TIFF Made America

5 must-see music flicks at TIFF 2013

With everyone from Rob Ford to the feds recognizing Toronto as a musical city, and more news about the hotly anticipated 4479 partnership with Austin, Texas, it only makes sense that TIFF would take notice and run a music-focused theme session at this year's festival. Check out some of our top picks for biopics about proverbial zeros to operatic heroes, rockers and rollers, and fallen stars.

Lucky Them

Ellie Klug (Toni Collette) is tasked with the 'lucky' assignment of tracking down a local Seattle rock star for a feature story. Sounds like a music journalist's wet dream, except he's actually her ex-boyfriend. Following her along for the ride is Charlie (Thomas Haden Church), a bumbling young music-hating documentarian who just doesn't get it.

September 6, Isabel Bader Theatre at 6:30pm | 
September 7, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 at 11:15am | September 14, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema at 6:30pm

One Chance

David Frankel (director of The Devil Wears Prada) goes meta with a bio pic based on Paul Potts (James Corden), the against the odds, operatically obsessed winner of the first edition of Britain's Got Talent. Seems like having a movie made about your zero-to-hero life is just about as overwhelming as winning the contest itself, if you ask me.

September 9, Winter Garden Theatre at 8:00pm | 
September 10, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 at 5:00pm


A massive rock show benefit for Hurricane Sandy presented in classic documentary style. Features footage from the likes of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West, that you may have missed while taking washroom/snack breaks during the original multimedia screening.

September 8, Winter Garden Theatre at 8:00pm 
(Premium screening)

Can A Song Save Your Life?
Washed up producer (Mark Ruffalo) meets young ingénue singer (Keira Knightley) in this familiar sounding New York music industry drama (anyone seen The Artist?) set in a contemporary 'indie rock' context. Features cameos from Yassin Bey (aka Mos Def), and hooky catch phrase experts, Cee Lo "Eff You" Green and Adam "Moves Like Jagger" Levine.

September 7, Princess of Wales Theatre at 6:30pm
 (Premium screening) | 
September 8, Ryerson Theatre at 12:00pm | 
September 14, Ryerson Theatre at 12:00pm

Made In America
If you weren't able to make it to Budweiser's Made In America Festival in Philadelphia last year, (or this year's for that matter) you can at least experience it to some degree through the wonder of Ron Howard's lens. Jay-Z co-produced the film that features performances and interviews from Kanye West, D'Angelo, Dirty Projectors, Odd Future, Janelle Monáe, Run-DMC, Passion Pit, Pearl Jam, and more. Thankfully the music festival's presenting beer sponsor don't own a cent of the movie, so their names been dropped from Howard's flick.

September 7, TIFF Bell Lightbox at 10:15pm


All Is By My Side
A biopic about Jimi Hendrix made without permission from the Hendrix estate, starring Outkast's Andre Benjamin, (ahem, 3000) and directed by John Ridley. The lack of purple haziness forced the production to focus on early snapshots of the psych-rockers' life. Prospects seem dubious as no Jimi tunes will be heard, but the artful use of 60s archival footage could save the day.

September 7, Visa Screening Room (Elgin) at 9:00pm |
 September 8, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema at 2:15pm | September 14, Ryerson Theatre at 3:00pm

Thanks to Grolsch for sponsoring our coverage of TIFF13Grolsch TIFFLead still from Made in America

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