The best and worst movies at TIFF 2014 so far
We're through the opening weekend at TIFF at this point, which is traditionally always a good time to come up for air, have a look around, and see what has emerged from the festival as the good, bad, and surprise breakout.
The wonderful thing about the festival (especially in this social media age) is the way pockets of buzz and enthusiasm swell behind certain movies, propelling them to the forefront of what's worth checking out at TIFF. It's especially useful for those who like to use the second half of the festival to scramble and find tickets for those films.
Here then is a list of the best and worst films that have generated a healthy amount of good and bad talk via reviews, critics, social media and more. (All plot descriptions from the TIFF programme).
"In 1984 Britain, a ragtag band of activists from London's queer community form an unlikely, anti-Thatcherite alliance with striking Welsh miners, in this hilarious and inspirational comedy-drama."
"A drifter and petty thief (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins the nocturnal legions of scuzzy freelance photographers who scour the city for gruesome crime-scene footage, in this gripping portrait of the dark side of L.A. from veteran screenwriter and first-time director Dan Gilroy."
If Jake Gyllenhaal isn't nominated for NIGHTCRAWLER, I'm suing Hollywood. Dan Gilroy, too. What a movie. My heart is still racing! #tff14— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) September 6, 2014
NIGHTCRAWLER is fantastic! NETWORK meets BEING THERE for the TMZ age in which we live. Probably won't win awards, but will become a classic.— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) September 6, 2014
While We're Young
"Noah Baumbach's exploration of aging, ambition and success stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple whose career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives."
WHILE WE'RE YOUNG: I laughed and laughed - super funny & soaked in nostalgia, Baumbach is on a roll right now. Also: Ad-Rock! #TIFF14— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) September 7, 2014
WHILE WE'RE YOUNG: Playful, charming, and very funny. Stiller and Watts have great chemistry. Driver unsurprisingly solid. #TIFF14— Adam Chitwood (@adamchitwood) September 7, 2014
"Kevin Smith brings his comedic chops to a disturbing new milieu in this Canuck-baiting chiller about a popular podcast host who descends into straight-up madness when he heads north of the 49th parallel."
TUSK: Comedy slapstick that heavily borrows from The Human Centipede and/or Cronenberg's The Fly. But who cares. It was so much fun! #TIFF14— The Sleepy Skunk (@sleepyskunk) September 7, 2014
TUSK is absolutely bonkers. It's also immensely entertaining. #TIFF14— Nigel M. Smith (@nigelmfs) September 7, 2014
Duke of Burgundy
"British filmmaker Peter Strickland follows his eerie Festival hit Berberian Sound Studio with this dark melodrama about an amateur butterfly expert whose wayward desires test her lover's tolerance."
DUKE OF BURGUNDY: Peter Strickland navigates love, desire, and power dynamics in the guise of 70s erotic melodrama. Fabulous stuff! #TIFF14— Ben Nicholson (@BRNicholson) September 6, 2014
DUKE OF BURGUNDY's my favorite of #TIFF14 so far. A witty, artful follow-up to BERBERIAN, exploring power dynamics in 70s Eurotica.— Noel Murray (@NoelMu) September 6, 2014
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY: A whole lot of glorious, strange, captivating beauty hiding dirt, grime and psychosexual warfare underneath. Riveting.— Brian Tallerico (@Brian_Tallerico) September 7, 2014
"A concentration-camp survivor (Nina Hoss) searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband who might have betrayed her to the Nazis, in this gripping drama from leading German filmmaker Christian Petzold (Jerichow, Barbara)."
PHOENIX (Petzold): Best in show so far, exploring Holocaust nonacceptance through the uneasy-to-peg emotional contours of film noir. #TIFF14— Ben Kenigsberg (@benkenigsberg) September 6, 2014
PHOENIX (A-/84): Hoss mesmerizes as Auschwitz survivor in noir-ish post-WWII Germany that just wants to move on. Great last scene. #TIFF14— Mark Pfeiffer (@markpfeiffer) September 6, 2014
"Trapped in the wilderness after Air Force One is forced down by a terrorist attack, the President of the United States (Samuel L. Jackson) must rely on the survival skills of a 13-year-old woodsman, in this thriller co-starring Ray Stevenson, Jim Broadbent and Felicity Huffman."
BIG GAME: A damn fun time at the movies. A great living homage to 90s action with a heart and energy all it's own. #TIFF14— Brian J. Roan (@BrianJRoan) September 7, 2014
"In the divided city of Belfast at the height of The Troubles, a rookie British soldier (Jack O'Connell, Starred Up) finds himself separated from his unit and lost in IRA-controlled territory, in this gripping fusion of charged political drama and action-thriller."
Do yourself a favour: get tickets to '71. One of the best of the Fest. You'll see why Angelina Jolie cast Jack O'Connell in Unbroken #TIFF14— Rachel West (@rachel_is_here) September 7, 2014
Already seen one great #TIFF14 movie and it's only day one...'71. Just, wow.— David Fear (@davidlfear) September 5, 2014
"A big-city lawyer (Robert Downey, Jr.) returns home when his estranged father, a small-town judge (Robert Duvall), is accused of murder."
I can't even muster snark for THE JUDGE. It's such a nothing. #TIFF14— Jordan Hoffman (@jhoffman) September 5, 2014
The Judge: Your honor, I object on the basis of this being such a great cast trying to make the most of an incredibly lame movie. #TIFF14— Edward Douglas (@EDouglasWW) September 5, 2014
Men, Women & Children
"The latest feature from Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Labor Day) follows a group of teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives."
ðŸ‘ª (Reitman): ðŸ˜¬ ðŸ”«— Mike D'Angelo (@gemko) September 6, 2014
MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN (Reitman, 0.5/5) Reitman on The Way We Live Today. Catastrophically misjudged. Like all pie scene misjudged. #TIFF14— Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) September 6, 2014
What are the best and worst films you've seen at TIFF so far? Add them to the comments.
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