With a film festival as significant as Toronto, every movie lover should be paying attention to what’s playing there and what’s being received well. From the outside looking in, that means there are a few ways of answering today’s discussion question through September 15th.
As we’re still in the first couple days of the event, we can really only answer in response to the high-profile titles premiering at TIFF (as we previewed here). As we get further into the fest — paying attention to our coverage from Erik Davis and Sean O’Connell, of course — we’re sure to have alternative or additional answers once we’ve heard about surprise hits among the more obscure titles. And finally, after all the screenings are completely over, we’ll have final picks influenced by all the buzz over the full 11-day period.
Some of your initially anticipated movies may have been pumped up even more following word of mouth out of Telluride, where the already-in-high-demand duo of 12 Years a Slave and Gravity didn’t fail to wow critics. They remain the hottest dramas of the season, whether you’re thinking of awards or not. Telluride is also where a lot of people first heard about Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary from Penn & Teller that is now also blowing away audiences up north. That might be my number one right now, if only because it’s hard to imagine how a movie that’s mostly about a guy painting is knocking so many festgoers’ socks off.
That’s on top of the fact that I was already dying to see a ton of this year’s nonfiction program, as it’s filled with new works from doc legends like Frederick Wiseman (At Berkeley), Errol Morris (The Unknown Known), Godfrey Reggio (Visitors), Marcel Ophuls (Ain’t Misbehavin’) and Claude Lanzmann (The Last of the Unjust). But I’ve also got tons of fiction works on my list of desirables, too, including the new movies from Submarine writer/director (and hilarious British actor) Richard Ayoade (that would be The Double), Atom Egoyan (The Devil’s Knot, which is the narrative take on the case from the Paradise Lost films) and Jonathan Glazer (Under the Skin). Especially the last one, since Glazer’s terribly underrated Birth is one of my top five films of the century.
And again, that’s all just pre-fest anticipation. So far from less than two full days of coverage, I’m also now excited about seeing Prisoners, which wasn’t high on my list before Erik’s review. I can’t wait to find out what else I’ll be wanting to watch that I don’t know about yet over the next week.
Which movies playing at the Toronto Film Festival are you most dying to see?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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