lucas Hedges.
And in the Masters section, TIFF announced 11 films including Jafar Panahi’s 3 FACES; Hong Sang-soo’s HOTEL BY THE RIVER, Paolo Sorrentino’s LORO; Mike Leigh’s PETERLOO; Jean-Luc Godard’s THE IMAGE BOOK and the North American Premiere of Jia Zhang-ke’s Thriller ASH IS PUREST WHITE.
ADDITIONAL SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS (Updated 8/21/18 10:00 AM)
A couple high-profile additions to the TIFF ’18 line-up have been announced including VOX LUX from Director Brady Corbett and starring Natalie Portman as a woman overcoming a tragic childhood to a life of fame and fortune. GRETA from Director Neil Jordan is about a young woman Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her unlikely friendship with Greta (Isabelle Huppert).
TIFF’ 18 hot on the heels of CRAZY RICH ASIANS’ success, will pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of THE JOY LUCK CLUB with some of the original Cast in attendance including Kieu Chinh and Tamlyn Tomita, plus a chat moderated by Lainey Lui.
We’re thrilled also to announce that David Baldwin (@davemabaldwin), Amanda Gilmore (@gilmoreamanda) and Mr. Will for the first time ever, are doing TIFF as accredited journalists. Our Team members Siobhán Rich (@typo_eh), George Kozera (@partyg) and Justin Waldman (@dubsreviews) also will be contributing as we screen some titles in advance of the Festival as in previous years. We look forward to teaming-up together to bring you a fresh, balanced perspective highlighting the massive starpower and quality of Cinema the Festival has to offer.
More Film announcements to come soon.
Guest announcements usually come late August, so let’s start speculating, shall we?
Will we see Julia Roberts here for BEN IS BACK?Robert Redford for THE OLD MAN & THE GUN? Or how about Matthew McConaughey for WHITE BOY RICK?
TIFF ’18 Packages are on-sale now till August 13, 2018. The Schedule goes live August 21, 2018 and single public tickets are on-sale on September 3, 2018 for non-package buyers.