Ah TIFF winds down as we speak with the screening of the closing night film, the French catering comedy C’est la Vie about a long-suffering caterer who hopes to close out his career with one final goof-free dinner party.
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Enjoyed cocktails with Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception, the Dark Knights films and this year’s Oscar bait Dunkirk) had a hallway chat with Nicole Kidman, brushed up by the Franco brothers, chatted with, among many others, the incredible Andy Serkis about his deeply personal drama Breathe and Austrian master filmmaker Michael Haneke for his film Happy End about a little girl who dabbles in murder and starring Isabelle Huppert.
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Call Me By Your Name has generated tonnes of buzz, and stars Armie Hammer as a man seduced by an adolescent boy during a visit to a stunning Italian villa one sultry summer.
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Gary Oldman is completely unrecognisable as role Winston Churchill as he ponders, painfully, how to stop Hitler in The Darkest Hour, and will likely get a Best Actor nomination.
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New Toronto boy Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water will delight his fans with its enchanting and dark, gently comic and mystical elements and stars Sally Hawkins as a mute research facility employee who bonds with a creature they’re developing. Octavia Spencer and Michael Shannon star. Hawkins gathering Oscar noise!
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My favourite TIFF 17 film is Chloe Zhao’s The Rider an extraordinary film set on a Dakota Indian Reservation where a young horse and bronco trainer with a severe head injury ponders the life ahead of him. Instead of heeding orders to rest his brain, he continues to work because it’s his life. We actually watch him train a wild horse with gestures, sounds and touch in real time. But he begins to wonder if he’s of any use given his grievous injury. The Rider won the Directors’ Fortnight top prize (Art Cinema Award) at Cannes in May.
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Long Time Running is Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier’s documentary on the Tragically Hip’s Final Tour and its culmination in Kingston will rip your heart out. Gord Downie’s post brain cancer surgeries, chemo and removal of his frontal lobe were not enough to keep him from hitting the road one final time. He speaks in an incredibly intimate and revealing ways, unlike anything he’s done before and his performances become a kind of desperate art. The most Canadian Band Ever moves on from performing live with grace and love. The looks on the fans faces will melt your heart over and over again.
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There have been many special movie moments and amazing, challenging and emotional films from the sublime to the ridiculous, some of which sold, some coming to theatres soon, and some that will never see the light of day beyond the festival. Hope you had the chance to attend.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales the fifth film in the Disney / Jerry Bruckheimer franchise is available on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HDTM this week, and on 4K Ultra HDTM/Blu-ray TM Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales allows Johnny Depp to explore his slapstick side and freewheeling physical humour that challenges everything you known about physics. I can’t believe it’s been 13 years since Johnny first applied eyeliner, professionally speaking. Depp’s swashbuckling scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow and a couple of Oscar winners, Javier Bardem and Geoffrey Rush lead the cast of ne’er-do-wells, pirates, fair maidens, town criers and all that jolly stuff. Young ingénues Brenton Thwaites and Kaya Scodelario provide the romance because Captain Jack is well past it.
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Just found out that PBS has added Broadway’s Best Hits to its fall lineup. I know where I’ll be Friday nights, watching a little of this award-winning fabulousness. She Loves Me, Falsettos, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter and Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn featuring Kevin Kline, Jane Krakowski, Christian Borle, Laura Benanti, as well as Encore Broadcast of Lin-Manuel Miranda Performance Documentary – In the Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams. This special Great Performances series begins Oct 20.
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