It’s that time of the year again when I book two weeks off my real life and go into the marvel of the Toronto International Film Festival. There’s nothing quite like it, and every year, I end up almost burning myself out with the sheer amount of films I end up watching.
Once again, I find myself with a long list of films I want to see but not enough time, having to pick and choose, trying to figure it all out and hoping that all of them will be ones that I like.
But just like with every festival I get the chance to attend, there are a few select that I just know I can’t miss. No matter what, I will find a way to be there and do everything n my power – even waiting hours in lines – so I can be part of the first few to watch it.
Here are my most anticipated films of TIFF22.
(Like always, in alphabetical order.)
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Directed by Aitch Alberto
One of my favourite books I read last year; what intrigues me so much about this one is that it seems to be taking the indie route compared to the adaptations of recent memories. Most book adaptations have been bigger budgets and not always faithful to how reading the book made you feel. Still, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe seems to be emanating exactly what the book made me feel the first time I read it. Plus, anything that is queer will make my most anticipated list; I am that easy.
Empire of Light
Directed by Sam Mendes
Olivia Colman is enough to bring me in. I know a trailer has been released and a synopsis, but all you have to tell me is Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, directed by Sam Mendes, and I am there. I am not a difficult person, and as an Olivia Colman stan first, one that has been rooting for her since her Pep Show days, I will watch anything she does forever and ever.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Directed by Rian Johnson
I was in the audience when Knives Out premiered at TIFF back in 2019, and I still remember how enthralled I was with the film and the direction. Rian Johnson has yet to direct a movie that I have not walked away entirely in love with – yes, I will forever love The Last Jedi. But Knives Out always felt like THE movie he was made to make, and now, with the sequel premiering at TIFF this year, there is just no way that I don’t watch it once again there. A tradition is, after all, a tradition.
Directed by John Hyams
I am seated and ready for any that comes from Kevin Williamson’s mind. It doesn’t matter if he is just getting a story by credit; I will be there. Sure, it is a pandemic film, and I have not loved a ton of those, but I will be there and here’s to hoping that it doesn’t disappoint me as so many pandemic films have in the past.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Spielberg. Semi-autobriographical. Paul Dano. That is all you need to tell me, and I will be there. Plus, it is the first time Spielberg premieres a film at TIFF, and I would not miss it for the world.
Directed by Mark Mylod
From the moment the first trailer for The Menu arrived online, it shot up to one of my most anticipated films of the year. From the cast to the premise, I was just in. There was no other way around not to be excited. It seems like such a fantastic movie, and the moment it was announced that it would play at the festival, it was meant to be.
Directed by Darren Aronofsky
Brendan Fraser. Sadie Sink. Darren Aronofsky. A trio for the ages. The Brendan Fraser Renaissance is so great to me, and I will watch anything the man is in; adding to that the incredible Sadie Sink and having one of the most original filmmakers in Aronofsky at the helm; it just is everything to create one of the best films out there, and I will be seated for it, ready to get my mind blown by the masterpiece that might unfold in front of me.
Directed by V.T. Nayan
The great thing about film festivals is that sometimes you read through the films that will be playing, and you stumble on one by chance, and suddenly you can’t get it out of your head. This year, it is This Place for me. Just from the moment I read the premise, I just knew I would need to watch it and would not be able not to find a way to put it in my schedule. In reality, This Place was the first film I put on it. I love a good queer cinema, and this seems to have been catered for me.