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Monday, August 31, 2015

The top 10 movies to see at TIFF 2015

tiff 2015Every year there are dozens of movies at TIFF to get excited about, but there's always a select few you just can't wait to see. So far I've covered films by day of the festival, the buzziest films, Canadian, award-winning, documentary and foreign films.

Here are the ten movies I can't wait to see at TIFF this year.

45 Years
Andrew Haigh's Weekend is one of the rare Before Sunrise wannabees evocations that lives up to the comparison. 45 Years finds Haigh not looking at a one-night stand this time, but the opposite: an elderly couple about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. An anniversary that gets threated when an ex-girlfriend of the husband throws a wrench in their plans.

You can always count on Charlie Kaufman, the inventive mind behind Adaptation and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, to give you something unexpected. Considering Anomalisa is a stop-motion animated love story, I'm excited to expect no different from his latest. There are few minds quite like Kaufman's in moviemaking, so any new film of his is a highlight.

Arabian Nights: Volume 1 - 3
Miguel Gomes' Tabu in 2012 was a wonderful black and white daydream that made me eager to see what he would do next. Which is why I'm excited that at TIFF this year we don't get one film, but three - all connected by using the narrative mold of Arabian Nights to turn modern day concerns in Portugal into fairy tales.

The Final Girls
As a lover of both horror movies and meta-stories (see: In the Mouth of Madness), The Final Girls could not be more up my alley. With a story about a bunch of teenagers who wind up inside a Friday the 13th style film that they have to try survive the movie's Jason Voorhees equivalent, the film hopefully will deliver a whole lot of recreation of 80s slasher stereotypes and subversions of them.

The Lobster
Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) makes weird movies. The Lobster should be no exception. The cast is great, but it's the premise that's so appealing: in a dystopian future, single people have forty-five days in a hotel every year to find a life partner. If they don't? They're turned into animals and set loose in the wild.

Louder Than Bombs
Respite and Oslo, August 31st made Joachim Trier one of my favorite directors, and one of the few to capture the millennial generation fairly--the good and the bad--on screen. His first English language film stars Gabriel Byrne as a father trying to reconcile with his sons (one of whom is played by Jesse Eisenberg) after the death of his wife.

Mississippi Grind
I stand by Ryan Reynolds. I believe he's an actor who remains always just short of the wider recognition he deserves. Which is why I look forward to Mississippi Grind about two gamblers hustling to collect enough cash for a big-stakes game in New Orleans that could change their lives.

SPL 2 - A Time For Consequences
The first SPL (released here as Kill Zone) showcased the talents of martial arts star Donnie Yen, as well as some of the best movie fights of recent memory. Ten years later, SPL 2 hopefully will do more of the same, just this time swapping out Yen for the equally impressive Tony Jaa (Ong Bak).

While my Thomas McCarthy (Station Agent, The Visitor) devotion was somewhat shaken by last year's terrible The Cobbler. However, hope springs eternal the director can find his footing again with this true life story about the Boston journalists who uncovered the Catholic Church's cover ups of abuse, as well as with this all-star casts (Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and more).

The Witch
If The Witch is anywhere as terrifying as its trailer makes it seem, this Sundance his will be a can't miss for for someone like me who enjoys getting the heebie jeebies.

What are your most anticipated movies at TIFF 2015? Let us know in the comments.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @alxhuls for all the latest on TIFF 15, including snap reviews.

Film still from Louder than Bombs.

by Alexander Huls via blogTO

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