TIFF 2018 Day 4: What To See, What To Skip

Our critics' picks (and pans) for September 9


Highly recommended

A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga is incandescent as the musical prodigy discovered by an industry burnout (played by director/producer/co-writer Bradley Cooper). The fourth iteration of the Hollywood melodrama leans heavily on the Babs version. See review.

Sep 9, 6 pm, Roy Thomson Hall Sep 9, 7:30 pm, Elgin Sep 10, 8:45 am, TBLB 2.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

This film about early 90s literary fraudster Lee Israel is a definite highlight of the festival’s Hollywood offerings. Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant have a disreputable chemistry that works like cognac on a winter’s night. See review.

Sep 9, 3 pm, Scotiabank 2 Sep 15, noon, Princess of Wales.

Graves Without A Name

Rithy Panh’s personal mediation on grief and trauma is a must-see. Visually inventive and deceptively simple filmmaking renders the ghostly and immaterial as powerfully visceral in this documentary about survivors of the Khmer Rouge’s brutal regime in Cambodia. See review.

Sep 9, 9 am, AGO Sep 16, 9:30 am, Scotiabank 13. 

Out Of Blue

Carol Morley’s stylish and delectably weird neo-noir features excellent performances by Patricia Clarkson and Jackie Weaver. Hilarious, dark and weird. See review.

Sep 9, 9:15 pm TBLB 2 Sep 14, 3:45 pm, TBLB 2.

Climax

Gaspar Noé got good reviews (for once) with this exuberant and technically brilliant descent into hell courtesy of some LSD-spike sangria.

Sep 9, 11:59 pm, Ryerson Sep 16, 10 pm, Scotiabank 3. 

Not recommended

Nekrotronic

Ghostbusters meets The Matrix in this very enthusiastic but extremely dumb and clichéd horror film. For hardcore midnight fans only. See review.

Sep 9, 4 pm, Scotiabank 4.

The Sweet Requiem

Film featuring interlocking tales of Tibetan refugees in India has interesting moments, but falls flat thanks to uneven pacing. See review.

Sep 9, 11:30 am, TBLB 3 Sep 11, 10 pm, Scotiabank 9 Sep 15, 9:15 am, Scotiabank 8.

Wild cards

Her Smell

American indie director Alex Ross Perry reunites with his Queen Of Earth star Elisabeth Moss for this film about a self-destructive punk musician.

Sep 9, 5:45 pm, Winter Garden Sep 11, 12 pm, TBLB 1 Sep 14, 9:15 pm, TBLB 1

High Life

French director Claire Denis sends Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche and Andre 3000 into space in this highly anticipated world premiere gala.

Sep 9, 9:30 pm, Roy Thomson Sep 11, 11 am, Winter Garden Sep 13, 12 pm, Scotiabank 13 Sep 14, 9:45 pm, TBLB 2

American Dharma

Alt-right icon Steve Bannon is back in  the news thanks to controversial speaking engagements some say legitimize his hateful politics. If you can stomach it, watch Errol Morris interrogate him in the documentarian’s third film about a right-wing U.S. powerbroker. 

Sep 9, 12 pm, TBLB 1 Sep 10, 11:45 am, Scotiabank 1 Sep 15, 9:45 pm, Scotiabank 2

Quincy

Sure, you can watch this doc about music legend Quincy Jones at home when it debuts on Netflix later this month, but Chaka Khan and Mark Ronson won’t be performing live together in your living room. They are at the TIFF world premiere.

Sep 9, 2:30 pm, Princess of Wales Sep 11, 12:15 pm, TBLB 2 Sep 15, 6:45 pm, Scotiabank 2

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