It’s that time of year again! The Toronto International Film Festival is right around the corner and it’s finally time to talk about all of the films that I’m the most excited to try and see!
For those of you who don’t know, this will be my fourth year volunteering for the festival! It’s such an amazing opportunity and I absolutely cannot wait to be a part of the wonderful volunteer family once again!
TIFF has slowly been revealing the films that will be presented at the festival this year and after combing through all of them, the following is a list of the ones that I am the most excited to see! Of course, I’m sure they’re all amazing films and I would be happy to see any of them, but based on synopsis, actors & directors, these are the ones that are at the top of my list!
In the English-language debut from writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang), a recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her multiple children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 acquittal of the policemen charged with assaulting Rodney King.
Elle Fanning stars in this scintillating biopic of the Frankenstein author, chronicling her tempestuous marriage to dissolute poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the fateful night at a Swiss chateau that inspired her most famous creation.
David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls) directs Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany in this adaptation of the memoir by Jeff Bauman, which recounts his struggles to adjust to a new kind of life after losing his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing.
My Days Of Mercy
The daughter (Ellen Page) of a man on death row falls in love with a woman (Kate Mara) on the opposing side of her family’s political cause.
In this dark comedy from producer-director Jon Avnet, Dr. Alan Stone (Richard Gere) breaks new ground for treatment of the mentally ill through an experiment on three paranoid schizophrenic patients (Peter Dinklage, Bradley Whitford, Walton Goggins) who believe they are Jesus Christ.
Matt Damon headlines a cast that includes Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Laura Dern, Jason Sudeikis, Alec Baldwin, and Neil Patrick Harris in Alexander Payne’s sci-fi social satire about a man who chooses to shrink himself (literally) to simplify his life.
Margot Robbie stars as controversial Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding in this alternately tragic, hilarious and absurd look at one of the biggest scandals in US sports history.
Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer star in Darren Aronofsky’s highly anticipated psychological thriller about a couple threatened by the arrival of univited guests to their tranquil home.
Recently moved to Oslo to attend school, a young woman falls in love and discovers that she possesses terrifying powers, in this supernatural thriller from acclaimed director Joachim Trier (Louder Than Bombs).
Call Me By Your Name
The latest from Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino ( I Am Love, A Bigger Splash) explores the tender, tentative relationship that blooms over the course of one summer between a 17-year-old boy on the cusp of adulthood (Timothée Chalamet) and his father’s research assistant (Armie Hammer).
Making Of Michael Jackson’s Thriller
A new, digitally remastered version of Jerry Kramer’s 1983 documentary chronicling the creation of The Gloved One’s epic and epochal music video.
Four siblings seek refuge in an old home after the death of their mother, only to discover that the house has another, more sinister, inhabitant, in this haunting directorial debut from Sergio G. Sánchez, screenwriter of The Orphanage and The Impossible.
Charlie Hunnam (The Lost City of Z) and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) take on the roles previously played by Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, in this new screen adaptation of Henri Charrière’s memoir of his imprisonment and repeated escapes from the notorious penal colony of Devil’s Island.
Ellen Page stars in this gloriously terrifying yet thought-provoking horror thriller about the fraught process of reintegrating formerly infected flesh-eaters into society in the aftermath of a zombie plague.
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer
The strange relationship between a cardiac surgeon and a 16-year-old boy portends a terrifying sacrifice, in this eagerly awaited supernatural thriller from Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster) starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Alicia Silverstone.
Brie Larson stars in her directorial debut about a dreamer reluctant to abandon her childish wonder who is offered the most magical gift she can imagine, with Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, and Bradley Whitford.
The Disaster Artist
James Franco directs this giddy tribute to eccentric filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and his best friend, actor Greg Sestero, whose notoriously awful film The Room has become one of the most beloved cult classics of all time.
A woman gets stuck in a Red Lobster commercial, in Robin Comisar’s horror-comedy that won Best Short at the Overlook Film Festival.
BOOM FOR REAL The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat
Sara Driver explores the pre-fame years of the celebrated American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and how New York City, its people, and tectonically shifting arts culture of the late 1970s and ’80s shaped his vision.
Given the everyday chaos that surrounds him as he walks through Tokyo’s Shibuya district, it’s easy for viewers to assume they know why a young Chinese visitor is so anxious. Yet the truth behind his situation is as startling and powerful as everything else in this taut drama by Japan’s Kei Chikaura.
The Death, Dad & Son
In the latest by one of the most talented teams in the worlds of comics and animation, Death is reimagined as a devoted family man whose son doesn’t entirely understand his family’s role in the grand scheme of things. As Dad tends to his duties, the boy performs a series of well-meaning acts with hilariously disastrous consequences.
In this strikingly intimate portrait of two siblings, Débora is deaf and inseparable from her protective older brother Facundo — but a potential change in their circumstances is on the horizon. Director Mateo Bendesky explores how the burden of being needed is not so easy to let go of.
An Anishinaabe man is restless and isolated in the city of Minneapolis, haunted by an ominous sense that he doesn’t belong. Shinaab eerily portrays Indigenous people’s dislocation and alienation on their own land as sinister and enigmatic forces.
As she approaches the end of her life, an elderly woman encounters a masked visitor who has emerged from the forest near her home. A testament to the unique directorial vision of former TIFF Rising Star Connor Jessup, the result is as beautifully realized as it is genuinely magical.
While touring colleges with his teenage son, an introspective, middle-aged family man (Ben Stiller) can’t help but compare himself to his more successful cohort of old friends (Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement, and Michael Sheen), in acclaimed writer Mike White’s second directorial feature.
A broken marriage leads to a bitter custody battle with an embattled son at the centre, in this intense family drama from Oscar-nominated director Xavier Legrand (Just Before Losing Everything).
A layered historical drama based on of Margaret Atwood’s Giller Prize–winning novel about a poor Irish servant accused and convicted of murder, from director Mary Harron and screenwriter Sarah Polley.
The strange disappearance of two local children is only the beginning of the mystery in Netflix’s chilling supernatural family drama, from critically acclaimed director Baran bo Odar.
From the creative minds behind The Wire and Treme comes this gritty snapshot into the birth of the porn industry in 1970s New York, starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Contemporary World Cinema
Angels Wear White
Chinese writer-director Vivian Qu (Trap Street) creates a moody modern-day noir with this thriller set in a sleepy seaside village, where a teenage motel receptionist and the young victim of a brutal assault are caught in an ever-tightening net of danger and violence.
In Irish director Rebecca Daly’s subtle and brilliantly realized parable, a teenage stranger welcomed into a household in a devout Catholic village gradually reveals his mysterious motives — and what seem to be magical powers.
A frustrated girl attempts an occult ritual in order to kill her mother, but awakens something sinister in the woods instead, in the latest from director Adam MacDonald (Backcountry).
Set in rural Ireland in 1920, this Gothic chiller evokes the spooky stories of Shirley Jackson and Oscar Wilde in its tale of teenage twins living in a haunted manor under the shadow of a family curse.
Rainbow – A Private Affair
In Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s elegant historical drama, a doomed love-triangle gets caught up in the tumultous upheaval of the Second World War and the partisan resistance in Italy.
There you have it! All of the films that I am the most eager to check out at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival! Which ones stood out to you? Are there any other films that I didn’t mention that you are eager to see?
Thank you for reading!