TIFF delivers great movies

tiff-logoIan and I have seen a number of great movies so far at TIFF this year in addition to A United Kingdom, which I posted about on Tuesday.

MARIE CURIE – a French film (English subtitles) directed by Marie Noelle and starring Karolina Gruszka. A wonderful performance by Gruszka brings us Marie Curie, Nobel-prize-winning scientist, and highlights her passionate love life and dedication as a mother. Did you know her daughter Irene also won a Nobel prize?

THE JOURNEY – probably the best film I’ve seen so far. The Journey, starring Timothy Spall and Colm Meaney, tells the true story of how political enemies, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, formed an unlikely friendship and changed the course of Irish history. A compelling message for today’s conflicted world.

LION – based on the true story of an adopted young man (Saroo Bierley) who uses Google Earth to find his family in India. Starring Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara, the highlight of the film is the little boy, Sunny Pawar, who plays Saroo as a lost five-year-old child wandering the streets of Calcutta.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS – you will be blown away by this Tom Ford film that deftly weaves three story lines into one. Stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal turn in remarkable performances while the film delivers a powerful message about life and love.

LA LA LAND – yes, folks, a musical! We sat riveted for the entire two hours as Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling sang, danced and acted their way through this beautiful and poignant film about what it takes to follow your dreams. Who knew Emma and Ryan could sing?

Four more to go! But for now, back to Paris in the 1870s and writing my next novel 🙂

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M.K. Tod writes historical fiction and blogs about all aspects of the genre at A Writer of History. Her latest novel, TIME AND REGRET was published by Lake Union on August 16, 2016. Mary’s other novels, LIES TOLD IN SILENCE and UNRAVELLED are available from Amazon, NookKoboGoogle Play and iTunes. She can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads or on her website www.mktod.com.

A Festival of Movies

TIFFMost of you know how much I read, however, today’s post is about blitzing on movies, a phenomenon my husband and I enjoy every September courtesy of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Ten days of immersion in the visual and audible world of movies stands in stark contrast to the written word – more on that in another post.

This year we ‘visited’ India (Parched), America (Sky, Remember), France (In the Shadow of Women, Parisienne, and Disorder), Australia (The Dressmaker), Hollywood – surely a country in its own right (Trumbo), Spain (Ma Ma), and Iran (Septembers of Shiraz). Beyond striking scenery and moving stories, we experienced other cultures and other times, and heard the beauty and passionate rhythms of other languages.

A striking feature of TIFF is the post-movie experience of hearing directors, producers, and actors speak about their reasons for making a particular film, the story behind the story, if you will. Such dialogue makes each film linger far beyond our typical Friday-night-nothing-much-to-do movie going experience, and makes our TIFF films special.

I always resist the notion of favourite, however, three stood out for me:

Trumbo – about Dalton Trumbo a screenwriter caught up in the House Unamerican Activities Commission in the late 1940s. Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren give wonderful performances.

Remember – actors Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau play men in their 90s whose experiences at Auschwitz prompt an amazing road trip.

Parched – director Leena Yadav takes us into the world of women living with poverty and male dominated traditions in rural India.

And now, we have to wait a whole year for the next TIFF.