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ANDPOP DOES TIFF 2015: The 5 Best Movies of the Festival

Posted on September 23, 2015 by

ANDPOP’s resident movie goer, Jordan Appugliesi, will be living at theatres for the next 10 days for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, just to bring you tips, tricks, and his thoughts on the festival’s films — and to enjoy some movies. Jordan is here to share with us the good, bad and the in between of the festival this year — fuelled by a few Venti coffees. 

Well,  another year and another edition of the Toronto International Film Festival has come to a close and we are both sad and relieved.

This year’s TIFF has been an eventful one. I got to talk to Saoirse Ronan , got to watch a handful of movies I really liked (and some I really didn’t), and shared an elevator with both Elle Fanning and Rosie Perez within five minutes of each other. Yeah, I’m still breathless. Only at TIFF do these things happen to a person.

Of the 40+ movies I saw at the festival (more or less, — I lost count after my twentieth coffee), I’ve narrowed it down to five that I loved more than anything else – and they’re pretty great.

Here are my top 5 movies from the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival:



Director Tom McCarthy has made a beautiful ode to investigative journalism and print with Spotlight —  the first genuine Best Picture contender I’ve seen so far this year. The movie is enthralling for its 120-minute running time and is elevated even higher by its stellar ensemble cast – Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and Billy Crudup. Seriously, Spotlight is so good it made me cry — and it’s not even that emotional.


Writer and director Charlie Kaufman does it again with his touching, intimate portrait of loneliness with Anomalisa, a stop-motion animated film. The film is hilarious, heartbreaking, depressing, introspective and illuminating – all done with puppets. Before you know it, you’re crying (No, but for real).


Oz Perkins is off to a stunning start with his debut horror film, February. Starring Emma Roberts, Keirnan Shipka and Lucy Boynton, the film evokes the style of John Carpenter and is reminiscent of Halloween; the film builds tension remarkably well, stays in the slasher lane and plays with genre, keeping you guessing right until the end.


The Witch

The Witch is modern horror at it’s finest. It’s a slow burn (a very, tedious, slow burn…) with the ultimate pay off. It’s filled with iconic imagery and a killer score. There is a shot near the end of the film that is so haunting, and so memorable that it will stick with me for as long as I live. 

Brooklyn got to me. It’s so proudly old-fashioned and graceful, but it packs a surprising emotional punch. Nick Hornby’s screenplay of author Colm Toibin’s book of the same name is superb and elevated by the wonderful cast. The film’s star, Saoirse Ronan who plays Eilis Lacey, knocks it out of the park in one of the year’s best performances. (I also cried during this).

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