Another year, another TIFF. The Toronto International Film Festival is one of my favorite things in the world. As a self-proclaimed movie lover, I look forward to it greatly each year. When I first learned we were moving to Toronto, I bought a TIFF movie package… before we had even left North Carolina. And I’ve gone every year since then, making this year my third TIFF.
Every year I read up on the films coming to TIFF – which ones are getting some buzz before they come to the festival and which include my favorite actors or directors. I usually end up with a long list of films I’d like to see and have to weed that down to just a few movies depending on what Andy is interested in, what movies fit into our schedule, and which movies still have tickets available during my selection window. TIFF offers lots of ticket options: packages where you choose the movies, packages where TIFF programmers choose movies for you, gala tickets to big world premieres, and, of course, single tickets. I have always gone for a ticket package where I choose the movies. This year I did the daytime package where all our movies had to be before 5pm. Other years I’ve done the anytime package, which is a bit more in price.
The only complaint I have about the ticket package I choose this year is my ticket selection window was very late… so many of the films at the top of my list were sold out before I even had a chance to pick my movies. That was a major bummer. But, it was a much more affordable package and allowed us to see twice the number of movies as we have in previous years. And because the bigger, showier movies were already sold out when I selected films, I had to really delve into the more independent and foreign films, so Andy and I saw movies we probably would otherwise never have even paid attention to. Here are some of my TIFF movie highlights:
- The Theory of Everything – see this for some great, great acting. It is basically a love story between Steven Hawking and his first wife and the two leads are great. Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Steven Hawking will stick with you.
- The Good Lie – a heart wrencher and a tear jerker. This is a very nice movie about Sudanese refugees finding their way in America. It’s been compared to The Blind Side a lot, but in Andy’s words, “It was way better than The Blind Side.”
- The Tale of Princess Kaguya – some of the most stunning animation I have ever seen. This is the latest from Studio Ghibli and is a take on a Japanese folktale. It was stunning.
- Far From Men – an Algerian movie set during their struggle for freedom from France, this movie stars Viggo Mortensen, who speaks three different languages in this movie (making him even more amazing than he was before). I enjoyed the good acting and an interesting story about a part of the world and a part of history I knew very little about.
Now that it’s all over, time for the long wait till next TIFF. Fortunately, I have all the films I wasn’t able to see this year to tide me over in the mean time.