TIFF 2013: My Top 20 Picks

Published on September 4th, 2013 in: Film Festivals, Movies, Top Twenty Lists |

By Less Lee Moore

A Field in England

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – September 15. Rather than focus on some of the highest-profile films in the Festival (a few of which are already on my Top Ten Movies To Watch In 2013 list), I thought I’d pick 20 that are a little different.

1. A Field in England
Because it’s a Ben Wheatley movie and it’s not screening as part of Vanguard or Midnight Madness, but the Wavelengths Programme. And because one of the characters is a necromancer.

2. Blue Ruin
This revenge movie about a guy who’s a bumbling idiot a critical fave at Cannes, but it’s why it was a critical fave that has me excited about seeing it.

3. Cannibal
A cannibal falls for his newest proposed victim. I’m a Fannibal. I’m the target audience.

4. For Those Who Can Tell No Tales
An Australian tourist suffers from nightmares while on vacation in Bosnia, and when learns that the hotel she’s staying at was a former rape camp she vows to investigate further.

5. Gerontophilia
I don’t know that I could entice you with a better description of this movie than director Bruce La Bruce’s micro-synopsis: “Think Grumpy Old Men meets Emmanuelle.”

6. Horns
One of three Daniel Radcliffe-starring films at this year’s Festival (along with Kill Your Darlings and The F Word), Horns is the latest from always-interesting French director Alexandre Aja. It’s also based on a Joe Hill novel.

7. I Am Yours
It was partly the setting (Norway’s expatriate Pakistani community) and partly the aura of sheer desperation in the face of lead actress Amrita Acharia that sold me.

8. Intruders
A screenwriter goes to a cabin in the woods and encounters a nasty surprise in the form of a home invasion. Three of my favorite cinematic things together at last!

9. Jodorowsky’s Dune
At one point, in the 1970s, the director of El Topo was going to unleash an outlandish adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune upon the world, but it never happened. This documentary details what could have been.

10. Lucky Them
Toni Colette portrays a rock journalist assigned to find a missing local rock star legend who also happens to be her ex. The phrase “her erratic, booze-soaked relationships with younger musicians” places this in an even more interesting category.

It’s about a cursed mirror. If you’ve ever been scared to look at your own reflection, you will get why this both intrigues and terrifies me.

12. Our Sunhi
Although the word “adorable” is not one I used about films often, this trailer features “adorable” in spades and made me laugh out loud more than once.

13. Paradise
There are two other movies at TIFF this year that focus on our fat-shaming society through different lenses (Fat, Paradise: Hope). This one is about a couple that decides to lose weight together and must confront the fact that one of them isn’t losing weight.

A pregnant woman is attacked then joins a support group to deal with the aftermath only to discover life is more treacherous than she thought.

15. Rigor Mortis
Set in one of my favorite genre locations—a decrepit housing tower—this film throws supernatural horror into the mix.

16. Stranger By The Lake
There’s a decidedly Purple Noon/The Talented Mr. Ripley feeling evoked in the description of this film that piqued my interest

17. Stray Dogs
The public washroom scene in the trailer is profoundly moving to me even though it features no dialogue.

18. Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
I wasn’t that interested in this movie until Alice Cooper talked about his lifelong friend and manager Shep Gordon at Rue Morgue’s Festival of Fear in August.

19. The Grand Seduction
A remake of the 2003 Quebec film La grande seduction, this version stars Brendan Gleeson and Taylor Kitsch and is set in a Newfoundland fishing village.

20. The Sacrament
Actor AJ Bowen recently described this film as “The VICE Guide to Jonestown.” It’s also the latest from one of my favorite horror directors, Ti West, so naturally Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg are in it, too.

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