TIFF 2012: A Look Back

     September 15, 2012


Later today, I will be on a plane home.  I have spent the last ten days at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and given a reminder on how film festivals are exhausting and a total blast.  I’ve gotten a huge jump on a lot of fall films, and an even bigger jump on movies that won’t arrive until probably late next year.  Hopefully, this jump will allow me to provide you all with more informed coverage when we report on these flicks.

This was my second year attending TIFF.  It’s still a remarkably well-run operation, especially when you consider the mind-boggling level of logistics that goes into making a festival like this work.  There are some professional frustrations along the way, like only having one press screening of a movie (which is why I missed Rust and Bone and Amour), but I’m still grateful for all the films I got to see even if a picture didn’t meet my level of expectations.  Hit the jump for more of my thoughts on TIFF 2012.

tiff-bell-lightbox-marqueeThe biggest difference between TIFF 2011 and this year was the lack of a breakout film that no one saw coming.  There was no The Raid.  There was no You’re Next.  Some movies got better buzz than other, but the closest TIFF 2012 came to a film I knew nothing about that got strong word-of-mouth was The Act of Killing.  I’ll be keeping that movie on my radar, and hopefully I’ll have a chance to see it in the not-too-distant future.

Even though nothing really flew under the radar, it doesn’t mean there weren’t great films.  Strangely, the quality of films I saw over eight days at TIFF could be graphed as a downwards slope.  Over the opening weekend, TIFF 2012 was an embarrassment of riches.  If you go through my reviews over the past eight days, you’ll notice the grades start to decline, which is a shame, but that’s just how it played out.  I’m still glad I had the chance to see all of these movies even if some of them didn’t work for me.

cloud-atlas-final-posterBefore running down my report card of films I saw, here are a few superlatives:

Best Film: Cloud Atlas (Runner-Up: The Place Beyond the Pines)

Best Surprise: Stories We Tell (Runner-Up: Ghost Graduation)

Strangest Film: Spring Breakers (Runner-Up: The Master)

Blandest Film: Imogene (Runner-Up: Arthur Newman)

Biggest Disappointment: To the Wonder (Runner-Up: Passion)

Worst Film: No One Lives (Runner-Up: The Paperboy)

And here are links to the 31 films I saw at TIFF 2012:

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