TIFF 2016 – Festival Recap

This was by far the best TIFF I’ve attended since my very first festival 10 years ago.  Perhaps I was lucky with my film selections, but I do a lot of research ahead of time so maybe it’s skill, ha ha. If I am taking the week off work I’d hope it’s not a waste of time or money. I missed last year, so this year I had to make up for it.

Originally planned to see 36 films, but I dropped a few along the way and ended up seeing 32.  I have written mini reviews of each of the films, but everyone always wants a top 10 list.  I have more like a top 22 list, so I may as well rank them all.  My absolute favourites are the first 13, my enthusiasm dwindles around #24, and the only ones I really disliked were the last 4.

  1. Nocturnal Animals
  2. Moonlight
  3. Manchester by the Sea
  4. I, Daniel Blake
  5. Toni Erdmann
  6. La La Land
  7. Brimstone 
  8. Lion
  9. Bleed For This
  10. The Journey is the Destination 
  11. Arrival 
  12. Handsome Devil
  13. Free Fire
  14. The Handmaiden
  15. The Journey
  16. Paterson 
  17. American Pastoral
  18. The Secret Scripture
  19. Trespass Against Us
  20. Brain on Fire
  21. The Bleeder
  22. LBJ
  23. Beyond the Flood
  24. Daguerreotype 
  25. Ma’Rosa
  26. Their Finest
  27. Orphan
  28. Things to Come
  29. Una
  30. Salt and Fire
  31. Elle
  32. I’m The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House

It’s going to be a very interesting awards season this year. With so many incredible films screening at TIFF I have to think that the best picture is among them. La La Land did win the Grolsch People’s Choice award. This was not entirely surprising given its wide appeal. I’m not exactly clear on how votes are tallied and if number of screenings is a benefit to films winning the prize.  If so, there were additional screenings of La La Land and Lion so odds would be in their favour.  Nocturnal Animals, Manchester By The Sea and Moonlight were my top three favourites of the festival.

Other highlights of the festival include:

  • King Street ruled by pedestrians and food trucks
  • The spectacular weather
  • Chuck Wepner
  • Michael Shannon’s shorts
  • Stumbling across Keith Richards
  • The Hilton
  • Lunches at Richmond Station and Osteria Ciceri e Tria
  • The VISA screening lounge
  • Seeing films with the people I love!

It will be tough to beat TIFF16, but next year I will be ready, willing and able to take it on!

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