TIFF 2018 Day 3: What To See, What To Skip

Our critics' picks (and pans) for Saturday (September 8)


Highly recommended

Girl

Director Lukas Dhont, who won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for best first feature, makes a brilliant debut with this assured drama about a 15-year-old transitioning while at a ballet academy. Look for Belgian dancer Victor Polster in a star-making performance. See review.

Sep 8, 3:30 pm, TBLB 2 Sep 9, 6 pm, Scotiabank 2 Sep 16, noon, Scotiabank 1.

The Sisters Brothers

Jacques Audiard (Dheepan, A Prophet) makes his English language directorial debut with this adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s Governor General’s Award-winning western about two hitmen on the trail of a gold prospector in the mid-1800s. Look for fine performances by Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Riz Ahmed and Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as a sharp, timely commentary about how people adjust to change. See our cover interview with Ahmed here.

Sep 8, 9:30 pm, Princess of Wales Sep 9, 10 am, Winter Garden.

Firecrackers

Karena Evans, best known for directing Drake’s most recent music videos, co-stars in this Canadian drama about two high school seniors who can’t wait to get out of their home town for the big city. Director-to-watch Jasmin Mozaffari captures the harsh realities of living in rural Canada. See review.

Sep 8, 6:45 pm, Scotiabank 2 Sep 10, 4:30 pm, Scotiabank 14.

Not recommended

Manto

Nandita Das’s biopic about Partion-era author Saadat Hasan Manto is elegantly directed and features solid performances. But it fails to stir the emotions. See review.

Sep 8, 3:45 pm, TBLB 1 Sep 10, 11:30 am, Scotiabank 3 Sep 15, 12:15 pm, Scotiabank 4.

Girls Of The Sun

Eva Husson’s superficial drama about an all-female Kurdish combat unit made up of former ISIS captives shoots artistic blanks. The subject might have worked better in a documentary. See review.

Sep 8, 9:15 am, TBLB 2.

halloween_JamieLeeCurtis.jpg

The sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween with Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her iconic role is the hottest ticket at Midnight Madness.

Wild cards

Halloween

Critics weren’t allowed to screen this latest entry in the horror franchise before its Midnight Madness premiere tonight, so it could be terrifying… or terrifyingly bad. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode, who 40 years earlier escaped the masked killer. But she knew he would keep returning, and now she’s got a daughter (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (Andi Matichak) to protect. David Gordon Green (George Washington, Stronger) seems like an odd choice to direct, so, like we said… wild card.

Sat 8, 11:30 pm, Elgin, and 11:59 pm, Winter Garden

Widows

The last time Steve McQueen brought a film to TIFF, it was 12 Years A Slave, which went on to win the Oscar for best picture. His new film, receiving its world premiere, is a rare foray into genre. Viola Davis stars as a woman who’s lost her husband to crime and is being forced to pay off his debt so she gathers up other crime widows (Michelle Rodriguez, Cynthia Erivo, Elizabeth Debicki) to fight back.

Sep 8, 9:30 pm, Roy Thomson Hall Sep 9, 10:30 am, Princess of Wales Sep 13, Princess of Wales Sep 16, 6 pm, Elgin

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