Best films of the Toronto Film Festival, ranked

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Want to get a taste of what could be the best film at the Oscars next year? Watch out for the Toronto International Film Festival.

After last year’s events were all affected by COVID-19, the fall film festival season is in full swing again in Venice, Telluride and now Toronto (through September 18), which is a hybrid in person / online business this year. Regardless of the presentation, the Toronto Film Festival has hosted the last six Best Picture winners, including “Nomadland” in 2021. All eyes will therefore be on the most popular films, including the musical “Dear Evan Hansen” , the biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” starring Jessica Chastain, the sci-fi epic “Dune” and “Spencer,” which won Kristen Stewart ecstatic as Princess Diana.

Like the 2020 edition, we’ll be watching from afar and keeping readers up to date on the coolest things we’ll see (ranked, of course):

Oscars 2022:Kristen Stewart tops Best Actress race as Princess Diana

7. “Mother’s Sunday”

Talky and a little bland but full of youthful love (and scorching sexual energy in the early 20th century), the well-performed period drama from director Eva Husson stars Odessa Young as Jane Fairchild, an English maid to a high-class couple (Colin Firth and Olivia Colman) taking a leave of absence on a particularly pleasant Mother’s Day in 1924. She meets her secret lover Paul (Josh O’Connor), a guy working at a nearby mansion who is engaged to her posh childhood friend (Emma D ‘Arcy). There isn’t enough of Firth or Colman, although Jane’s story is skillfully told over decades as it weaves a constant sense of disturbing tragedy, but also the birth of a writer’s mind.

6. “Give blood shots”

Alanna Bale stars as a modern vampire woman who greets a suicidal alcoholic (Luke Bilyk) in "A fit of rage."

The thoughtful Canadian horror film uses vampirism as a metaphor for addiction and it works perfectly. Immortal life and drinking human blood to get high just doesn’t work for Anna (Alanna Bale), who works in a library by day while attacking victims – and usually not good guys – at night. She welcomes Robbie (Luke Bilyk), a suicidal alcoholic, when he needs it most, and getting sober and trying to change her life inspires Anna to rethink her own vices as well as the high-class vampires with whom. she celebrates in her pack.

5. “A banquet”

The pre-apocalyptic sequence of “Donnie Darko” meets family drama in psychological horror directed by a wife of director Ruth Paxton. Jessica Alexander impresses as a young woman who stops eating after a night of partying makes her believe that there is a cataclysmic event ahead and that her body is now a vessel for what is happening. Worried, her widowed mother (Sienna Guillory) becomes obsessed with giving her something to eat, even a few peas – there are a number of food closeups that will make you lose your appetite – even if the weeks go by. and she is not losing weight. It’s a sobering, often frightening, approach to parent / adolescent dynamics and eating disorders.

4. “Hell”

Directed by Yeon Sang-ho (“Train to Busan”), Netflix‘s six-part supernatural drama is tested in Toronto and it’s an interesting version of the police procedure where South Korean detectives investigate people being told by angels that they are going to die and demonic monsters coming to drag them to hell in a rather public and freaking way. Widowed cop (Yang Ik-june), radio reporter (Park Jeong-min), and lawyer (Kim Hyun-joo) investigate growing public concern and obsession with the choice of “sinners” and the involvement of a popular religious group with a young charismatic leader (Yoo Ah-in).

3. “Titanium”

Written and directed by Julia Ducournau (who directed the fantastic “Raw”), this wild and extremely strange French thriller – which won the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes – gives new meaning to the term “auto-eroticism”. Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), who has had a titanium plaque in her head since being in a nasty traffic accident as a child, is a well-known dancer who twerks on a flaming Cadillac, has “connections sexual “with the four wheel machine and gets pregnant. (No, really.) Alexia also happens to be a serial killer, but this insane story of murder and disturbing body horror has a heart, too, when a runaway Alexia meets a struggling aging fire captain (Vincent Lindon ) and the two happen to need each other.

2. “The Guilty”

Director Antoine Fuqua’s ultra-tense remake of the 2018 Danish thriller will keep your stomach in a knot for most of its 90 minutes – before the inevitable punch. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as an angry LAPD detective demoted to the 911 operator position, and a call comes in from a woman apparently in grave danger who sends her night into an emotional spin. An impressive voice cast, which Riley Keough and Peter Sarsgaard literally call him out as the various important actors the cop has to deal with, and Gyllenhaal skillfully navigates a moving character arc in a meandering tale of responsibility and redemption.

The documentary "Attica" recounts the infamous 1971 inmate uprising in the upstate New York prison that ended in a bloody clash with police.

1. ‘Attica’

This week marked the 50th anniversary of the infamous rebellion at Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York, and director Stanley Nelson’s gripping documentary takes a deep dive into the incident where 1,000 inmates were taken. taken guards hostage during a five-day standoff that ended in a bloody clash with police. In interviews with former prisoners, the newsreel discusses the virulent racism and violence that led to the uprising of the predominantly black and brown population against the all-white guards, but also the society that developed during the rebellion, where Muslim convicts kept the guards safe from others who wanted to harm them. As we remember from the tumultuous times, “It’s us against them.”

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