The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) wrap-up (including my top 10 list!)
And so another edition of the Toronto International Film Festival is in the books. Darn. I was having such a good time at TIFF this year, that to come back to reality is a bit of a drag. The movies were amazing, the company was even better, and through and through- I had the time of my life. All told, I filed 28 reviews, the most I’ve ever put down at a festival- which should tell you just how good it was, with nary a dog among the bunch (well- aside from NO ONE LIVES). I’d like to thank Mr. JoBlo himself, along with all of you for checking out my reviews day-in, day-out. I hope they were helpful.
Hopefully I’ll be back at TIFF (and Sundance) before long, but for now- you can all rest assured that the next few months are going to be jampacked with the amazing films I got to see over the ten-day fest. The following is a full list of reviews, and links- which my personal top 10 are also included in the following ten-spot. Until next year TIFF!
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER,
ON THE ROAD,
THE ABCs OF DEATH,
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING,
END OF WATCH,
THE LORDS OF SALEM,
NO ONE LIVES,
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK,
TO THE WONDER,
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON,
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES,
DREDD was one hell of a way to kick off Midnight Madness. I had been up for twenty-two hours by the time I finally saw this, and had it been any other movie I might have dozed off. Suffice to say, Judge Dredd wouldn’t let me, and I was floored by this ultra-violent, jacked-up flick, which will now and forever erase all memories of Stallone’s 1995 flop from your minds (sorry Sly). READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
SIGHTSEERS is Ben Wheatley’s somewhat lighter follow-up to KILL LIST, but in its own way it’s just as twisted. Centering on two vacationing, middle-aged Brits- who go on a killing spree (with a cute dog in tow), SIGHTSEERS is one dark-ass comedy, but I loved every second of it, and it solidifies Wheatley as one of the best new voices to come along in genre film since maybe Edgar Wright (who coincidentally produces) READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
A wild, meta takedown of the gangster genre, Martin McDonagh’s SEVEN PHYCHOPATHS is a masterpiece of insanity, featuring Christopher Walken’s best role in years, along with standout work by Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, and Tom Waits as a bunny-wielding serial killer. Really. Check it out. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
THE PAPERBOY is one I figured wouldn’t end up in my top ten, but damn if I didn’t enjoy every sleazy second of it. A southern fried thriller, it features outstanding performances, stylish, sexy direction and enough balls-out insanity (the pee scene) to become a YouTube sensation one day. It’s not for everyone, but it’s for me. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
If you had told me THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER would be on by top 10 TIFF list, I would have thought you were nuts. I actually saw this by accident- due to a scheduling snafu, but it did a number on me. This is truly the best teen movie I’ve seen since JUNO and I strongly advise all of you to check it out. This is one I’ll certainly be watching again before long.
READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
THE MASTER is Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest opus, and it was one I wasn’t able to shake off for days. It’s a stunningly directed epic- and certainly not the scientology take-down some have been saying it is (although there are shades of it throughout). Joaquin Phoenix’s comeback will be solidified through his work here, which ranks as his best performance since playing Johnny Cash in WALK THE LINE. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
LOOPER happened to be the first film I caught at TIFF (or more precisely a day before leaving for Toronto), and what a way to start! Rian Johnson’s future noir features dynamic lead performances from Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, and a revitalized Bruce Willis. Unapologetically R, this is throw-back to the sci-fi actioners of the eighties/nineties- especially the first two TERMINATOR films. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK took home the big prize- the People’s Choice Award, which has previously gone to movies like AMERICAN BEAUTY and THE KING’S SPEECH. While it’s too early to tell if PLAYBOOK will take its place in history alongside those, it’s certainly a triumphant follow-up to THE FIGHTER for David O. Russell, and Jennifer Lawrence is all but guaranteed as Oscar nomination. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES was one of the big mysteries of the festival, and I walked into Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to BLUE VALENTINE not knowing what to expect. What I got was a sprawling crime epic, with three powerhouse performances by Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Dane DeHaan. Hopefully, Focus- who bought this in one of the festival’s biggest deals will get this out before the end of the year for Oscar consideration. Avoid all reviews- as you need to walk into this one without any preconceived notions of what you’re about to see. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!
Ben Affleck’s ARGO once again proved that he’s truly one of the great actor-directors of our generation. With this, Affleck is three for three. Unlike the ultra-dark GONE BABY GONE or THE TOWN, Affleck has a little more fun with ARGO, although one wouldn’t necessarily think the subject matter- American Embassy workers being threatened with death in Iran would be. Nevertheless, ARGO is a fun, thrilling film based on an impossibly true caper. Expect to hear a lot more about this come Oscar time. READ MY FULL REVIEW HERE!