Going to an event like the Toronto International Film Festival is an overwhelming experience – even if you’re a seasoned festival-goer. So many days and so many movies spread across theaters that it’s hard to feel like you’re missing it some, Plus, it can be incredibly refreshing. As regular movie theaters continue to be dominated by an increasingly small lineup of blockbusters and never-ending franchises, the breadth of films being screened at TIFF is a good reminder of why movies are so great.
This mix of overwhelmed but refreshing is exactly what I felt after spending last week at the 2022 iteration of TIFF. I didn’t get to see everything that I expected. In particular, I couldn’t squeeze out Park Chan-wook’s new movie decision to leave in my schedule, and my ticket to the now-controversial public joker was canceled — but I still managed to see a huge array of different types of movies, from insanely goofy biopics and sweet stories about kidnappings to some beautiful stop-motion animation.
With the caveat that I can’t watch everything out there, here are my favorite movies I saw at the festival.
A Sweet Road Trip About Selling Kids
If You’ve Seen Director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Past Work Like His Award-Winning shopkeeperThen his latest movie, BrokerWill feel familiar in many ways. Broker Once again the director has seen the marginalized sections of the society finding morally questionable ways to survive. In this case, the two men have a side business selling orphans to wealthy couples wanting to adopt. It’s extremely messy: especially when one of the moms comes back to check on her baby.
She joins them on a sales road trip across Korea, and from there, Broker Turns into a surprisingly sweet story about found families and the horrors of navigating bureaucratic systems. For every dark moment—like seeing a couple at the cost of a child or an actual murder—there are gentle scenes of people trying to make the best of what they have. Think of it like a crime drama has passed little Miss Sunshine, Broker It also has a great cast, including parasites Star Song Kang-ho as one of the brokers and sense8Doona Bae as a police officer is trying to catch them in this act.
Broker Coming to theaters on December 26.
Glass Onion: Knives Out The Secret
A whodunit franchise is born
Netflix spent a lot of money for its sequel knives out And, if the first is any indication, the investment may be worth it. glass onion The charming detective sees the return of both director Rian Johnson and star Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc as they tackle a new mystery. This time, it’s a murder on the private island of a tech billionaire who’s hosting a retreat for his closest friends, including everyone from MRA YouTube stars to state governors.
Craig is clearly having a lot of fun doubling down on his Southern caricature persona here, but glass onion It’s also notable how great the rest of the cast is: Edward Norton as a douchebag tech bro with more money than understandable; Janelle Monáe as his rejected former partner; Katherine Hahn as a politician with questionable morals; Kate Hudson as an impossibly oblivious fashion designer; And – perhaps best of all – Dave Bautista is so insecure as a man that he swims with his pistol. If glass onion This group was just 90 minutes of fun on an island, I’ll join in, but it’s also a pretty interesting mystery. for more glass onionBe sure to check out my full review.
Glass Onion: Knives Out The Secret Streaming will begin on Netflix on December 23rd, but will be in select theaters sometime before that.
Come for the beautiful Icelandic landscapes, stay for reflections on life and faith
godland Based on true events but in a unique way. The filmmakers used a series of photographs dating from the 1800s as an inspiration for this serene, contemplative story, in which a Danish priest travels to Iceland to establish a church in a remote village before winter. Of. It’s filled with sweeping views of the incredible Icelandic landscape, from freezing waterfalls to lava rushing in, along with real-life scenes of dismembered and butchered animals. And the story touches on a number of larger themes, from our relationship with the land that leads us to the uncomfortable divide between the colonists and their colonists.
what’s so special about it godlandHowever, the way it is shot. Director Halinoor Palmasan really leans into the photographic inspiration, with square frames and close-up shots of the cast that often look like portraits. Sometimes it feels like you are watching through the lens of the priest’s camera. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.
It is not yet clear when godland Will receive wide release.
good night op
A Space Documentary with a Touch of star wars
of amazon good night op A documentary follows the unexpectedly long lifetime of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. For the most part, it has exactly what you’d expect from a film like this. There are lots of great interviews with former engineers and scientists who worked on the project, combined with archival footage to show how things were at the time.
However, what makes it unique is the visual effects. star wars Visual effects house ILM worked on the film, creating incredibly detailed and realistic CG scenes that bring these rovers and the Martian landscape to life. There are sandstorms all over the planet that look like some outside mad Max and lots of close-ups of robots that help them see and move star wars Droids It adds a whole new dimension to a familiar story.
good night op Streaming starts on Prime Video from 23rd November.
An incredible spy thriller from the star of squid game
to hunt The film is the directorial debut of longtime Korean star Lee Jung-jae, which rose to global fame via Netflix. squid game, It is an espionage thriller set in the 1980s after a failed attempt to assassinate the South Korean president. Following this, two KCIA chiefs – one of whom is played by Lee himself – race to find the suspect amid escalating tensions with North Korea.
Spy thrillers are always full of deceit. Is this the matter. but to hunt Takes things to extremes, with a dizzying twist and turn that makes it nearly impossible to know who’s on which side and who you can trust. (Hint: You probably can’t trust anyone.) It’s unbelievable, rarely giving you a second to breathe before it throws another new wrench into the proceedings. Things end on a somewhat awkward note, but the ride is a lot of fun.
to hunt There is no theatrical release date yet.
Mia Goth shines in this slasher origin story
Pearl Ti is the second entry in West’s growing horror franchise, but it’s also primarily a prequel x, which was released earlier this year. This is an origin story, with Mia Goth reprising her role as Titanic Pearl as she transforms from an ordinary farm girl into a bloodthirsty monster.
if you have seen xnot surprising here, but Pearl still works because of the incredible performance of the goths, which is really awesome, as well as the stylistic mix the Wizard of Oz, psychoanalyst, and a straight slasher. for more PearlBe sure to check out my full review.
Pearl Coming to theaters on September 16.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
An Absolutely Ridiculous Take on the Music Biopic
Most biopics are meant to help the audience understand a person’s life. When it comes to musical biopics, it usually means following the traditional arc from a kid to a superstar, with all the ups and downs in between. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story It does all but with one important difference: Not everything you see in the movie is actually true.
rather than, Weird is a parody of biopics (suitable for a master of music parody) which is more like Walk Hard: The Davy Cox Story rather than rocket Man – and it’s absolutely hilarious. It takes the story of Yankovic’s life in absurd directions, from drug-filled journeys to hell to a fight with a real-life drug lord. Daniel Radcliffe fully commits to the role of Titanic, adding a level of intensity that makes the jokes all the more difficult. for more WeirdYou can view my full review.
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story Coming to the Roku channel on November 4.
wendell and wilde
An excellent stop-motion adventure from the back of the mind Coraline And No
For some people, names include wendell and wilde It would be enough to see them. After all, it’s the return of stop-motion animation that director Henry Selick co-wrote No Director Jordan Peele and Selick’s first film since 2009 Coraline, Peele also stars in the film with his longtime comedy partner Keegan-Michael Key. On paper, this is the perfect Halloween movie.
Luckily, it’s great on-screen too. Combining some of the best stop-motion animation I’ve ever seen — seriously, the level of detail is incredible, from rumbling radiators to a bubbling pot of curry — it makes for a silly, scary, and heartfelt story about a young girl with literal monsters. with. Fighting to find his place in the world while simultaneously saving an entire city. It is a typical Selick’s coming-of-age story, but also with a side-by-side critique of the prison industrial complex.
wendell and wilde Streaming starts on Netflix from October 28.