TIFF 2019 Movie GuideThe Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is back for its 44th year, featuring 18 Gala Presentations and 38 Special Presentations with 50% of Gala films directed or co-directed by women. If you’re looking for this year’s best bets, look no further-here are our top pics out of each genre :
If You’re in the Mood For: Oscar BuzzA Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (Marielle Heller): Jaded journalist (Matthew Rhys) reluctantly takes an Esquire, assignment to profile the children’s television host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and discovers a profoundly empathetic worldview that will change his life forever. The Goldfinch (John Crowley): Adapted from Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a young boy’s life (Ansel Elgort) is forever altered following a terrorist attack at an art museum. The film also stars Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson, Sara Paulson and Jeffery Wright. Joker (Todd Phillips): Joaquin Phoenix plays the iconic comic-book villain in director Todd Phillips’ (War Dog, The Hangover) dark chronicle of a vulnerable man’s descent into violent madness.
If You’re in the Mood For: Canadian ContentOnce Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (Daniel Roher): Screening at this year’s opening gala, this feature documentary follows Robbie Robertson from his early life in Toronto and on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, in Southern Ontario, to the creation of legendary roots-rock group The Band. Directed by Daniel Roher and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. American Woman (Semi Chellas): A political activist (Hong Chau) helps take care of a group of America’s most wanted fugitives – including a well-known, recently radicalized heiress – in this fictionalized reimaging of the Patty Hearst affair. The Song of Names (François Girard): Tim Roth and Clive Owen star in this historical drama, about a man searching for his childhood best friend – a Polish violin prodigy orphaned in the Holocaust- who vanished decades before on the night of his first public performance.
If You’re in the Mood For: Female Filmmaker FlicksHustlers (Lorene Scafaria): Inspired by a 2015 New York Magazine article that went viral, a savvy crew of former strippers (Cardi B, Constance Wu, Julia Stiles, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer and Lizzo) led by Ramona (Jennifer Lopez), who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients. Abominable (Jill Culton): Featuring the voices of Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson, this animated adventure follows a teenage girl and a Yeti as they explore the Himalayas in the hopes of reuniting the creature with his family. Galveston (Mélanie Laurent) Adapted from True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto’s bestseller and Mélanie Laurent’s English-language debut, tells the story of an injured hitman (Ben Foster) fleeing to Galveston with a troubled young prostitute (Elle Fanning) and her kid sister. Pelican Blood (Katrin Gebbe): In this dramatic thriller, a mother’s quiet country life is threatened when her newly adopted second daughter turns from shy and charming to menacing and dangerous.
If You’re in the Mood For: DramaRadioactive (Marjane Satrapi): Based on Lauren Redniss’s award-winning graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis) biopic stars Rosamund Pike as two-time Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie, highlighting the groundbreaking discoveries she made with her husband, Pierre (Sam Riley). Ford V Ferrari (James Mangold): Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in this high-speed biographical drama that pits an underdog team of American automotive engineers against Ferrari in the 1966 “24 Hours of Le Mans” endurance race. Endings, Beginnings (Drake Doremus): An idealistic woman (Shailene Woodley) attempts to get her life on track financially and romantically, but gets caught in a love triangle with a free-spirited bad boy (Sebastian Stan) and his more stable, scholarly best friend (Jamie Dornan), in this tender exploration of love and heartbreak from Drake Doremus (Like Crazy). Keep an eye on the “TIFF” website for more information about screening dates and ticket sales.
Buying TIFF TicketsWith several different options available, buying tickets for TIFF can be overwhelming – especially if you’ve never done it before. Not sure which option is best for you? Read on for more information about purchasing tickets and packages to the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
Buying Individual TIFF TicketsMost appropriate for: Festival goers who want control over which movies they see. Buying individual tickets is typically the best option if you’ve never been to the festival before. It’s simpler and cheaper than buying a package, plus you get to choose exactly which movies you want to see and how many. Wise advice: Tickets for high-profile films and Premium Screenings tend to get scooped up early by people who buy packages in advance. If you plan on buying an individual ticket to one of the high-profile films, be prepared to place your order as soon as these tickets go on sale to make sure you get a spot. Individual tickets go on sale to the public on September 2 at 10 a.m., with sales reopening on September 3. Prices range from $19 to $26 for weekday daytime screenings to $29 to $36 for regular evening and weekend screenings to $53 to $60 for premium tickets. Remember to buy early so you can get the most savings! Tip: Tickets for high-profile films and Premium Screenings tend to get scooped up early by people who buy packages in advance. If you plan on buying an individual ticket to one of the high-profile films, be prepared to place your order as soon as these tickets go on sale to make sure you get a spot. Individual tickets go on sale to the public on September 3 at 10 a.m., with sales reopening on September 4. Prices range from $10 and $25 for weekday daytime screenings to $28 and $35 for regular evening and weekend screenings to $52 and $59 for premium tickets. Remember to buy early so you can get the most savings!
Buying a Flex PackMost appropriate for: Seasoned TIFF veterans who want to see a large number of specific films. This year, the festival offers five ticket package options:
- Regular Flex: Buy in increments of 10 starting at $250.
- Premium Flex: Get six of the hottest tickets first, with the choice of any premium screenings, for $435.
- Flex 6-Pack: A starter pack of six films for $155.
- Weekday Daytime: Get 10 tickets for weekday screenings starting at 5 p.m. or earlier, for $175.
- Back Half: Get six tickets for films screening from September 11 to 15, for $110.
Buying a Curated ExperienceMost appropriate for: Film lovers who want to leave the work to TIFF programmers. This year’s festival offers two special curated experiences:
- Buzz List: The ultimate A-list TIFF experience, the $1,560 Buzz List ticket bundle will get you into five premium screenings – those high-profile red carpet galas where all the stars come out. It’s a hefty price tag, but for the possibility of rubbing elbows with the best of the best, it’s worth it.
- Opening Night Film: See the Festival’s Opening Night Film at Princess of Wales on September 5 for $120.
- Closing Night Film: See the Festival’s Closing Night Film at Roy Thomson Hall on September 14 for $100.
For More InformationVisit TIFF Tickets for more information about packages and pricing.
Red Carpet ExperienceEver wonder what it’s like to be a movie star on the red carpet? At TIFF, you can get as close to that feeling as possible. From the flashing cameras to the screaming fans to the designer dresses, experience the complete red carpet spectacle at TIFF 2019.
Unleash Your Inner ChildWaiting by the red carpet for the stars to show up is kind of like being a kid at Christmas time. The feelings of excitement and anticipation are the same, except instead of Santa Claus it’s its Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep you’re hoping to see. Only a handful of films that screen at TIFF are given the full red carpet treatment. This year, TIFF has announced 18 of these special Gala Presentations Keep in mind that if you want to actually attend the gala screening, you likely won’t be able to hang around the red carpet long enough to see the stars arrive. Luckily, most TIFF films have multiple screenings throughout the festival so you can always attend a non-gala screening at a later date if you want to experience both the red carpet and the movie.
Reach for the StarsTIFF always attracts an abundance of A-listers, and this year will be no exception. You can get some idea of which celebrities will be showing up to which galas based on who’s starring in them – although part of the excitement of attending TIFF galas is that you never know exactly who you will see until you get there!
Here is a by-no-means-complete list of celebrities appearing in this year’s films: Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Matt Damon, Meryl Steep, Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Lizzo, Sarah Paulson, Allison Janney, Susan Sarandon, Emma Thompson, Bruce Springsteen, Kate Winslet, Alfre Woodard, Mia Wasikowska, Liam Neeson, Scarlett Johansson, Joaquin Phoenix, Gary Oldman, Tilda Swinton, Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eddie Murphy, Anthony Hopkins, Cynthia Erivo, Annette Bening, Bill Nighy, Renée Zellweger, Jamie Foxx, Chris Evans, Russell Crowe, Matthew Rhys, Eddie Izzard, Ray Romano, Julia Stiles, Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Sebastian Stan, Jamie Dornan, Rebel Wilson, Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson, Jérémie Renier, Greg Kinnear, David Thewlis, Adam Sandler, Steve Coogan, Isla Fisher, David Mitchell, Laysla De Oliveira, Shia LaBeouf, Beanie Feldstein, Chris O’Dowd, Paddy Considine, Constance Wu, Sam Rockwell, Lili Reinhart, Keke Palmer, Thomasin McKenzie, Roman Griffin Davis, Michael B. Jordan, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Michael Shannnon, LaKeith Stanfield, Adam Driver, Edward Norton, Lesley Manville, Antonio Banderas, Rosamund Pike, Sam Riley, Jason Segel, Dakota Johnson, Casey Affleck, Luke Wilson, Jeffery Wright, Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Capaldi, Ben Whishaw, Priyanka Chopra, Farhan Akhtar, Tim Roth, Clive Owen, Jonathan Pryce, Nicholas Hoult and more!
There will be plenty of homegrown talent too, with the likes of Christopher Plummer, Robbie Robertson and more.
Once you’ve decided which galas you want to lurk, show up early to get a good spot in front of the red carpet. Then get ready to gawk and snap as the limos roll in.