#EDITORSNOTE: TEAM MR. WILL’S BEST OF 2019 FILMS
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.
AMANDA GILMORE (@GilmoreAmanda on Twitter)
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.
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 LOVE Elton John and this film was a knockout!
JONATHAN GODFREY (@FFCottage on Instagram)
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.
GEORGE KOZERA (@PartyG on Twitter)
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
4. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
6. The Irishman
7. Knives Out
8. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
JUSTIN WALDMAN (@DubsReviews on Twitter)
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.
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.
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.
DAVID BALDWIN (@DaveMABaldwin on Twitter)
2. Jojo Rabbit
3. Marriage Story
4. The Farewell
6. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood
7. Honey Boy
8. Blinded By The Light
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.
Mr. Will’s 2019 Best-Of List is here.
(Photo credit: Netflix/Fox Searchlight/MK2/Mongrel Media/Sony Pictures/Mr. Will Wong)
#GOLDENGLOBES: “JOKER”, “THE IRISHMAN”, “MARRIAGE STORY”, “SUCCESSION”, “THE CROWN”, “BIG LITTLE LIES” + MORE LEAD 2020 GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINATIONS
It’s officially Awards Season! Nominees for the Golden Globes were just announced earlier today. The Awards voted upon by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are to be televised Sunday, January 5, 2020 on NBC, celebrate the year’s best in Television and Cinema. Ricky Gervais returns as host.
In the Film categories, we see JOKER, THE IRISHMAN, MARRIAGE STORY and ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD… leading the way, while the Television categories we see THE MORNING SHOW, SUCCESSION, FLEABAG, THE CROWN and BIG LITTLE LIES on-top.
The Golden Globes are never without surprises. Many are shocked not to see IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD up for Best Motion Picture, same for FORD V FERRARI. TIFF ’19 People’s Choice Award winner JOJO RABBIT only sees two nods and Director Taika Waiti isn’t among those included. While there was a bit of buzz for Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women, the Film only would see nominations for Score and Lead Actress, Saoirse Ronan. While it garnered lots of critical acclaim, Drama WAVES failed to garner any attention by the HFPA.
Complete list of nominees below:
Best Motion Picture – Drama
The Two Popes
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Dolemite Is My Name
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
Pain and Glory
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Best Director – Motion Picture
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Renée Zellweger, Judy
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Awkwafina, The Farewell
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
Ana de Armas, Knives Out
Emma Thompson, Late Night
Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Margot Robbie, Bombshell
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Annette Bening, The Report
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Best Motion Picture – Animated
Toy Story 4
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The Lion King
Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Thomas Newman, 1917
Hildur Guonadottir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn
Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Rocketman
“Spirit,” The Lion King
“Into the Unknown,” Frozen 2
“Stand Up,” Harriet
“Beautiful Ghosts,” Cats
Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Best Television Series – Drama
The Morning Show
Big Little Lies
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama
Brian Cox, Succession
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Ben Platt, The Politician
Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself
Ramy Youssef, Ramy
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Merritt Weaver, Unbelievable
Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Toni Colette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Patricia Arquette, The Act
Emily Watson, Chernobyl
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Henry Winkler, Barry
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl
#TIFF19: OUR HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2019 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
TIFF ’19 was one for the books and we dare you to disagree! Meryl, Tom, Natalie, J-Lo, Constance, Renée, Joaquin. Toronto played host to an explosive mass of starpower at the Toronto International Film Festival and we were right there! We celebrated our tenth anniversary, which happened to coincide with TIFF ’19 and fittingly it was our biggest year yet! It was amazing seeing so many of your friendly faces and taking Selfies with many of you in our travels and adventures and we love that Mr. Will has made a difference in your day for the past decade. We have always been about sharing our excitement with you and it touches us you are experiencing this with us! A huge thanks to Dave Baldwin and Amanda Gilmore on our Team who delivered us all the hits with their reviews, keeping savvy Festival Goers informed!
See the stars we spotted. Our favourite moments:
1. Renée Zellweger
2. Meryl Streep
3. Tom Hanks
4. Jennifer Lopez
5. Kristen Stewart
6. Joaquin Phoenix
7. Eddie Murphy
8. Bruce Springsteen
9. Taika Waititi
10. The Cast of Knives Out
Our Dave Baldwin had the honour of reviewing the official TIFF ’19 People’s Choice Award winner, JOJO RABBIT. Read his thoughts here.
Our Amanda Gilmore also reviewed People’s Choice runner-up MARRIAGE STORY, which she was a huge fan of. Her review here.
My favourite? Still HUSTLERS! My review here.
See all our sightings and reviews here.
A huge thank you goes out to our official partners whom we couldn’t do it without.
CP24 – we loved being paired with our new BFF, Kelly Linehan in our contributions to CP24 this TIFF! We know you tuned in because more than ever so many of you shouted at me, “You’re the guy on TV! Good job!”.
ACURA CANADA – We adored our 2019 Acura TLX Elite in Performance Red Pearl which had us travelling in luxury and style this TIFF. Acura also happens to be an official sponsor, with a set-up at Roy Thomson Hall. Drives were smooth and anyone who does the Festival like us will know the importance of mobility. We are in love with its gorgeous interior and spacious interior. Its superb audio system and array of charging options (including a wireless plate), plus the fact that it has a CD player says that this is a car after my heart! Seat heaters and warmers are perfect for unpredictable Toronto weather and let’s not forget its array of safety features like lane departure and a hyper-aware collision warning and parking assist (which was a mega-help in all those underground parking lots). We love the array of displays you can scroll through on its steering wheel, including also a tire pressure monitor which tells you to a T exactly what your tire pressure is at. For anyone who’s ever had a flat tire, you will appreciate the value in this. We drove assured and enlightened. It was like driving a race car with its fast acceleration, but also like a luxury Sedan in one.
HUAWEI CANADA – The Huawei P30 Pro was our MVP this TIFF! 32MP photos, 256GB memory and an amazing Kirin 980 Octa-core Processor! Our snaps speak for themselves. And its efficiency enabled us to blog, edit content on-the-go and share our photos with viewers right away. This put several hours back into our day and we are grateful for the best phone in the market.
H&M CANADA – We got many compliments about our H&M Fall/Winter Collection 2019 looks. In Shia LaBeouf‘s own words when we took our Selfie, he proclaimed “Dude, you are style as f*ck!”.
WESLODGE SALOON – Celebs can’t get enough of this TIFF go-to’s classic and inspired Canadian fare and cocktails. Several names like Bruce Springsteen, Dev Patel and Hugh Laurie enjoyed the amazing grub and drink here TIFF ’19. We told you it was gonna be a hotspot, and it did not disappoint!
STARBUCKS CANADA – We need our Americanos TIFF badly and we may have had a few Pumpkin Spice Lattes as a treat. The beverage has become synonymous with the Festival and Fall for us. And we loved giving our Readers a chance to win $20 Starbucks Canada Gift Cards too!
DUFFLET PASTRIES – The Queen of Cake’s® Queen Street location is the perfect spot for a treat between movies during TIFF and yes, I stopped by more than once because cake is necessary always. We loved rewarding one of our Readers with a free cake as well!
MARY BROWN’S – Celebrating their 50th anniversary, with locations allover the GTA including Mississauga, Pickering, North York, Scarborough and more, Mary Brown’s is a legend. With all this craze about chicken sandwiches of late, let the Big Mary silence the competition!
CHATIME CANADA – The Bubble Tea giant’s Queen Street location is right in the heart of TIFF and we loved popping by for a refreshing midday treat and also giving our Readers a chance to win some free drinks as well!
Congrats to Mike who won our Tenth Anniversary Prize Pack, loaded with goodies from our partners and more!
We can’t wait for TIFF ’20 already!
(Photo/video credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#TIFF19: “JOJO RABBIT”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) is an impressionable young boy who is part of the Hitler Youth. He is a bit shy, and tends to talk most to his imaginary best friend, Adolf (Taika Waititi). He supports all of the Führer’s ideas and despises the Jews. But his beliefs are put to the test when he discovers that a young Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) is hiding in the attic of his home.
Wow. That was my immediate reaction after watching Jojo Rabbit. Waititi’s anti-war satire is an incredible, unforgettable experience and easily one of the best things I have watched so far at #TIFF19. Full stop.
It is outrageously-hilarious and deeply-tragic, often in the exact same scene. Waititi walks a fine line here, effectively balancing the light hearted, satirical elements with the horrors of war, never once shying away from the human cost of this horrible period in history. And no, he is not sympathetic towards any of the Nazis. The period detail is exquisite, and his reinterpretation of recognizable pop songs is unique to say the least. The stacked cast of talent is amazing in their roles, each carving out their own memorable moments. And while Waititi is terrific portraying Hitler in the most asinine and ridiculous way possible, it is first-time actor Davis who steals the show and your heart.
JOJO RABBIT screens during TIFF at the following times:
Sunday September 8, 9:30pm @ Princess of Wales [World Premiere]
Monday September 9, 10:00am @ Elgin Theatre
Friday September 13, 9:30pm @ Winter Garden Theatre
Sunday September 15, 12:00pm @ Ryerson Theatre