The Toronto Film Festival isn’t the place to catch your favourite stars in the flesh; it also happens to be a breeding ground for Oscar-worthy films.
Take, for example, Silver Linings Playbook. The David O’Russell movie won the People’s Choice Award at the Canadian film fest last year. It was later nominated for a number of awards and even garnered actress Jennifer Lawrence her first Academy Award. Before that, there was the Colin Firth-fronted The King’s Speech. The movie about the British monarch with a speech impediment also premiered at TIFF, won the festival’s People Choice Award and later went on to scoop up the Oscar for Best Picture.
While some films may not move on TIFF with the same kind of success, we can’t help but have a soft spot for a couple projects. Here are 10 movies that we think deserve some post-TIFF buzz.
The F Word
Daniel Radcliffe stars as Wallace, a hopeless romantic who is immediately smitten when he meets free-spirtied animator, Chantry (Zoe Kazan). Due to the fact that Chantry is already in a relationship, the two end up becoming best friends, but when their feelings for each other deepen, they’re forced to reconsider their platonic relationship.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut sees him playing Jon, a superficial womanizer whose concept of love and relationships are totally distorted thanks to his addiction to internet porn. He is forced to deal with his addiction head on when he meets and falls for Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a hot sassy Jersey girl who is immune to his charm.
This emotional drama hasn’t been getting nearly as much attention as it should considering it’s first class cast (Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti, Marcia Gay Harden) and the unique subject matter. Parkland takes the historic question “Where were you when JFK was shot?” and turns it on its head. Inspired by the first-hand accounts of medical staff, investigators and regular bystanders, the movie follows the dramatic aftermath of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.
12 Years A Slave
Based on true events, this movie has been gaining Oscar buzz for months now and after its premiere at TIFF the buzz has only gotten louder. It tells the story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a freeborn African-American living in New York and who is tricked into being sold as a slave in the Deep South where he encounters the horror of slavery under a cruel master (Michael Fassbender).
Kill Your Darlings
Daniel Radcliffe travels back to the fifties to he play famed Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in this movie inspired by true events. Kill Your Darlings follows Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) as they deal with the murder of Burroughs’ friend, David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). With incredible performances by the entire cast, this movie gives us a new look at the beat generation and deserves far more attention than it has gotten so far.
How I Live Now
When a movie has Saoirse Ronan in it, I am almost always sure it is going to be a winner. In this one Ronan plays Daisy, a tough, urban punk, who visits distant relatives in rural England. On the cusp of a world war, she must learn to trust in a family she never knew during a time of chaos.
Only Lovers Left Alive
American indie king, Jim Jarmusch, returns with this wild and wonderful tale of a centuries old rock star vampire named Adam (Tom Hiddleston) who reunites with his lady love, Eve (Tilda Swinton) in the hopes of getting some peace and quiet from his obsessive fans.
Alfonso Cuaron takes us on a terrifying journey in this movie about two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) who find themselves in the most frightening situation ever imaginable when they are separated from their space station. In a world where horror movies about fictional terrors run amuck, this is a refreshing change.
Daniel Radcliffe’s third entry on this list finds him in a role unlike any other he’s ever played. Based on the novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), Radcliffe is Ig, the prime suspect in the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Merrin (Juno Temple) but is completely innocent. One day, Ig wakes up with a pair of horns sprouting out of his head and discovers that people are suddenly willing to bare their innermost truths to him and sets out to find Merrin’s killer. If that plot doesn’t get you interested, I don’t know what will.
Legendary actor, John Turturro tries his hand at directing in this charming comedy about a man who tries to help out a friend by resorting to the oldest profession in the world: prostitution. The film stars Woody Allen as a pimp (yes, you read that right: pimp!) and a supporting cast consisting of big and small screen greats like Sharon Stone and Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara.