TIFF 2019 in review
It’s that time again! The Toronto International Film Festival has arrived, and with it, a slew of fresh and exciting films for cinephiles and casual viewers alike. Not sure how to wade your way through all of this year’s picks? Here is a list of the four most talked-about films of the festival:
New Zealand director Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit has been met with plenty of controversy: it’s a film about a young boy whose imaginary friend is none other than Adolf Hitler. However, fans of Waititi will know that he puts his signature spin on things — the Jewish Maori director himself is playing Hitler. The plot also deals with heavy topics like white supremacy and the Holocaust. While Jojo Rabbit has received mixed reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the amount of publicity and discussion around it definitely makes it one of the most original films of the year, and for sure, one to watch.
Todd Phillip’s entry in this year’s festival was the much-anticipated Joker, previously screened at the Venice Film Festival. The film focuses on the origin of the infamous super villain and critics have praised the story as well as Joaquin Phoenix’ performance. The film has received some backlash due to its portrayal of mental health and surrounding issues, but responses are mixed so far. One thing’s for sure: fans of the franchise will not want to miss out.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood
Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood tells the story of a journalist reluctantly writing an article on Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood fame, played by everybody’s favourite, Tom Hanks. The movie has received critical acclaim for its portrayal of Rogers’ story, as well as highlighting the core values that he preached on his show and in his personal life. Audiences can expect an emotional, heartwarming message that is sure to add a dash of Rogers’ trademark positivity to their day. Be wary, though, this one looks like it’s going to be a tearjerker.
Hustlers, written and directed by Lorene Scafaria, was one of the biggest picks at TIFF this year. The film follows a group of female strippers through their successes and struggles in life and a dangerous criminal money-making scheme. The star-studded cast, led by Jennifer Lopez in one of her most critically acclaimed roles to date, has been praised for its diverse representation of strong women. The film is inspired by a true story and has already hit theatres, where it has become a big winner as well.
It was a great year for film at TIFF, with plenty of groundbreaking and original content receiving widespread critical acclaim. Film junkies will have a lot to look forward to in the coming months as this year’s picks are released in mainstream cinemas. Happy movie watching!