TIFF 2017 – The Planning Begins 

There are only 31 days until the 42nd annual Toronto International Film Festival officially kicks off. For me, much of the fun has already begun, reviewing all of the titles to see what might make my list. A lot depends on the schedule, but need to see what the possibilities can be.  After cataloging and reviewing the 90 odd feature length films announced so far, I’m happy to share my early musings.  There are still more programs to be announced with lots of films, but  I need to be even more organized and informed because I have less time to commit to the week of film this year. Whittling down 300 plus films to the 15-20 films I will be able to manage will take some effort.

High on my list :

C’est la vie!, Darkest Hour, Kings, Mary Shelley, Woman Walks Ahead, Call Me By Your Name, A Fantastic Woman, First They Killed My Father, mother!, A Season in France, The Shape if Water, The Square, Suburbicon, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Razzia, The Death of Stalin, Mom and Dad, The Ritual, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bambi, Jane, Lots of Kids a Monkey and a Castle, Makala, and The Other Side of Everything.

Almost as high on the list :

Borg McEnroe, The Catcher Was A Spy, Film Stars don’t Die in Liverpool, Long Time Running, Mudbound, Stronger, The Wife, BPM (Beats Per Minute), Catch the Wind, The Children Act, Disobediance, The Guardians, The Hungry, Lady Bird, Plonger, The Price of Success, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, The Rider, Sheikh Jackson, Submergence, Thelma, Victoria and Abdul, Beast, Brad’s Status, Dark River, If You Saw His Heart, Mademoiselle Paradis, Sweet Country, The Seen and Unseen, What Will People Say, Bodied, Revenge, Azmaish:A Journey Through the Subcontinent, Boom For Real, The China Hustle, Cocaine Prison, Ex Librium, The Gospel According to Andre, Jim & Andy, The Judge, The Legend of the Ugly King, One of Us, Sammy Davis, Jr: I’ve Gotta Be Me, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, and Silas

And these I need to know more about before considering :

Breathe, The Mountain Between Us, The Upside, Battle of the Sexes, The Brawler, The Breadwinner, The Current War, Downsizing, Hostiles, I Tonya, Novitiate, Omerta, Custody, Euphoria, Brawl in Cell Block 99, Downrange, Great Choice, Let the Corpses Tan, The Crescent, The Disaster Artist, Vampire Clay, The Final Year, Love Means Zero, Of Sheep and Men, and Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!

Lots to get excited about. Always a fat middle of the list. So much can change between now and ticket purchase day. And so much depends on the scheduling.

More to come on the game plan!

Baby Driver, Directed by Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright’s latest fast moving, loud, shoot ’em up romp may have some big headliner names in it but they are not playing the lead here. The lead character here is one hell of a cracking soundtrack and it’s what Wright apparently started with to make this highly entertaining film. Don’t get me wrong, the acting ensemble is fabulous, but it was the music that I walked away with remembering. There are loads of films that have great soundtracks, but they are not usually used in the choreography or dialogue of a scene.  The use of music here is very clever and it works.

The plot may have been a bit fluffy, but was completely willing to forego the details and settle in on the fun, the action and above all, the music. First thing I did when I got home was download the music.  It’s still playing daily in my car and I have to  be very concious of my speed, especially when Hocus Pocus by Focus comes on.

Edgar Wright’s films have not disappointed me yet. Really looking forward to his next one.

Dunkirk, directed by Christopher Nolan

I’ve just seen the first Academy Award worthy film of 2017.

Christopher Nolan came under fire during last week’s San Diego Comic-Con for suggesting that Netflix was a risk to the film industry, particularly theatrical productions. That’s debatable and creating some noise. As an aside, I do believe Netflix is opening the doors for more diverse story telling and new talent which is a good thing but back to Nolan’s new film. I think what he really meant to say is that you shouldn’t see Dunkirk on your iPhone, that it must be seen on a huge screen in an IMAX theatre so you can feel as though you are on the beach with your heart in your throat. Yes, that’s definitely what he meant, because he has made a film specifically for this experience. Whatever damage Netflix might be doing to major theatrical film productions, Nolan has certainly balanced the score with this masterpiece. Filmmakers are bound to be inspired by this film. I’ve heard on the news that a 98 yr old British war veteran who was on the beach in Dunkirk saw the film and was very moved by it. My Great Uncle, a career soldier, was there and never really spoke about it. All we have heard is that he came home without many clothes on his back and now I know why. But he came home.

This film is an experience, a memory to be shared. You can almost taste the salt water, feel sand on your tongue and most of all, feel frustration, fear and hope. All of this is amplified by one hell of a riveting musical score masterfully composed by Hans Zimmer. I may be going out on a limb here in suggesting Hans is a lock for an Oscar without seeing any other contenders at this point, but it would have to take something pretty extraordinary to change my mind.

This is not a talky film. You have no idea who these soldiers are, where they are from, or whether they have families. Save for a flash of a wedding ring, an accent, the rank of a uniform and an occasional name and title, you have no additional information about the characters in the film. And this doesn’t matter. You’ve been helicoptered in to a point in time in history. You don’t know them, but you feel them and you can imagine what they are thinking. So much is said without being said in this film. There is an intimacy that is created through action, nuance, texture and expression. They say the eyes are the windows of the soul. I want to rewatch the film just to analyze close-ups and eyes. 

The theatre I saw it in was one of those older IMAX threatres where the seats are situated very close to the screen. If you are from Toronto, think about the screen at Ontario Place and The Science Centre.  I really felt as though I was in the screen, on the beach in the action. Perhaps it was too close and maybe I missed something. I need to see it again. I haven’t felt this way since Mad Max : Fury Road. I need to see it again soon.

My Great Uncle Jack (Northern Ireland) –  A drawing of him by one his brothers in arms, his medals and a photo of him from the 40s.  He served throughout WWII from beginning to end (Europe and North Africa) and well after the war itself (Middle East). I was blessed to have known him towards the end of his life. 

Plein Soleil (Purple Noon), Directed by René Clément

The 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley, based on Patricia Highsmith’s great novel, is one of my favourite films. I didn’t realize until recently that an earlier film adaption had been made in 1960 by René Clément, starring French heartthrob Alain Dolen. I snapped up a chance to see it on the big screen this past weekend at TIFF’s retrospective on French crime classics. This film, along with so many other critically acclaimed French films, was never released in North America. A shame it didn’t get wider release, as it did really well in Europe. While not Alain Dolen’s first film, it is the film that launched his career. Martin Scorsese was the one to finally release Purple Noon in America, but it has taken some time to get to the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

This version of Highsmith’s Tom Ripley is apparently not exactly like the book, and I am told that the author did not like the ending, but she did think it was a beautiful a film. It is a very beautiful film, but aren’t all films shot in southern Italy. Unfortunately she never saw Minghella’s 1999 version, which is apparently closer to her original story. I’ve seen Anthony Minghella’s film several times, and the two films are different in some ways and exactly the same in others.  Both equally intriguing in their portrayal of the characters and telling of the story, with the exception of the ending.  The one thing that seemed odd in the earlier version was that they were French actors playing Americans characters in Italy, speaking French, in French accents. Well all but one, Philippe (not Dickie) Greenleaf’s friend Freddy played by Bill Kearns, is an American actor speaking French with an American accent but it was the most unnatural accent of them all. Possibly because it seemed his audio had been dubbed over and perhaps because he was the only American accent in the film.

I really liked the casting of this film. Alain Delon’s Ripley and Maurice Ronet’s Greenleaf have the perfect awkward chemistry and Marie Laforêt’s doe-eyed Marge is a bit different than Paltrow’s more classic Marge, but I thought it worked well.  Delon and Ronet look much more alike than Damon and Law, easily mistaken for each other, but with vastly different personalities. It is also interesting that Maurice Ronet resembles Jude Law, and that Bill Kearns and Philip Seymour Hoffman could be relatives. But the casting of Delon, with his magnetic and beautiful face, is a bit of a different spin on that character as compared to Matt Damon. I’m not saying Matt is not an attractive man, but Alain Delon is an absolutely beautiful man.

Patricia Highsmith may not have liked the ending of Plein Soleil, but I didn’t mind it. I thought it worked for this version.

I encourage you to see Plein Soleil (Purple Noon it might be easier to find). As for me, I’ll finally be cracking open Highsmith’s book and catching up on some Alain Dolen and René Clément films.

Beatrix At Dinner, Directed by Miguel Arteta

This is by far one of Salma Hayek’s finest performances, one I’ve been referring to as Salma Unplugged. She’s natural, beautiful and outstanding in this look at capitalism in its boorish form from a perspective outside the gated shelter of wealth.

This film makes you cringe-laugh, gasp and feel an enormous sense of sadness for it depicts something we are all too familiar with these days, greed, and issues that divide many.

Not a film many will say they enjoyed but it’s certainly one many will remember.  And I will be shocked if Salma hasn’t earned herself some award dominations with this raw performance.

Worth seeing and I am sure we will see more of this genre….what shall we call it?


Step, Directed by Amanda Lipitz

So often we anxiously await the premiere of a highly anticipated film, but sometimes the best films sneak up on us unexpectedly. I received a fairly last-minute invite to a premiere screening of this new documentary, Step.  I hadn’t really heard much about it. Yes, it had screened at Sundance. The screening was for Tuesday night, the night following a late night out at the Gorillaz concert. Normally I would pass on two school nights out in a row, especially at the start of the week, but something about this film intrigued me. A little extra caffeine and boy am I ever glad I attended the screening.

It is an inspirational story about a school that focuses on developing opportunities for young girls to attend college and university, girls who would otherwise not have been able to, to gain confidence, reach their potential and capitalize on scholarship opportunities. One little bit of background on the film and the school is that director Amanda Lipitz’s mother, Brenda Brown Rever, if the founder of the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women. The school was modelled after similar schools in NYC. This first time in a very long time that I have shed tears of JOY in a documentary. This school model seems to be serving its students very well and should be studied for broader application. It is probably best not to read too much about the film and spoil the stories of the girls in this documentary. That would take the joy out of the film.

After the screening we had an amazing opportunity for a Q&A session with Amanda Lipitz, three girls who are spotlighted in the film and their amazing mentors – the school’s college administration consultant and the Step coach.

I highly recommend this feel good doc!


Hooray for Hollywood – 2017 Oscar Predictions


The surplus of excellent films this year, the diversity of subject matter and people represented was, dare I say, tremendous.  While the Academy settled on nine nominees for best picture, they easily could have added a tenth.

Here are my picks for this year’s annual scar contest. Again, voting from my heart. I refuse to vote strategically.

Best Picture – Moonlight

La La Land, Hidden Figures and Hell or High Water made me cheer.  Arrival made me a proud Canadian. Fences, Lion, Hacksaw Ridge and Manchester By the Sea made me weep.  But Moonlight moved me like no film has in a long, long time.

Best Director -Barry Jenkins

Denis Villeneuve – Arrival, Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge, Damien Chazelle – La La Land, Kenneth Longergan – Manchester by the Sea, and Barry Jenkins – Moonlight are all the right nominees.  For this award I am banking on my view of the quality of the nominations versus the quantity each director’s film has received.  While La La might have more, Moonlight’s are heavier weighted and for that reason I’ve picked Barry Jenkins.

Best Actor – Denzel Washington

The actors in the category are fabulous this year. While Casey Affleck may be rumoured to be a jerk in real life, the boy can act. Andrew Garfield delivered a strong “passificist” performance.  Ryan Gosling was dreamy and entertaining. Viggo was brilliant as wilderness dad.  But Denzel directed himself in this incredibly nuanced performance, and so he wins my vote.

Best Actress – Isabelle Huppert

I am not convinced, nor are many others, that the Academy got the nominees for this one right this year. What about Annette Benning and Amy Adams?  I’d say that Isabelle Huppert, Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman were probably good choices, but Emma Stone dancing  and Meryl Streep screeching were not enough for me.  While I hated Elle the film, I’m putting money on Isabelle Huppert in her portrayal of the victim turned predator. It is quite a performance.

Best Supporting – Actor Mahershala Ali

Sometimes you see a performance, and even though you haven’t seen all the year’s movies yet, you still know that its an award winning performance. Mahershala Ali in Moonlight is one of those performances.  I do think that the Academy made good choices with the other nominees.  Jeff Bridges, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel and Michael Shannon should not be discouraged by Mahershala’s performance, but it is miles beyond all of theirs put together.

Best Supporting Actress -Viola Davis

The academy didn’t necessarily get the nominees right in the category either, plus they put them in the wrong categories.  And maybe this is reassuring because if you think  it tells us the parts for women are getting stronger.  But no matter because Viola knocks it out of the yard. Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams better practice blubbering snot scenes because that is what it takes these days!

Best Original Screenplay – Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan has won awards for his screenplay already, so I’m going with Manchester by the Sea for this one.  It is a beautiful script.  You forget you are watching a movie. It’s like you are watching peoples lives unfold in front of you. La La Land, The Lobster, Hell or High Water and 20th Century Women shouldn’t be discouraged, this was a brilliant script.

Best Adapted Screenplay – Moonlight

Fences was true to the play, Arrival was cool, Hidden Figures was witty and triumphant, Lion a true story of personal discovery , but Moonlight was a human story with depth and beauty that stayed with me for a long time.

Best Foreign Language – Toni Erdmann

I’ve only seen two of the nominees, The Salesman and Toni Erdmann, and hands down the father-daughter laugh out loud Toni Erdmann is a destined to be a classic. Usually I’ve seen all of the foreign films by now, but with my decision locked in early, I have not been in a rush to see the others. My apologies to Land of Mine (Denmark), A Man Called Ove (Sweden) and Tanna (Australia) as you are not getting fair consideration from me.  Hope you get the attention you deserve from the Academy.

Best Documentary Feature -13th

I really did not enjoy Fire At Sea.  It taught me how to make a slingshot and fold a neat bed, but I didn’t need to lose 2 hrs for that.  This race is between OJ, 13th and I am Not Your Negro.  Given I am a huge Ava DaVernay fan, she is getting my vote.  13th is an eye opening film that hopefully will start a dialogue around a pervasive issue in the US.

Best Animated Feature – Kubo and the Two Strings

I rely on my sixteen year old daughter, who is a budding animator for this category and her favourite was Kubo and the Two Strings.   While the Zootopia might be cute, Kubo is different.  I have not seen The Red Turtle, My Life as a Zucchini or Moana, but I will.

Best Cinematography – Lion

This one is tough.  Can I pick them all?   I am tempted to pick Silence just to show Martin Scorsese some love. Arrival, La La Land and Moonlight were all gorgeous, but I’m going with Lion on this one.

Best Film Editing -Hacksaw Ridge 

I’m going with the film with the most editing for best editing because more probably means they worked harder and deserve an award.

Best Production Design -La La Land

La La Land was gorgeous, colourful and dreamy, I’ll give it that.

Best Costume Design – Jackie

Jackie took First Lady style to the next level.

Best Original Score – La La Land

La La Land is a musical, and a good one.  Let’s recognize the music.

Best Original Song – City of Stars – La La Land

The only competition I see for La La Land’s City of Stars is The Trolls’ Can’t Stop the Feeling, but my money’s on City of Stars.

Best Visual Effects – Doctor Strange

I did not see Doctor Strange, but all I heard was how amazing the effects were.

Best Make-Up & Hair Styling – Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek is known for its wild and incredible alien transformations.

Best Sound Editing – Hacksaw Ridge 

Say Hacksaw Ridge, it sounds harsh, it was.  Lots of hacking, cracking, shooting and blowing up on that ridge.

Best Sound Mixing – Hacksaw Ridge

As I said, all that action needed mixing.

These next three are pure guesses…..

Best Live Action Short – Sing, 
Best Animated Short – Piper and Best Documentary Short – The White Helmets

As I was saying, possibly the best year for movies in a very long time.

I cannot wait for Sunday. May the speeches be long and appropriately political because while they may be elites, their voices will have a huge audience. It will be tremendous!

My Favourite 2016 Films

2016 may have been a disastrous year on some fronts, but it was a stand out year for films.  I’m having a very hard time narrowing down the list to 10, so excuse me in advance for the honourable mentions.  Unfortunately I ran out of time to see 20th Century Women, Silence, Jackie, Allied, Hacksaw Ridge or Loving. According to many others, any of these could make a top 10 list.  But since the year is over, I need to make my list based on what I’ve seen.


Moonlight is by far the most surprising and beautiful film I saw in 2016.  The music, the cinematography, the screenplay, the performances were all absolutely perfect. It is a film that entranced me from the start and moved me through the three chapters of this human experience with a poetic elegance that captured my heart. I loved this film.

Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals has divided the critics, but I thought it was clever, wild, tragically beautiful, intelligent filmmaking and I cannot wait to see what Tom Ford does next.  Some have criticized it for being overly ambitious, a fashion shoot masquerading as a movie, but most agree that this is Tom Ford’s finest work. It does have a certain style that is Tom Ford. The man is an artist and his time spent as a designer is bound to influence his filmmaking.  This three layered tale has many sub layers and a beauty and facade that play a huge role in the story telling.  I do think this one will build a following with time.

Toni Erdmann

This film wins the award for most memorable side-splitting scenes. I cannot say too much about this heartwarming father daughter tale or I would spoil it for you. Save it to say this one is re-watchable. If I spoke German I would be reciting the lines. Give me time, I will get there.

Manchester by the Sea

I need a kleenex just to write about this one.  Its a heartbreaker.  Again, cannot spoil it.  The performances, screenplay, cinematography, music are all perfect.  This quiet film is the whole package and will no doubt be going head to head with Moonlight for the finish line.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

That “Ricky Baker, happy birthday, once rejected, now accepted, by me and Hector, a trifecta” is being sung around my house by my entire family is a testament to his heartwarming gem of a film.  Ricky and Hector, the wilderpeople, will have you laughing, cheering, crying and thinking there is happiness out there for everyone.   I absolutely loved this little film from New Zealand.

I, Daniel Blake

Daniel Blake is an important film, depressing as hell, but a reality that many face. Ken Loach is the man to bring these important stories to the cinema and get the conversation going. It helps that the audience will love Daniel, respect him for who he is and what he stands for.


Runs a bit like a play, but that works here. Viola Davis delivers an outstanding performance in this film that you will not forget, and Denzel is incredible as are the supporting cast members, especially Stephen McKinley Henderson.  Set in the 1950s, this story of an African-American family whose lives are dominated by the father who has struggled in coming to terms with his life.  Denzel Washington has done a magnificent job in bringing this play to the screen.

La La Land

La La Land is just a great film.  Its has all the feels and energy that a good movie should.  Visually stunning, great performances and great music, this film is a favourite of many.   Its not my absolute favourite of 2016, but it made my type 10.

Hell or High Water

Like I, Daniel Blake, this one is an important one. Rarely do we see films as stark as this.  From the tumbleweeds, to the run down diners, this film takes us to that rural America we’ve been hearing about lately, the fogotten part of America where dreams have been abandoned. Excellent film and I do hope it gets some Oscar lovin’.

Hidden Figures

While this film might have been a bit formulaic and may not have been 100% historically accurate it was really enjoyable, refreshing and enlightening.  With the success of this film perhaps producers will be more enthusiastic about telling stories about amazing women. Performances, music, cinematography, costumes, this film was the whole package. Theodore Melfi is on a roll with this after St. Vincent.  Looking forward to his next one.  I hope this baby goes all the way to the Oscars.  That would be great.

Honourable Mentions

The Handmaiden, Arrival, Paterson, Deadpool and Rogue One.

Rules Don’t Apply – Directed by Warren Beatty 

This film will be released on November 23rd. I had the good fortune to attend a preview screening at TIFF, followed by a Q&A with Warren Beatty and Lily Collins, hosted by Toronto’s own crazy sock wearing film critic Richard Crouse. I did enjoy the film, but the Q&A was definitely the highlight.  Warren Beatty was charming, funny and very generous with his time. It’s always great to see a film maker who is so enthusiastic about his or her film, perhaps because it is his first film in 18 years. Rumour has it has been 40 years in the making. It was made clear to us that it is not a Howard Hughes biopic or love letter. Warren plays Hughes, which is a fairly pivotal role in a film which centers around the relationship between an aspiring young actress Marla, played by Lily Collins and her young driver Frank, played by Alden Ehrenreich, both hired by Hughes for his movie making machine.

Just a quick bit about the plot here only to give you a sense but hopefully not enough to spoil it.  Marla arrives in Hollywood with her mother, played by Annette Bening, to screen test for Howard Hughes. She’s put up in a beautiful cliff side mansion and driven about by Frank who is strictly forbidden to fraternize with the actresses. Hughes’ rules. This is where I will leave you so as not to ruin the film.

While this may not be Hughes’ biopic, it may be an allegory for Beatty’s. Quite the playboy who loved and left many women in his heyday, this could be seen as an acknowledgment and perhaps even an apology. Lily Collins looks very familiar, perhaps a bit like Natalie Wood with whom Beatty had a two year affair in the 60s.

This is the third film I’ve seen this year that takes us back in time to the earlier days of film making.  La La Land and Their Finest were the other two. And last year we had Hail, Caesar! These films naturally have very wide appeal, especially for film buffs. While this might not be destined to be an Oscar classic, it’s a nice nostalgic film and the performances are solid. There are a number of great cameos throughout the film, but the film is really owned by the two young leads. We will see more great roles for both Lily Collins and Alden Ehrenreich. I’m sure they learned a lot from the legend himself.

During the Q&A it was shared that they took more time than is usually afforded in pre production to work through character development, that Warren will exhaust his actors and get as many takes as time allows and that the film was not derived from any particular person but imagined and perhaps influenced by memories from his subconscious. We also learned that he believes his wife Annette Bening is the greatest actress. But the most memorable moment in the Q&A was the very first question. Well it wasn’t a question exactly. As the microphone was passed to the gentleman sitting directly in front of me someone simultaneously handed Richard Crouse a business card.  Then the man with the microphone spoke. He said something like “My name is Warren Beatty. I am fourth generation African Canadian. I am 65 years old, so my mother did not name me after you.”  He then shared that he has benefited over the years from mistaken identity with presidential suites in hotels. Sure enough, the business card confirmed his name and Director / actor Warren thought this was terrific and said they needed to speak afterwards.

I hope this is not the last of Warren Beatty’s films. It is nice to have him back and something tells me he’s got more to give to the industry.

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!