The Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) has long been known to showcase some of the best movies in the business. After all, it does cater to a number of critics looking for the best films that are ready to compete for the upcoming awards season. But most importantly, the TIFF gives filmmakers the chance to showcase their skills and do what movies should do best—entertain.
ExploreTalent has gathered the tops films featured in TIFF that are being buzzed about by movie connoisseurs everywhere. Find out if your pick made it to the list below.
TIFF 2016 Top Features
1. Nocturnal Animals
Nocturnal Animals is one of the two Amy Adams movies featured during TIFF. In the movie, she plays a depressed art gallery owner who is haunted by the manuscript her ex-husband wrote. Jake Gyllenhaal plays both her husband and the protagonist of the novel he wrote.
Critics have praised the performance of the whole cast, particularly Adams, Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, with Johnson shredding his good guy image to play an antagonist. Oh, and fans of the brilliant yet underrated actress Jena Malone can expect a short cameo in this film as well.
2. Manchester by the Sea
Manchester by the Sea delivers quite the emotional punch. Casey Affleck plays a janitor who becomes a reluctant guardian for his late brother’s teenage son. The simple plot is driven by the brilliant and eerily realistic portrayals courtesy of the whole cast. Both Affleck and his co-star Michelle Williams are great in both their roles, and the backdrop of the real-life town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, only contributes to this breathtaking movie.
People would want to watch this movie for one good reason: Natalie Portman is playing Jackie Kennedy Onassis, one of the most iconic women in history. The film follows Jackie Kennedy in her first few days in the White House, as well as the devastating time she spent after her husband was gunned down. Attendees of this year’s TIFF just couldn’t get enough of the Oscar winner’s performance as the former first lady, and there have been a lot of buzz that Portman just might have another Oscar in her hands.
Moonlight is a poignant tale of an African American boy who makes the transition from a confused child to a writer in his 20s. Set in the 1980s, Chiron navigates through life in the height of Reagan’s War on Drugs. In the story, audiences see the young boy from Tampa as a he falls in love and discovers his sexuality—and you will witness how people around him come and go as he finds his true self.
5. La La Land
Damien Chazelle follows his 2014 hit Whiplash with La La Land. The film features Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in their third venture as an onscreen couple. Everything single thing you have heard about La La Land is true. It is magical, sentimental, poignant, and beautiful at the same time. The movie also brings the best out if its main actors, and Stone is another top contender for a Best Actress award next year.
La La Land made such an impact during TIFF that it scored the People’s Choice Award during the annual film festival.