Canada gave us peanut butter, Anne of Green Gables, Michael Buble, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. Each September, it also restores my faith in motion pictures as the definitive art form of our times. At this year's annual Toronto International Film Festival, instead of hitting its usual high mark early in the proceedings, the quality of movies grew exponentially over the course of the 11-day cinematic marathon, which was filled with more than 500 hours of movies.
Many of the films that premiered at TIFF could end up as nominees for 2015's Best Picture Oscar. If the Motion Picture Academy grants its full capacity of 10 nominations (it can be as few as five if the Academy so chooses), the Best Picture slots are already filling up fast. Presuming Boyhood gets the first nomination, my guess is several films emerging from Toronto--Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash, Wild--are Best Picture contenders. There is also a chance that one of a few smaller films--Mr. Turner, Rosewater, Still Alice and St. Vincent--could grab a nomination as well. Presuming that the still-to-be seen Birdman, Gone Girl, Interstellar, Into the Woods and Unbroken also live up to their hype, the Academy will have an embarrassment of riches come January when it needs to whittle down its short list.
In the meantime, "patience" is the watchword for those moviegoers anxious to witness some greatness. Birdman, Gone Girl, St. Vincent and Whiplash come out in October; Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Rosewater, The Theory of Everything will be out for Thanksgiving; and Into the Woods, Mr. Turner, Still Alice, Unbroken and Wild open in December.
Boise Weekly spoke to quite a few of the stars, directors and screenwriters behind these fine films, and, as their movies come to Boise, we'll share their insights. In the meantime, here's a list of some of the 50-plus films that we screened at TIFF:Five Maple Leafs:
The Best of the Fest
Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, Leviathan, Still Alice, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash, WildFour Maple Leafs:
Boychoir, The Equalizer, Force Majeure, Haemoo, Love and Mercy, Mr. Turner, Merchants of Doubt, Pride, Rosewater, St. Vincent, The Tale of Princess Kaguya, This Is Where I Leave You, Top Five, Two Days, One Night, X+YThree Maple Leafs:
99 Homes, 1001 Grams, Bang Bang Baby, Big Game, Clouds of Sils Maria, The Good Lie, The Judge, Nightcrawler, Pawn Sacrifice, Tusk, Welcome to Me, While We're Young, The Yes Men Are RevoltingTwo Maple Leafs:
Cake; The Cobbler; The Drop; Escobar; The Last Five Years; Men, Women & Children; Revenge of the Green Dragons; Riot ClubOne Maple Leaf:
Black and White, Charlie's Country, Face of an Angel, Hector and the Search for Happiness, The Humbling, Maps of the Stars, Ruth & Alex.
Yes, there were some duds. After all, Canada also gave us curling, Justin Bieber and Rob Ford.