I was able to see more pre-festival films this year than ever, so I had a record-breaking year for the number of films I was able to see at TIFF. I tried very hard, but I could not get my list down to a Top 10. To do so, I would have had to eliminate 2 films based on the fact that they were attached to "big name" directors or producers: Jacques Audiard's A Prophet won the Grand Prix at Cannes, and Lee Daniel's film Precious (a.k.a The Oprah Movie) won rave reviews at Cannes, won awards at Sundance, and picked up the Audience Choice Award today at TIFF. These two films are well-told stories and it would have been an injustice to penalize them because they are attached to known names.
MY TOP 12 FAVES (in Alpha Order)
Castaway on the Moon
Every Day is a Holiday
Melody of a Street Organ
HOW I CHOSE MY FAVES
To choose my favourites, I had to be pretty ruthless. From 56 films I got my list down to 20, and from those 20 films I kept the ones that elicited the strongest emotional response in: How did I feel after seeing the film at TIFF, and do I still have the same response? Are these well-made films? Could I defend my faves if challenged to do so? Would I add these films to my DVD collection? (I buy DVDs only if I will watch the film more than 3 times per year.)
MY ULTIMATE FAVE And the award for donna g's favourite film at TIFF '09 goes to...Castaway on the Moon. This film had all the elements I look for in a film, and is simply, unforgettable.
WHAT'S ARE YOUR FAVES?As you can see my choices are very personal. Whether we go with friends or alone, we always take ourselves to the movies, so what we like will depend on our individual life experiences. Here's a simple example: if you can't stand someone with a certain name/look/or voice, chances are you're going to flashback to that person during the screening and this will impact how you perceive the film; no one else is going to have that same perception because this is your experience.
Please feel free to share your personal faves with me. With over 300 films screening at TIFF, I'm sure we didn't all see the same films. Let loose people, and leave your comments.
Photo Credit: top photo by donna g; photo stills from V.O.S., HIPSTERS, CAIRO TIME, and CASTAWAY ON THE MOON courtesy of http://tiff.net/default.aspx