TIFF 2018 Final Weekend: What To See, What To Skip

Our critics' picks (and pans) for the fest's closing three days


As the fest wraps up, here are some films you should still see – or avoid. And look at nowtoronto.com/movies on Sunday (September 16) for the announcement of the Grolsch People’s Choice Award and Platform awards – both of which get free screenings later that day.

Highly recommended

3 Faces

Master Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi is still forbidden to make films by the government, but that hasn’t stopped him from making modest little gems like 2015’s Taxi and this deeply empathetic film about trying to make art in a patriarchal state. See review.

Sep 14, 6:30 pm TBLB 1 Sep 16, 9:30 am, AGO.

The Passion Of Joan Of Arc

If you’ve never seen Carl Dreyer’s legendary silent film featuring one of the iconic performances in screen history, don’t miss TIFF’s free screening with live piano accompaniment.

Sep 14, 6:15 pm, TBLB 3.

Too Late To Die Young

Dominga Sotomayor’s coming-of-age drama is pleasantly meandering and full of spot-on early 90s period fashions (that are, incidentally, back in vogue). Just like the central character in this movie, we’re so ready to just lie around smoking while listening to Mazzy Star. A low-key way to end your TIFF. See review.

Sep 14, noon, AGO Sep 16, 8:15 pm, TBLB 4.

Diamantino

Midnight Madness ends on a queer note with Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s bonkers Cannes sleeper hit about a clueless soccer star who has visions of fluffy puppies playing in cotton candy-coloured clouds – and that’s just the first five minutes. See review.

Sep 15, 11:59 pm, Ryerson Sun 16, 6 pm, Scotiabank 1

Working Woman

Israel filmmaker Michal Aviad’s insightful drama about sexual harassment in the workplace arrives at just the right cultural moment. See review.

Sep 16, 9:15 am, Scotiabank 1.

Not recommended

Donnybrook

Jamie Bell plays a man who needs money to take a road trip to compete in a bare-knuckle tournament in Tim Sutton’s morally displeasing pic, which tries to insert a blunt message about Trump’s America at the end. See review.

Sep 14, 9 pm, Ryerson.

Hold The Dark 

Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier returns to TIFF with this violent film about a wolf expert (Jeffrey Wright) who travels to a remote Alaskan village in search of a missing child. The jumbled plot quickly goes off the rails. Wait for the Netflix release. See review.

Sep 14, 9:45 am, TBLB 1, Sep 15, 2 pm, Ryerson.

Hotel By The River

Cult South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s second movie of 2018 looks incredible, but the endless conversations about male hang ups are tedious and naval gazing. For Hong completists only. See review.

Sep 14, 9:15 am, Scotiabank 1 Sep 16, 10 pm, Scotiabank 13. 

This Changes Everything

Tom Donahue’s doc about sexism in Hollywood features interviews with everyone from Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon to Shonda Rhimes and Catherine Hardwick. But it’s superficial. See review.

Sep 15, 9:30 am, Scotiabank 4.

Maya

We’ve enjoyed pretty much every other movie by French writer/director Mia Hansen-Løve, but this film about a May-December relationship is full of plain creepiness that its director doesn’t even seem to notice. Her first real stumble. See review.

Sep 16, 10 am, Scotiabank 14. 

OurTime_2.jpg

Courtesy of TIFF

Director Carlos Reygadas stars alongside his real-life wife Natalia López in Our Time, about an open marriage in crisis.

Wild cards

La Flor 

TIFF’s boundary-pushing program Wavelengths ups the cinephile endurance ante with Argentine auteur Mariano Llinás’s six-part, 14-hour, decade-in-the-making celebration of cinema. This film has it all: telenovela pop stars, Canadian Mounties, spies, mummies and more. Screening in three parts over three days and tickets are free.

Sep 14, 7 pm, TBLB 4 Sep 15, 4:45 pm, TBLB 4 Sep 16, 10 am, TBLB 4.

Touch Me Not

If your TIFF sked was light on lovemaking, try this hybrid fiction-documentary that won the top prize at the Berlinale. Two people who are estranged from their own bodies engage in different forms of therapy to rekindle the desire for intimacy in Adina Pintilie’s sure-to-kickstart-discussions film. See review.

Sep 14, 9:15 pm, Scotiabank 7 Sep 15, 2:45 pm, AGO.

Our Time 

Mexican auteur Carlos Reygadas casts himself and his wife in this film about married couple in an open relationship who live on a remote cattle ranch. From the TIFF description: “The director is effectively filming himself secretly watching his real wife’s affair.” The festival’s most personal film?

Sep 14, 3 pm, Scotiabank 2 Sep 16, 12:15 pm, Scotiabank 11.

Quién te Cantará

Vox Lux isn’t the only pop star movie playing at TIFF. Start your Saturday morning off in melodramatic fashion with Spanish filmmaker Carlos Vermut’s film about a pop singer’s relationship with her biggest fan. 

Sep 15, 9 am, Scotiabank 14.

Monrovia, Indiana

Somehow we missed the latest film from master documentarian Frederick Wiseman. If you did too, there’s one more chance to see his exploration of the American midwest, post-Trump election.

Sep 15, 12:15 pm, AGO.

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