TIFF 2019 may officially be over. For me, however, the fun part of watching many films and speaking with some filmmakers, actors, and some composers too.
To give you a glimpse of the variety of films I watched, here is my full list with you. My hope is that you discover some new fun and favourites like I have.
Feature Films (Incl. Documentaries)
- A Bump Along The way
When a fun-loving, middle-aged single mom accidentally gets pregnant, her prim teenage daughter is scandalized. But mother and daughter slowly reverse roles as the pregnancy progresses, in this delightful, insightful Northern Irish dramedy.
- Blood Quantum
Opening Night Film, Midnight Madness
Jeff Barnaby’s astutely titled second feature is equal parts horror and pointed cultural critique. Zombies are devouring the world, yet an isolated Mi’gmaq community is immune to the plague. Do they offer refuge to the denizens outside their reserve or not?
- Blow the Man Down
Two sisters in a small Maine fishing village try to cover up a violent crime and avoid running afoul of the suspicious and threatening proprietor of the local brothel (Margo Martindale), in Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole’s atmospheric debut feature.
- The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open
One woman’s decision to comfort a stranger she finds crying in the street leads to a revealing and powerful conversation between two Indigenous women from very different circumstances, in this poignant collaboration from Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn.
- Bombay Rose
This beguiling and topical animated feature written, designed, and directed by Gitanjali Rao follows multiple characters, each connected by a single red rose, as they navigate life and love in the sprawling Indian metropolis.
- The Capote Tapes
Newly discovered interviews with friends of Truman Capote made by Paris Review co-founder George Plimpton invigorate this fascinating documentary on the author (and socialite) behind Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, while situating Capote in the 20th-century American literary canon.
Gael García Bernal’s second directorial feature follows two teenage friends whose desperation to escape their Mexico City shantytown leads them to exuberant — and increasingly unhinged — lawlessness.
- The Cordillera of Dreams
(La Cordillera De Los Sueños)
Acclaimed Chilean director Patricio Guzmán finishes his geographic trilogy about his home country with this ode to the Andes, a majestic crossing point for him and many others.
- The County
An Icelandic woman takes on the corruption of her local co-op and the outdated, exploitative system that supports it, in the latest from acclaimed filmmaker Grímur Hákonarson (Rams).
- Dogs Don’t Wear Pants
A guilt-stricken widower discovers that a demanding dominatrix might be able to give him the therapy he needs, in audacious Finnish filmmaker J-P Valkeapää’s affecting and absurd dramedy.
An aging actor (Isabelle Huppert) summons her idiosyncratic extended family on a fateful holiday, in Ira Sachs’ thoughtful dramedy co-starring Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson, Jérémie Renier, and Greg Kinnear.
- First Love
A doomed boxer and a haunted drug addict find themselves inadvertently caught in the crosshairs of two warring gangs, in the latest from Midnight Madness provocateur Takashi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition).
- Heimat is a Space in Time
In this immersive film essay, master documentarian Thomas Heise (Fatherland) delves into four generations of his own family archives to trace the profound cultural and political upheaval of Germany’s last century.
- Heroic Losers
(La Odisea De Los Giles)
When some neighbours in rural Argentina are swindled out of their savings by an unscrupulous lawyer and bank manager, they join forces to plan an elaborate heist and take back what’s theirs.
- The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão
(A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão)
Two sisters born in Rio de Janeiro make their way through life, each mistakenly believing the other is living out her dreams half a world away, in the latest melodrama from Brazilian auteur Karim Aïnouz.
- Knives Out
Director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Looper) assembles an all-star cast — Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, and LaKeith Stanfield — in this intelligent whodunit about a famed southern detective (Craig) who joins forces with local police to investigate a group of eccentric suspects following the murder of a wealthy crime novelist (Christopher Plummer).
- The Lighthouse
Shot on 35mm black-and-white film, this psychological thriller from Robert Eggers (The Witch) follows the slow descent into madness of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote New England island at the turn of the 19th century.
- Lina from Lima
(Lina De Lima)
The issue of migrant labour gets a winningly light touch in this musical comedy — and debut fiction film — from documentarian María Paz González, about a Peruvian woman working as a domestic helper for a wealthy Chilean family who prepares for a trip home to visit the son she left behind.
- La Llorona
A once-fearsome but declining Guatemalan general is targeted for war crimes from another dimension, in writer-director Jayro Bustamante’s (Ixcanul) reimagining of the classic Latin American fable about an itinerant spirit.
- Martin Eden
Closing Night Film, Platform
Based on the Jack London novel of the same name, Pietro Marcello’s latest follows a sailor (Luca Marinelli) trying to remake himself as a writer, in this passionate and timeless story of class consciousness and failed ideals.
- Motherless Brooklyn
Edward Norton wrote, directed, produced and stars in this 1950s-set crime drama, about a private detective living with Tourette syndrome who ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and best friend — a mystery that carries him from the gin-soaked jazz clubs of Harlem to the slums of Brooklyn to the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers.
A grumpy old white man enlists the help of an Afghani migrant to bury his dead dog, and as the two dredge through prejudices to find common ground, their day takes an unexpected turn, in Karl Markovics’ latest (Superwelt, Breathing).
- The Platform
In a future dystopia, prisoners housed in vertically stacked cells watch hungrily as food descends from above — feeding the upper tiers, but leaving those below ravenous and radicalized — in Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s profound parable about the socio-political potency of genre cinema.
- Sea Fever
A bizarre creature hitches a ride on a departing trawler, in this masterful genre film from Irish filmmaker Neasa Hardiman that leverages the mysteries of the sea to amplify the potential horrors of the unknown.
New Orleans paramedics Steve (Anthony Mackie) and Dennis (Jamie Dornan) stumble upon a bizarre plot involving a series of drug-related deaths, in Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead’s (Spring, The Endless) stylish and genre-bending new film.
- This Is Not a Movie
The groundbreaking and often game-changing reporting of legendary foreign correspondent and author Robert Fisk is profiled in the latest from acclaimed documentarian Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze).
- The Truth
Acclaimed director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s (Shoplifters, Like Father, Like Son) first film made outside his native Japan stars Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche as a mother and daughter in the film industry whose professional collaboration triggers long-buried resentments.
- Varda par Agnès
The last film from the late French New Wave filmmaker Agnès Varda (Faces Places) traces her legendary career and life with characteristic humour and vibrant energy, presenting a portrait of an artist who lived through her films and revealed the extraordinary in the ordinary.
- The Whistlers
In this neo-noir tale from Romanian auteur Corneliu Porumboiu (Police, Adjective, 12:08 East of Bucharest), a corrupt cop — under surveillance while participating in a mob plot in the Canary Islands — must communicate with his accomplices in an Indigenous language based on whistling.
- The Physics of Sorrow
Academy Award–nominated animator Theodore Ushev reaches a new level of artistry with a saga of childhood reveries and adult regrets that is also the first-ever fully animated film using encaustic painting.
- Now Is The Time
A 1969 documentary on the carving and raising of the first Haida totem pole in over a century becomes the springboard for a film that restores fullness and richness to the larger story of a nation’s resurgent identity.