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Saturday, August 29, 2015

The top 10 Canadian films to see at TIFF 2015

tiff 20152015 is an impressive year for Canadian Cinema at TIFF. It's hard not to marvel at how many movies we're getting from some of our greatest filmmakers. Sure, some of them went and made American films - like Jean-Marc Vallée with Demolition, and Denis Villeneuve with Sicario (whose films I've excluded from this list to favour Canadian directors making Canadian films) - but there's still a lot of CanCon to be proud of at this year's festival.

Here are my picks for the top Canadian films to see at TIFF 2015.

Beeba Boys
Deepa Mehta, director of Fire, Earth and Water, tackling a gangster movie? Yes, please. Her knack for compelling stories should do well with this one about a Sikh mobster who fights his way into the Vancouver criminal underworld (loosely based on the real life Western Canada Punjabi gangs of the 1990s).

Closet Monster
It's hard to tell what the exact tone of Closet Monster is. It's a story about a teenager struggling with his sexuality, but it also apparently has a talking hamster named Buffy. Seeing just how it will balance serious and surreal are going to merge has me excited to see this.

If for no other reason, Forsaken will be worth seeing for the opportunity to watch Kiefer and Donald Sutherland play father and son - at odds with each other, no less - on screen. The fact that it's a Western is just an added bonus. Who knows, it might even wash Paul Gross' ho-hum Gunless from our minds.

The Forbidden Room
There's nothing like a Guy Maddin movie. Almost literally. His cinematic fever dreams have been delightful curiosos for years, and if word from Cannes is to be believed, The Forbidden Room, could be one of his best. We can't wait.

It's been seven years since Bruce McDonald blessed us with the now cult classic horror movie, Pontypool (a pseudo-zombie movie). Thankfully his horror drought ends with Hellions, his take on a Halloween horror movie. If Hellions is half as good as Pontypool, we can't see this soon enough.

Hyena Road
It seems after Passchendaele, Paul Gross isn't done with war yet. Swapping Canadian WWI soldiers with ones in Afghanistan, Hyena Road does something Americans do a lot, but not us: tackle the day-to-day mundaneness and violent complexities of warfare. A Canadian perspective on that is most welcome.

Into the Forest
Patricia Rozema is an underrated director, so having one of her films at TIFF again is a real treat. Into the Forest stars fellow Canadian, Ellen Page, and sees Rozema offer her own take on the apocalypse - here in the form of a nationwide power outrage which two women are trying to survive from an isolated country home.

My Internship in Canada
Philippe Falardeau (Monsieur Lazhar, The Good Lie) may not get the publicity fellow French Canadian directors like Xavier Doland do, but he should. We hope My Internship in Canada, a satire of our wonderful government, does it for him. Plus, with the election coming up, we could use a good chuckle about politics, right?

The always watchable Christopher Plummer brings his dignity and skill to Atom Egoyan's latest. Remember sees the actor play an aging man seeking vengeance on a Nazi guard who killed his family in Germany, 70 years ago. Hard to argue that's not a compelling premise.

Hyperlink films - movies where multiple characters' lives intersect (think Pulp Fiction) - ave long fascinated me. Guy Edoin's Ville-Marie should be no exception. The film is set in Montreal, and finds the lives of four characters colliding into each other with the force of (cinematic) fate.

For all the latest on TIFF 15, including snap reviews, you can follow me on Twitter at @alxhuls.

Film still from Beeba Boys.

by Alexander Huls via blogTO

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