Matthias Maxime

The top 10 movies in Canada from 2019

It's the time of year to round up the best films that have graced our screens over the course of 2019. Sometimes it's hard to think up what the best movies over the course of twelve months were, but not to fear because TIFF just revealed its Canada's Top Ten list of features of 2019.

The list is compiled by TIFF’s team of programmers in collaboration with film experts, the list showcases a richness of voices, perspectives, and insights from some of Canada's finest established filmmakers, as well as emerging directorial talent from coast to coast to coast.

And the Birds Rained Down

Three hermits living in cabins in the Quebec countryside, miles from civilization, whose defiant need to live independently is increasingly endangered by nature, old age, and infirmity. Directed by Louise Archambault, and stars Rémy Girard, Gilbert Sicotte, and Kenneth Welsh.

Anne at 13,000 ft 

Anne, played by Deragh Campbell, in one of the year's most staggering performances, is a volatile young woman challenged by everyday social and professional encounters while working in a Toronto Daycare.


Following the murder of their parents, Antigone, her sister Ismène, her brothers Étéocle and Polynice, and their grandmother Ménécée find refuge in Montreal. Tragedy strikes when Étéocle is wrongfully gunned down by police during the arrest of Polynice, a small-time drug dealer. 

Black Conflux 

Set in suburban Newfoundland in 1987, Nicole Dorsey's debut feature is a dreamy account of two converging lives. Fifteen-year-old Jackie, played by Ella Ballentine, is navigating from vulnerable adolescence to impending adulthood. Dennis, played by Ryan McDonald, is a socially inept loner with a volatile dark streak and delusional fantasies.

The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open 

One woman's decision to comfort a stranger she finds crying in the street leads to a revealing and powerful conversation between two Indigenous women from very different circumstances, in this poignant collaboration from Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn.

Matthias & Maxime 

In Matthias & Maxime, two childhood best friends are asked to share a kiss for the purposes of a student short film. Soon, a lingering doubt sets in, confronting both of them with their preferences, threatening the brotherhood of their social circle, and, eventually, changing their lives. This film is directed by Xavier Dolan.


Heather Young has further established herself as one of her country's most promising filmmakers with her latest film. Utilizing a hybrid approach to casting and performance through her use of non-professional actors, Young blurs the lines of conventional narrative storytelling to explore alienation, addiction, and the powerful desire.

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk 

This film directed by Zacharias Kunuk hinges on a pivotal 1961 encounter on spring sea ice between the title character, played by Apayata Kotierk, and other community leaders and a government emissary who has come to ask them to relocate their families to permanent settlements and send their children to school. 

The Twentieth Century 

Director Matthew Rankin doubles down on his signature blend of historical and aesthetic abstraction with his debut feature, a bizarro biopic that reimagines the formative years of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King as a series of abject humiliations. 

White Lie

The latest feature from Calvin Thomas and Yonah Lewis centres on Katie, played by Kacey Rohl, a young woman who has become a literal poster child on her university campus: recently diagnosed with cancer, she's the focal point of an online funding campaign for both herself and other cancer-related causes. The only problem is, it's all built on a lie. 

 A few of the films will be playing throughout the month at TIFF so be sure to check out showtimes on their website.

Lead photo by

Matthias & Maxime

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