When it launched as the Fes­ti­val of Fes­ti­vals in 1976, the event (which would be known as the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val, or TIFF, from 1994 on­ward) had none of the pesky pa­parazzi, tal­ent gate­keep­ers, shriek­ing fans or mar­ket clout it now com­man

ELLE (Canada) - - Radar - BY MICHAEL-OLIVER HARD­ING View our cov­er­age of TIFF15 as we re­port live from the Tastemak­ers Lounge. ELLECanada.com/tiff15


THE BIG CHILL It took a few years for Hol­ly­wood to warm up to the idea of a glam­orous Toronto film blowout, but this baby-boomer dram­edy for­ever sealed TIFF’s fate as an awards-sea­son launch­ing pad. The film went on to be nom­i­nated for three Os­cars, in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture, Best Ac­tress in a Sup­port­ing Role (for Glenn Close) and Best Writ­ing, Screen­play Writ­ten Di­rectly for the Screen. This TIFF-en­dorsed crowd­pleaser in­tro­duced au­di­ences to a hand­ful of for­mer col­lege bud­dies turned angsty yup­pies (in­clud­ing soonto-be stars Close, Jeff Gold­blum and Kevin Kline) as they re­unite fol­low­ing a friend’s sui­cide.


AMER­I­CAN BEAUTY Wes Bent­ley’s stoner mono­logues about plas­tic-bag po­etry! Mena Su­vari’s Loli­taesque nymphet cov­ered in rose petals! Kevin Spacey’s dis­il­lu­sioned of­fice drone fu­ri­ously pump­ing iron in his garage “to look good naked”! This satir­i­cal snap­shot of a mid­dle-aged, mid­dle-class sub­ur­ban waste­land, penned by Alan Ball, be­came the undis­puted talk of TIFF—and the Best Pic­ture win­ner at the 72nd An­nual Academy Awards, along with Best Di­rec­tor, Best Ac­tor (for Spacey), Best Orig­i­nal Screen­play and Best Cin­e­matog­ra­phy.


THE BAR­BAR­IAN IN­VA­SIONS Over the years, TIFF has made a num­ber of baf­fling open­ing­night choices. Thank­fully, 2003 wasn’t one of them. The only Cana­dian film to ever win the Os­car for Best For­eign Lan­guage Film (it won in 2004), Denys Ar­cand’s fol­low-up to The De­cline of the Amer­i­can Em­pire won over TIFF’s Best Cana­dian Fea­ture Film jury with its poignant take on a wom­an­iz­ing bon vi­vant in­tel­lec­tual sur­rounded by loved ones on his deathbed.


SLUM­DOG MIL­LION­AIRE Dev Pa­tel and Freida Pinto be­came house­hold names af­ter Toronto cinephiles cham­pi­oned the story of Ja­mal and Latika. Danny Boyle’s run­away Os­car hit (it was nom­i­nated for 10 Academy Awards, the most for any film of 2008, in­clud­ing Best Pic­ture, Best Di­rec­tor and Best Adapted Screen­play) may have been tur­bocharged, flashy and over-the-top, but its main in­trigue about an un­schooled teen from the slums who hap­pens to slay at the In­dian ver­sion of Who Wants to Be a Mil­lion­aire? to­tally tugged at our heart­strings.


12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueen’s deeply un­set­tling slav­ery drama hit a raw nerve with au­di­ences (and mem­bers of the academy) as re­ports of sim­mer­ing racial ten­sion and po­lice- driven dis­crim­i­na­tion south of the bor­der made head­lines. The fifth TIFF Peo­ple’s Choice Award win­ner went on to win Best Pic­ture, Best Sup­port­ing Ac­tress (for Lupita Ny­ong’o) and Best Adapted Screen­play (for John Ri­d­ley). Fear­less per­for­mances by Chi­we­tel Ejio­for, Michael Fass­ben­der, Ny­ong’o and Paul Dano con­tinue to haunt our col­lec­tive psy­che.


by De­nis Vil­leneuve

by Jay Roach


by John Crow­ley


Ev­ery Thing Will Be Fine

by Wim Wen­ders

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