Political intrigue and diseased celebrities start the week at TIFF.
Wondering how to navigate the torrent of films? Our growing list of TIFF reviews is right here.
Five days in, you might think that TIFF has already debuted the bulk of its most anticipated titles, but take heart: there’s a lot left to see, even if Ryan Gosling has already skipped town. Of today’s first showings, we’re partial to Pablo Larraín’s hilarious No (), which features Gael García Bernal as a Chilean ad man who made his name selling fizzy drinks only to find himself tasked with running the television campaign for the leftist side of the 1988 referendum on ousting Augusto Pinochet. It’s a smart, aesthetically accomplished, and oddly uplifting film, given the forbidding title. Political junkies who gravitate more to American history might also want to check out Free Angela & All Political Prisoners (), Shola Lynch’s exhaustive (if a bit flat) documentary about lifelong radical and academic Angela Davis.
One of the nice things about TIFF’s size is that you can practically curate a number of mini-festivals for yourself out of the enormous selection. Why not, for instance, recreate May’s Cannes Film Festival here in Toronto, given that most of the major titles have made the trip? Of the Cannes alumni screening today, The Hunt () is worth a look, largely for Best Actor winner Mads Mikkelsen’s terrific performance as a man wrongfully accused of sexually assaulting a young student. The film itself verges on crassly manipulative, but Mikkelsen’s absorbing turn just about makes up for it. Today’s also a good opportunity to sample the talents of David Cronenberg’s son Brandon, whose debut thriller Antiviral () also made its first (odd) mark in France. We saw a clear genetic resemblance to Cronenberg Senior’s work in its tale of a guy who sells celebrity pathogens, though it’s definitely no Videodrome.