TIFF 2018 Day 8: What To See, What To Skip

Our critics' picks (and pans) for Thursday (September 13)

Highly recommended

Ash Is The Purest White

Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke’s latest sometimes feels like a greatest-hits album. It’s a complex relationship drama folded into a gangster movie starring regular collaborator Zhao Tao as the girlfriend of a swaggering mobster (Liao Fan). See review.

Sep 13, 5:30 pm, Scotiabank 1 Sep 15, noon, TBLB 1.


Shame and 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen’s first American studio thriller – about a trio of widows who band together to pull off a heist – delivers on pretty much every level. No one in the all-star cast is wasted. See review.

Sep 13, 9:30 pm, Princess of Wales Sep 16, 6 pm, Elgin.


Alfonso Cuarón’s beautiful and engrossing portrait of a young woman of Mixteco heritage set in Mexico City during the 1970s will be on Netflix soon, but it’s worth catching on the big screen. One of our favourite TIFF films. See review.

Sep 13, 5:30 pm, Scotiabank 1 Sep 15, noon, TBLB 1.

First Man

Damian Chazelle’s film about astronaut Neil Armstrong starring Ryan Gosling is magnificent and full of impressionistic space sequences. See review.

Sep 12-16, 6 pm, Scotiabank 12 Sep 15 also at 9:30 pm, Princess Of Wales.

Not recommended

The Lie

The Killing showrunner Veena Sud’s thriller starring Peter Sarsgaard and Mireille Enos is preposterous. See review.

Sep 13, 8 pm, Elgin Sep 14, 9:30 pm, Scotiabank 14 Sep 16, 2:15 pm, Scotiabank 4.

Jessica Forever

Dull dystopian sci-fi flick has a faux femme-power element that feels purely decorative. There isn’t much for Aomi Muyock’s title character to do but carry big guns, strike cool poses and be obsessed over by the boys who follow her. See review.

Sep 13, noon, TBLB 3 Sep 16, 3:15 pm, TBLB 3.

The Innocent

Swiss filmmaker Simon Jaquemet’s Platform competition film about a middle-aged lab worker with a troubled past is insufferably slow and aesthetically drab. See review.

Sep 13, 9 am, TBLB 3 Sep 15, 6:30 pm, TBLB 3.

Wild Cards


Juliette Binoche can be seen on screen in three festival titles this year. The third to premiere was Naomi Kawase’s intriguing film about an essayist who visits Japan in search of an herb that appears once every 997 years. It marks the French acting heavyweight’s first film shot in Japan.

Sep 13, 9 am, AGO Sep 15, Scotiabank 13, 9 pm.

The Image Book

Drink in the deep shades of blue in film legend Jean-Luc Godard’s latest inscrutable essay film, projected in one the city’s best and biggest theatres: TIFF Bell Lightbox’s cinema 1. See review.

Sep 13, 7 pm, TBLB 1 Sep 15, 6:15 pm, TBLB 2 Sep 16, 8:30 pm, TBLB 1.

In Fabric

Peter Strickland’s retro thriller about a cursed red dress that causes its wearer to die brings stylish, campy fun to Midnight Madness. Likely the only film in TIFF history to ever feature a credit for “mannequin pubic hair.” See review.

Sep 13, 11:59 pm, Ryerson Sep 14, 8:45 pm, Scotiabank 4 Sep 15, 11:45 am, Scotiabank 11.

Leave your opinion for the editor...We read everything!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *