Monday, August 2, 2010

Top Picks for TIFF 2010

The other day, a friend asked me about what movies look good at TIFF this year, so I put together a quick breakdown of the films I want to see at this year's festival.

Directed by David Schwimmer (yes, Ross from Friends!), this movie is anything but the comedy we're used to seeing from him.
"A drama that examines the build-up and aftermath of a teenager's (Liana Liberato) seduction by an online sexual predator.  Clive Owen and Catherine Keener are perfectly cast as the grieving parents, but relative newcomer Liberato's slow-burning self-realization and climatic breakdown is undeniably heartrending." (

By now, I’m sure everyone has seen this trailer, which was shown (at least around Toronto) in theatres before Inception.  By the looks of it, we’re in for another fantastic crime film set in the dark and rough city of Boston.  As someone who’s obsessed with crime films, this looks captivating to say the least.  And, with a cast like this one: Jon Hamm from Mad Men, Ben Affleck, and Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), and, looking at Ben’s last amazing foray into Directing (Gone Baby Gone), we are sure to be left with a bitter-sweet taste of the dead-end of South Boston.
“Four best friends who moonlight as bank robbers are busy dodging the FBI, but things get complicated when their leader falls in love with a woman behind the till. Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, The Town is a gritty exploration of crime and its consequences.” (

I’m a huge fan of ‘coming of age’ films, especially ones that are bizarre and awkward as hell, even though I’ve already come of age what feels like ages ago.  I think I love and will always love the spirit of teen angst and confusion about growing up.  Add funny-man Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover) to the mix and Keir Gilchrist, (Toni Colette’s gay son on The United States of Tara) I’m definitely expecting some dark humour of sorts.
"A teenager's week in the adult psych ward brings new meaning to 'coming of age.'" (

This is a must-see for me because I absolutely love Carey Mulligan in her Oscar-nominated role, An Education.  Plus, the trailer for this movie looks so fascinating in that it gives you just enough to keep you wanting more, but still leaves you confused as to what’s really going on with this weird Boarding School they go to.  Read my review from the premiere screening at TIFF 2010.
“Hailsham is an idyllic English boarding school, presided over by a strict but fair headmistress (Charlotte Rampling). Children are held to an imposing health regimen, have no parental contact and live in fear of leaving the school grounds. It soon becomes clear that something is not quite right at Hailsham. Young Kathy (Carey Mulligan) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) are fast friends; the former bold and confident and the latter soft-spoken and caring. They befriend Tommy (Andrew Garfield), a tormented and socially awkward boy prone to fits of anguish, and the trio hesitantly stumble their way into early adulthood under the guidance of their teachers, without ever having contact with the outside world. Now eighteen-year-olds, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy must leave Hailsham for The Cottages, a mysterious place outside the safety of their school, to learn the ominous future that awaits them. Confronted with a secret that threatens to tear their lives apart, they struggle to thwart their fate.” (

No trailer for this one yet!  Why so hush-hush?
“Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams turn in powerful performances in this portrait of two lovers at the beginning and end of a relationship.” (
It’s a very common nightmare to be buried alive, and it will be very interesting to see an entire film developing literally within a box.  One-man films are difficult to accomplish (remember Castaway- and even Tom Hanks had Wilson to keep him company). When conversations and interactions are one-sided and, it can be difficult to engage the audience, and with Ryan completely enclosed inside a coffin, this concept is so intriguing.  Imagine being claustrophobic and having to film this! Read my review from the Maple Pictures advanced screening.
“Ryan Reynolds stars as a civilian contractor who wakes up in Iraq, buried underground with only a Blackberry and a lighter. Astonishing one-man thriller.” (

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