13 September 2018

Our 2018 TIFF Experience

Collectively this is our fourth year going to TIFF as a threesome. It is the vacation we look forward to all year so we thought we would do a similar post to last year's where we give a breakdown of each movie we saw and our thoughts on TIFF 2018 in general! Basically we spend a whole weekend sitting in lines, watching movies, and eating food... who needs Italy? TIFF runs right through until the 16th so there's still plenty of time if you want to check it out.



Initially I was really stressed about what movies we would end up seeing because the lineup for the first weekend wasn't very strong. A lot of the movies I really wanted to see (i.e. Wildlife, The Life and Death of John F Donovan) weren't playing until mid-week. But Meg was really able to scrape together what was playing that first weekend and we had a pretty good selection of movies. We saw two world premieres this year!! And then one North American premiere. The only complaint I had this year was that there was no q-and-a for Widows or Beautiful Boy... Widows is out nation-wide in November, so to pay all this money to see it at TIFF without a q-and-a feels was pretty disappointing.


This was my last year buying a TIFF membership because it essentially provides us with NOTHING seeing as the day we're allowed "advanced access" to tickets the website notoriously decides not to work. And nobody there cares. As much as I love going to this festival yearly with my mom and Meghan, I think it's the most poorly run event I attend and they need to really get their shit together in terms of web infrastructure. On the bright side, all of our movies were on time this year and a lot of them were assigned seating (which hallelujah means we don't need to wait for two hours in line just to make sure we get seats together). So, progress is being made. I also got to lock eyes with the love of my life this year, my first real celebrity crush, Dermot Mulroney, so I will always come back because who knows, maybe next year we kiss.


Teen Spirit
Directed by Max Minghella

This was one of the world premieres we got to see and I almost passed out because we saw Elle Fanning soooo close. The director and cast also sat in the audience to watch the movie and came out for a q-and-a after. It was so cool because: 1) the director is Nic from The Handmaid's Tale who I am in love with, and 2) this was the first time Elle Fanning was seeing herself sing. Her voice was so so good, and the pop songs were perfectly chosen. Minghella said he made this movie because he loves pop music and singing competitions and I thought that was adorable. - Meghan

This was my favourite film of the festival because like Max Minghella, I also love pop music. I could barely sit still in my seat because the whole movie felt like an Elle Fanning concert and like Meghan said, she is an amazing singer. I also thought it was a great story, and not too long, something I can easily see myself re-watching a bunch of times. I am really excited for the soundtrack and potentially a budding music career for Elle? Sidenote, she is SO tall and SO skinny you would never believe me until you see her in person. - Meagan

Beautiful Boy
Directed by Felix Van Groeningen

I have a lot of interest in reading the two memoirs this movie pulled from. I am so fascinated with addiction and have always been really interested in how people try to overcome it (especially when a version of AA is involved). Steve Carell, Timothee Chalamet, and Maura Tierney were all so good in their respective roles. I actually loved the soundtrack so much and have already searched for it a few times on Spotify. The tricky thing about TIFF is that you are seeing these movies so early that often times it is difficult to find anything about them afterwards. This will be out in all mainstream theatres and I can't wait to see it again. - Meghan

This was also an amazing watch although so, so hard to sit through. I've decided there's nobody I like to watch cry less than Steve Carell. Besides the obvious, Michael Scott, this was maybe my favourite role for him. My mom said it was harder for her to watch as a parent and personally, I hate when people claim a bigger emotional stake in a movie for whatever reason. I'm sure it's hard to watch this as a parent, but it's hard for anyone who has a relationship with their parents / children the same. I'm sure this will come to the main theatre circuit soon as I predict a lot of Oscar nominations coming out of this one. - Meagan

Directed by Alex Holmes

This was the first documentary we ever saw at TIFF and it was one I knew I would be interested in right away. I weirdly love docs about long-distance water crossings... I watched one called Maiden Voyage about the youngest girl to ever sail across the world, and one about a team of women who rowed from San Fransisco to Australia. This one was different because the footage was much older (all from the 90's) because this is a story about a team who were the first women to compete in the Whitbread Round the World Race. The footage was distractingly bad for some shots, but other than that I was cheering for this team the entire movie. The director was there to introduce the doc and I found out he also did a documentary on Lance Armstrong... I was immediately sold. The crew's captain Tracey Edwards was also there which was awesome because it was like getting a free motivational speech. - Meghan

I was absolutely not on board with watching a documentary at TIFF but due to the absolutely shit schedule, we were doing it. I was pleasantly surprised as it was actually incredibly interesting and I was very invested in the team the entire time. Even my mom liked it which is always a win. Tracey Edwards looks way too much like Judy Dench which was incredibly distracting for me. I kept finding myself thinking- how amazing that Judy Dench led the first all female team in the Whitbread Round the World Race? - Meagan

Directed by Steve McQueen

This movie was a wild ride. The audience was so animated watching it with gasps of horror and cheering/clapping. This movie will be out shortly and I can't wait to go see it with Ben and Michael, and I also can't wait to watch it a million times afterwards. I just watched a bunch of Michael Mann movies for movie club and this was so in the same vein. The only thing disappointing about this was that I was really, really hoping Steve McQueen would be there and he wasn't :(  - Meghan

I was really excited to see this movie just for the blockbuster of it all, and it was incredibly good but it wasn't AS GOOD as I had expected based on the thrill of the trailer. Viola Davis and Liam Neeson I found a bit cheesy? Otherwise, it's an amazing heist thriller and a real female empowerment piece. Elizabeth Debicki was the best character in the movie and this is my favourite role for her yet. I also think this is something most audiences would enjoy, male or female. As Meghan said, annoying is the word I'd use to describe paying TIFF prices for a ticket to a movie that will be out in a month and having NONE of the cast or crew show up for Q&A but I guess they don't owe us anything. - Meagan

Her Smell
Directed by Alex Ross Perry

I loved this movie but I also love everything Alex Ross Perry does. I though this was his strongest film to date because the script was so tight and I loved the whole five-act play concept. The movie is so in your face for the first three acts that you are actually like praying that you will get out of these tiny spaces with this monstrous character (played to perfection by Elizabeth Moss). The bass-y score that is playing the entire three acts was making me shift in my seat. I loved this movie because there are so many stories out there about "genius" artists and their self destructive tendencies, but they are always male centric... so to see a female character in this vein was awesome. This was also probably my favourite TIFF experience because we got an extended q-and-a with the director and the ENTIRE cast was there (including Moss, Amber Heard, Cara Deleveingne, etc). Perry is also so, so funny and had some great jokes in the question period. I also love that he calls Elizabeth Moss "Lizzy" and I hope they work together forever. - Meghan

I hated this movie and it's purely because of how good Elizabeth Moss was in it. I enjoyed the 5 part structure, I liked the girl punk theme, but my god was it hard to watch her character. I felt STRESSED watching this drugged up toddler of a rock star run around her dressing room for 30+ minutes screaming at everyone.... then in the recording studio for 30+ minutes yelling at everyone... then in the dressing room AGAIN for 30+ minutes yelling at everyone, and so forth. I felt a bit claustrophobic in a way. I would literally never watch this again but I can acknowledge that Elizabeth Moss is wildly talented. - Meagan


Our usual disclaimer: we are whatever-is-before-amateur photographers at best and these are so unedited that I can't believe we even re-sized them.

ELLE FANNING. This is our second Fanning spotting at TIFF and she was so close and we didn't even get a selfie. We are idiots. 
Director Max Minghella (left), and the cast at the world premiere of Teen Spirit
Julia fucking Roberts

Director Alex Ross Perry and the entire cast of Her Smell for an extended q-and-a

lolololol our attempt at a selfie with Elle Fanning
Dermot Mulroney (the love of Meg's life) ... we came out of Beautiful Boy and all I heard was Meg's mom yelling "MEAGAN IT'S YOUR BOYFRIEND!!" and then looked up to see this hot-ass man
two losers upset that they were stood up by Steve Carrell and Timothee Chalamet + the cutest father-son duo (left) who flew in together from Calgary to attend the festival waiting to watch BEAUTIFUL BOY together

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