Movies

2017 Toronto International Film Festival: 5 Movie Highlights

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The Toronto International Film Festival is increasingly cementing its reputation as one of the highlights of the international movie circuit. 2017 (and at time of writing we’re only halfway through) has already shown that the best way to describe this year’s event is: TIFF 17 – slim, slick & packed with movie magic! By the close of the event, there will be 147 world premieres, with a total of 255 feature length movies and 84 short films adding to the ensemble. So which are the stand out stars of this years show? Here’s our handpicked selection.

The Death Of Stalin

Is it possible to make the events surrounding the death of a tyrant hilarious? Apparently so because so far this has been the warmest received comedy of the TIFF receiving many five star reviews. Written by Armando Iannucci, expect a kind of other world take on his previous classic The Thick Of It with characters – and actors – clearly loving the witty and engaging script. Michael Palin and Steve Buscemi clearly revel in their roles as Molotov and Khrushchev respectively, and there’s a decent chance this will be well in the running come awards season.

Stronger

All too often real life stories don’t transfer that well to drama. Stronger looks set to upset that with Jake Gyllenhaal playing the role of Jeff Bauman who tragically lost his legs during the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. This could all too easily have slipped into a soft focused and teary monologue, but it just so happens that it’s the absolute opposite. Instead, we have a candid and occasionally painful to watch story of the sheer difficulties that such trauma can inflict upon someone in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I, Tonya

Bios seem to be all the rage this year, and I, Tonya tells the tale of the infamous disgrace of ice skater Tonya Harding who would level no limits on her desperation for success. Margot Robbie stars as Tonya with a brutal yet often bizarrely hilarious performance which – despite the awful consequences her actions have – demonstrate the remorselessness and need to win that Harding demonstrated. Even though the story has been well documented before, the acting is what makes this a standout feature and testimony to Robbie’s quality as a leading lady.

Beast

Scandinavian style crime fiction takes a sojourn to Jersey in this tale of an Island being haunted by a serial child killer. The lead roles artfully demonstrate the pressures that such a mysterious factor can play in relationships, and throughout the story, there is an underlying ambiguity about who – or what – is on the right. A must see movie that will no doubt lead to many post screening squabblings, this is a fantastic big screen debut from director Michael Pearce.

The Current War

Thankfully this isn’t yet another war movie. Instead, we’re focused on the huge battle over which electrical current should be adopted, fought between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon). Expect masses of skullduggery, back stabbing, and dirty politics as the two duke it out over who is not just the proprietor of the superior system, but simply who also has the largest ego.

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