So, it’s done. I, with my fear of flying, made it all the way to Toronto and attended the Toronto International Film Festival. I hope to have a steady flow of reviews up on the site over the next month, but for now here’s a brief summary.
*29 films viewed at the festival (list here)
*2 films skipped – Wasteland, which I heard was terrible and Bang Bang Baby, I was just too tired
*8 films viewed on the plane
*The best film I saw at TIFF by a country mile was Nightcrawler
*Nightcrawler was one of only two films which audiences burst into applause mid-film
*The other the horrifically painful The Last 5 Years and I have no idea why people clapped
*I didn’t cry this festival, but Coming Home got me the closest
*FAQs are generally awkward and bad, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are
*The award for ‘the film shoved in at the last-minute to my schedule which turned out to be incredible’ award goes to Coming Home, with Beyond the Lights and Hungry Hearts the runners-up
*The worst film was Manglehorn. David Gordon Green goes on my list of directors I am wary of because they are too hit-and-miss. Other members of this list include Michael Winterbottom, Françis Ozon and Jason Reitman.
*I had one great morning of celeb spotting and let me tell you Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is ever bit as handsome as he appears to be on the screen
*My one fangirl moment was seeing Mark Ruffalo onstage for Foxcatcher. *swooooooooon*
*I was surprised by how TIFF is a festival of two halves. Thursday->Monday is absolutely packed with celebs, press packs with their red lanyards (and often pushy, entitled attitudes) and lines like nothing I have seen outside of Japan. From Tuesday the press start to leave, there are less big red carpet events and you can mostly forgo lining up
*It’s much harder to pick films for a festival where most of the films are world premieres, thus the number of not-so-good films I saw was probably higher than most festivals.
*Certain veteran TIFF goers make pirate noises when the anti-piracy ad comes on. It’s weird and you should stop it
*The volunteers are incredible. How these people could have a sunny deposition when looking at my sleep deprived, grumpy face at 8.30am is beyond me. Kudos TIFF volunteers, you made it something special
*Beer is dangerously cheap and I drank my weight in it
*Toronto has perfected the art of city pubs, but you have to work a little harder for good [healthy] ethnic food
*The blocks are always twice as big as you expect, so wear comfortable shoes. Actually this applies to the first half of the festival, regardless of how far you have to walk. You will spend hours upon hours lining up, so treat your feet kindly
*The people are so nice that you’ll consider never leaving (but then you remember how cold it gets). Huge shout-out and love to Ryan, Lindsay, Courtney, Bob, Matt, Kurt, Amir, Max & Shannon (& others)for making it such a fantastic festival
*It was worth every cent
*I want to go back