Monday, August 26, 2013

My 2013 Films

Just finished selecting my films for 2013:

  • All About the Feathers (Neto Villalobos, Costa Rica): A small-town security guard finds his life changed when he adopts a rooster for cockfighting.
  • Attila Marcel (Sylvain Chomet, France): The first live-action film from the director of The Triplets of Belleville, follows Paul, 33 but arrested in his development. His neighbour helps to unlock his repressed childhood memories, letting his experience the world through musical fantasies.
  • Beyond the Edge (Leanne Pooley, New Zealand): A documentary covering the first ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.
  • Blind Detective (Johnnie To, Hong Kong): To's latest finds Andy Lau as a blind private detective who teams up with cop Sammi Cheng to solve a variety of crimes.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, France): Palme d'Or winner this year at Cannes, about the relationship between a high schooler and an art student.
  • Can a Song Save Your Life? (John Carney, USA): From the writer/director of Once, a drama revolving around the music industry, with an all-star cast of both actors and musicians including Kiera Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, Mos Def, CeeLo Green, and Adam Levine.
  • Cold Eyes (Cho Ui-seok, Kim Byung-seo, South Korea): Korean thriller follows a police surveillance team trying to catch a gang of bank robbers.
  • Dom Hemingway (Richard Shepard, United Kingdom): Jude Law plays a gangster recently released from prison who tears it up with his former sidekick, played by Richard E. Grant.
  • Don Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, USA): Gordon-Levitt's feature film directorial debut, in which he also stars as a porn-addicted, womanizing lothario.
  • The Double (Richard Ayoade, United Kingdom): Jesse Eisenberg finds his life taken over by his doppelganger.
  • El Mudo (Diego Vega, Daniel Vega, Peru/France/Mexico): a crusading judge soon believes himself to be the target of a conspiracy after several incidents culminating in an attempt on his life.
  • Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener, USA): one of James Gandolfini's final roles, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a divorced woman who is tentatively navigating a new relationship while dealing with her feelings about the past.
  • The F Word (Michael Dowse, Canada): Daniel Radcliffe falls in love with a girl already in a relationship, in this romantic comedy from the director of Goon, Fubar, and It's All Gone Pete Tong.
  • Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, Chile/Spain): Paulina Garcia plays a woman looking for love and life.
  • The Grand Seduction (Don McKellar, Canada): A small town tries to entice a big city doctor into staying permanently so they can win a new factory and save the town. Be interesting to compare and contrast this with La grande séduction (can't remember if I actually saw this at TIFF back in 2003 or not). Ken Scott, the original screenwriter, collaborated with Michael Dowse (who wrote and directed The F Word, which I'm also seeing this year).
  • In Conversation With Spike Jonze: interview with Jonze with clips from his new movie, Her, which stars Joaquin Phoenix.
  • The Love Punch (Joel Hopkins, United Kingdom/France): a romantic comedy-cum-heist movie starring Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson as a formerly married pair of thieves.
  • Lucky Them (Megan Griffiths, USA): Toni Collette plays a music journalist looking into the decade-old disappearance of a local musician, who just also happened to be her former boyfriend.
  • Man of Tai Chi (Keanu Reeves, USA/China): the directorial debut of Keanu Reeves, who also plays the organizer of an underground martial arts tournament that lures in Linhu (played by Tiger Chen), who needs money to save his master's temple.
  • The Past (Asghar Farhadi, France/Italy): From Oscar-winning director Farhadi (A Separation), The Past finds an Iranian man travelling to Paris to secure his divorce from his wife, but ends up being drawn in deeper into her life and that of their daughter.
  • Quai d'Orsay (Bertrand Tavernier, France): a political satire built around a French foreign minister and his staff.
  • A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, China/Japan): won best screenplay at Cannes this year, and tells tales of four people driven by circumstance into violent action.
  • Unforgiven (Lee Sang-il, Japan): a remake of Eastwood's Unforgiven that transplants the action to late 19th-century Japan. I watched one of Lee's previous films, Hula Girls, at a previous festival).
  • The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan): the latest film from Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli that tells a somewhat fictionalized story of the man who designed the Zero fighter, and which seems to have generated divided reactions overseas.
  • Words and Pictures (Fred Schepisi, USA): I usually end up seeing any film Juliette Binoche is in at the festival, and here she plays a painter locked in a debate with Clive Owen's English teacher over which form is the more expressive and meaningful.
  • You Are Here (Matthew Weiner, USA): Weiner's (Mad Men) feature film directorial debut, starring Zach Galifianakis as an offbeat fellow who ends up inheriting his estranged father's considerable estate, much to the chagrin of his sister, played by Amy Poehler.
You can also view this list at


Eclectic picks :) I just found your blog through HuffPo - it looks like the perfect survival guide for TIFF newbies like me! will there be a discussion post where people can post their film reviews and share tips and experiences? and will you do a post about dos and don'ts while watching the red carpet?

@Jen: I've created a page where people can comment on their experiences/must-sees. I've also created another page with some general tips, but I don't have much for the red carpet. Just to the west of Roy Thomson Hall, in David Pecault Square, is probably one of the better places to see people, especially for the big galas.

My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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