TIFF 2013: 13 Must Watch Films – Part 1

With TIFF 2013 just two weeks away, we take a moment to highlight the first batch of 13 films that have made our “must watch” list. These are films that either have interesting stories or impressive collaborations between artists and directors. Plus, some of the films in this batch have also been chosen because of what their teams – especially their directors – are capable of.

This is first part of two lists. The second list will showcase another 13 films from our must-watch list. Stay tuned for Part 2!

1. Labor Day

If there is something that Young Adult, Juno and Up in the Air have taught us, its that Jason Reitman can make pretty amazing films. His process of choosing cast members, his directing style and his creative writing background all come together to create one amazing flick. Reitman is back this TIFF with his latest work, Labor Day, starring a pretty amazing cast: Josh Brolin, Kate Winslet, Clark Gregg, JK Simmons, Tobey Maguire, etc. It will be amazing to see the chemistry on screen between veterans such as Winslet and Brolin, under the creative eye of Reitman.

2. Blue is the Warmest Color

This film has been on our radar since Cannes, after winning both the Palme d’Or and the FIPRESCI Prize. Starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, the film goes deep into the relationship between two woman, creating scenes of extreme intimacy. What is put as the directors risky choices could indeed be a brilliant study of character, putting the spotlight on key themes such as relationships, passionate love and youth.

Blue is the Warmest Color

3. McCanick

Before one jumps the gun and says that this is here only because Cory Monteith is in the film, think again. This is definitely one of Monteith’s most anticipated final films, but this is as much about the powerhouse that is David Morse as much as it is about Cory Monteith. With a ridiculous principal cast which includes Ciarán Hinds and Mike Vogel, Josh C. Waller has put together a film that puts a spotlight on characters. With his reportoire of creating films out of the traditional ways (Raze being his most recent film), McCanick is a must watch for anyone looking for something different in film.

4. Cold Eyes

If you have watched the trailer, you can stop reading right now. You get where I am going with this. Nothing is more exciting than a well crafted Asian action-thriller and directors Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo have brought to the table just that. Unlike a typical Asian action film where its more about the action than anything else, this has a blend of police drama, thriller sequences, a gripping storyline and overall, amazing visuals.

Cold Eyes

5. Cinemanovels

It is no doubt that Lauren Lee Smith has appeared in pretty intense roles in the past, some that have really given her the spotlight. In this new film by Terry Miles, Smith tackles the concept of retrospective work, going on a journey to put together the life of her characters loved one. If there is something we can confidently go in this movie with is the assurance that Smith will do what she does best: give a brilliant performance, like she has for many of her films. This independent film definitely needs to be given a chance at the festival.

6. The Lunchbox

Irrfan Khan – nuff said. He is not only one of the most versatile actors in Bollywood, he is one of the most versatile actors in the world. He has played pretty much every type of character possible and has never failed to deliver. He appears in another film at TIFF as well called Qissa, which is equivalently a must watch. The Lunchbox won’t be a typical Bollywood film because of the structure of the story and the choice of actors in the film. If you have seen A Wednesday, you will understand what sort of emotional impact this film is likely to deliver.

The Lunchbox

7. Man of Tai Chi

We are very excited for Keanu Reeves with this directorial debut. If there is one thing we have learnt from his past films, when it comes to martial arts related stuff, he is pretty awesome. 47 Ronin is on everyones mind but Man of Tai Chi is equivalently powerful. Not only do we see Keanu reunite with former colleague Tiger Chen – Matrix stuntman – but we also get to watch fight choreography by legend Yuen Woo-ping. Put all of these together, and you got a film that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

8. The Fifth Estate

Bill Condon puts WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under the microscope in this thought-provoking new film. The highlight of this film is definitely Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s performances in Sherlock and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy should be evidence enough of his acting competence. Saying anything more would be pretty pointless.

The Fifth Estate

9. Unforgiven

Lets not beat around the bush, seeing Ken Watanabe sword fighting is a pretty epic piece of film. Lee Sang-il takes a classic award winning story and brings it back to screen as a cross-cultural adaptation. Not only is it a unique take on a classic story, but it features a great storyline and a powerful cast. This film should a pretty wicked movie experience.

10. The Green Inferno

The Roth is back with yet another Midnight Madness showing, the last being Aftershock in 2012. Roth has proven that he is one of the King’s of Horror, Hemlock Grove being his latest hit. He has a history of producing some amazing horror films and that alone should put The Green Inferno right on top. Plus it is a midnight madness showing, which should definitely magnify the horror element quite well.

The Green Inferno

11. Horns

Part of the Vanguard series at the festival, Horns is an interesting horror-film from the creative mind of The Hills Have Eyes director Alexandre Aja. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple, a chemistry we think would really work. Radcliffe has clearly broken out of the Potter-sphere and into his own element, and the right scene partner makes all the difference. This is the same with his other films at the festival, one listed later on. It be great to see Radcliffe tackle the Horror genre again, this time with a powerful scene partner on hand.

12. The Double

Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in Richard Ayoade’s The Double. The two are a real life couple and looking back at their past films, seeing the two of them on screen and their overall chemistry should be treat. Not to mention Eisenberg is on a role with refreshing new roles, taking him away from his Facebook reputation.

13. The F Word

After hitting a few pucks with Goon, Michael Dowse is back with a surprising romantic comedy! Starring Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan, this is a film that really puts a spotlight on modern relationships. Similar to Horns, The F Word is a chance to see Daniel Radcliffe with an amazing scene partner. Zoe Kazan’s talent is beyond words, and her films such as Ruby Sparks are proof of that. Seeing Kazan and Radcliffe share the same screen should be a pretty wicked film experience.

The F Word