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10 TIFF Movies to Keep An Eye On

tiff 2016

10 TIFF Movies to Keep An Eye On

2016 was my first year at the Toronto International Film Festival and I was lucky enough to see a great array of wonderful films that are memorable and amazing on their own. As a closeout to coverage for the festival, I decided to make a list of films to keep an eye on. These exclude some of the major films that are obviously on people’s radar like The Birth of a Nation and La La Land. The following list is in no particular order:

moonlight

Moonlight

Release Date: October 21st, 2016

This film directed by Barry Jenkins is a masterpiece. Each aspect of the film is done with care and precision. The casting is spot on with great performances by all. It tells a very unique and poignant story. Moonlight is the heart-wrenching, eye-opening must see film of 2016.

tiff

A Monster Calls

Release Date: January 6th, 2017

The film is stunning from top to bottom, front to back and all in between. A Monster Calls is a majestic tale of fantasy, life lessons and the struggles of coping, all while starring a young boy. There is much to be learned from this film about life, death, healing and all that in between. It is the most beautiful and striking film from TIFF this year.

catfight

Catfight

Release Date: TBA

Sandra Oh and Anne Heche are spectacular in this film. The humor is so spot on and unapologetic with its criticism of society and the ridiculous nature of what we accept as the everyday. The film is creative, stunning and a total blast. The bias presented in the film will be a turn-off for some, but if you have a good sense of humor about the ridiculous society in which we live, take a seat and enjoy Catfight.

colossal

Colossal

Release Date: September 29th, 2016

Colossal stars Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis in an expected sci-fi thriller. It is a spectacle with fantastic filmmaking, storytelling, performances, and humor. It is heartbreakingly raw, while still managing to make you laugh and take a look inward at ourselves.

A united kingdom

A United Kingdom

Release Date: November 25th, 2016

A United Kingdom tells the story of the first president of Botswana and the journey he and his wife took to get there. It is everything you could want in a film. It is a beautiful love story, with an inspirational story, and stellar performances. It is a timeless tale that will be loved for generations.

arrival

Arrival

Release Date: November 11th, 2016

Arrival is not the film that I expected but has definitely won its way to my top favorite sci-fi films ever. It is a different take with a twist that is sure to turn your perspectives totally upside down. An incredible film that reminds humanity of what is really important. Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are perfect together.

burn your maps

Burn Your Maps

Release Date: December 2016

This is Jacob Tremblay’s follow-up role to the stunning film, Room. The film also stars Suraj Sharma, Vera Farmiga, and Virginia Madsen Burn Your Maps is an excellent film that touches upon loss, rebirth and being true to yourself. Like life, the scenes in the film are happy, and some are sad but create a beautiful world in which one family heals themselves in a country far away.

lion

Lion

Release Date: November 25th, 2016

Lion is the miraculous true story of Saroo Bierley (Sunny Pawar / Dev Patel) as he takes the 25-year journey to find his way home. Lion is triumphant storytelling at its finest. A wonderful true story with mesmerizing performances and beautiful visuals, making Lion the unforgettable film of 2016. Dev Patel is wonderful as always, but it is newcomer Sunny Pawar who steals much of the show.

Personal Shopper

Personal Shopper

Release Date: TBA

Wow. Just wow. Personal Shopper, starring Kristen Stewart is thought-provoking and intense. It tells the story of Maureen, a medium and personal shopper looking to get closure after her brother’s death. There are so many layers to the film. The end of the film is one that I think a lot of people will view differently. It allows the audience to have the ending that their personal journey, while watching this film, needs. Olivier Assayas has created an extraordinary film that begs to be watched and analyzed and rewatched again.

jackie

Jackie

Release Date: December 9th, 2016

While Jackie is not my favorite film of the fest, it is a bit of an underdog film that shocked and surprised audiences at TIFF. It tells the story of Jackie Kennedy in the days following the murder of JFK. While the writing is superb, it does feel slightly like one of those Oscar-bait films. It just seems to be perfect in every way and was geared towards Oscar season. Nonetheless, the film deserves all the praise it is getting, especially that for the performance of Natalie Portman as Jackie. She truly gives the performance of a lifetime.

Well, that’s a wrap on the Toronto International Film Festival. Be sure to check out these films as they come to a theater near you! 

Written by
Ashley Menzel is an avid film lover and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves foreign films and dramas and reading books that have film adaptations. Her favorite movie of all time is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, Arrow, iZombie, Blacklist, and Grimm.

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