This is hardly a comprehensive list. In fact, it’s downright
idiosyncratic based on my various festival agendas, reviewing for Screen Daily
and covering docs for SundanceNow. But during my 5 days at the Toronto
International Film Festival, I saw only about 15 films from start to finish,
and pieces of others that I will refer them to the old adage: If you’re not
going to say anything nice about them, better to say nothing at all. I’d call two of the films masterpieces or near-masterpieces, which is about all you can hope for, though I wished I had seen Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” which by all accounts, was one of the year’s best. But I was among the hundreds turned away.
So consider this a highly eclectic, by no means exhaustive list of a handful of movies I caught from this year’s fest. Review links are to Screen, which are working for now.
“12 Years A Slave” – Believe the hype: some further comments
“Ida” – A minimalist masterpiece: review
“Enemy” – A marvelously mystifying mix of Kafka and “The Twilight Zone”: review
“The Armstrong Lie”- Gibney does Errol Morris.
“We Are the Best!” – Moodysson goes back to “Fucking Amal” and “Together” territory.
“The Unknown Know”- Morris does Errol Morris.
“When Jews Were Funny” – A pleasantly surprising personal doc disguised as a portrait of comedians: review
“Finding Vivian Maier” – Engaging yet ethically dubious look at lost and found artist.
Good Moments, But No Cigar
“Devil’s Knot” – Would have made a better mini-series: review
“The Dog” – “Dog Day Afternoon” figure has one dirty mouth and a great back-story, but only lasts for first hour.
“Cannibal” – Stylish, but not fulfilling: review
Not for Me
“One Chance” – A feel-good entertainment for your mother-in-law: review
“Horns” – A dramatic mess with clever special effects: review
“You Are Here” – Matthew Weiner proves “Mad Men” was a fluke: review