TIFF 2012

TIFF Review Smashed

Smashed takes a look at alcoholism through the eyes of a married couple, Kate (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul), who should so happen to both be alcoholics. Their relationship is completely based on their shared love of a bottle of beer, wine, whiskey, tequila, and such other recipes for liver disease. After an incident at her job (elementary school teacher, oops), Kate decides to try getting sober, which proves to not only be a massive personal undertaking, but one that puts a huge strain on her marriage. Smashed quickly proves that Kate’s alcoholism, while not good for her, is exactly what makes her relationship with Charlie seem great. Before we reach the point where it’s clearly more than a just little problem and the audience is ready to call for their own intervention, the scenes of Paul and Winstead together on screen (while obviously self-destructive) are fantastic to watch. We see the couple doing such mundane things as playing croquet and riding their bikes, but these scenes are so beautiful that we really get a sense of their connection. 

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The lineup for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is essentially an embarrassment of riches (we’re still fanning ourselves over the sheer magnitude and quality of their first wave of programming announcement), and it’s only gotten better today with the news that the fest has added no less than sixty new films to their slate. These picks round out their Documentary, Midnight Madness, Vanguard, Kids, Cinematheque, and City to City programs, and if you weren’t drooling before, get ready to positively salivate. Stand-out picks include Matthew Cooke‘s How to Make Money Selling Drugs, Alex Gibney‘s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Janet Tobias‘ No Place on Earth, Marina Zenovich‘s Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, and Stéphane Aubier‘s Ernest & Célestine, the world premiere of The ABCs of Death, Nicolás López‘s Aftershock, Martin McDonagh‘s Seven Psychopaths, and so, so, so many more. Check out full synopses for each newly announced film after the break, thanks to both TIFF and The Playlist. As ever, our top picks will appear in italics.

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When we Rejects get let out of the cage (and it’s a literal cage, a big one under Dear Leader Miller’s desk, with a hamster wheel and everything) to journey to festivals far and wide, we tend to turn in some pretty comprehensive coverage. Along the way, we often cover some films that pop up along the festival circuit for months on end, titles that show up at Sundance and then journey west to SXSW, that premiere at Cannes before going American at LAFF, and those that parlay good buzz at one fest into showings across the globe. We’ve already drooled over today’s announcement of the Toronto International Film Festival‘s first wave of programming, but buried within those 62 just-announced films are five we’ve already checked out at other festivals (including Sundance and Cannes). Want to get a taste of what TIFF will offer (hint: tastes like poutine and makes your mouth water just as much)? Hit the break to get reacquainted with 5 TIFF-bound films that we’ve already seen (and, in many cases, already loved).

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Joseph Gordon Levitt in Looper

The Toronto International Film Festival has today announced (via Cinema Blend) their (assumed full, but clearly still ripe for additions) line-up of both their Galas and Special Presentations sections. Just two sections? Sounds slim, right? Wrong. Today’s announcement includes a stunning sixty-two total films, including some of the year’s most anticipated, along with a bevy of “oh, hey, that’s ready to go already?” titles sure to stir up just as much excitement as the other heavy hitters. Toronto will play host to such films as Rian Johnson‘s Looper (which will serve as the Opening Night film), Ben Affleck‘s Argo, Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep, Mike Newell‘s Great Expectations, David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina, Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium, Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Twyker‘s Cloud Atlas, Sally Potter‘s Ginger and Rosa, Thomas Vinterberg‘s The Hunt, J.A. Bayona‘s The Impossible, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines, Jacques Audiard‘s Rust and Bone, and – no big deal – Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder. It’s okay to be out of breath – this is easily the best festival line-up of the year. After the break, check out the full list of TIFF’s just-announced Galas and Special Presentations titles, with our own most anticipated films singled out, all the better to help plan your own TIFF-going (or TIFF-coverage-reading).

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