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Black Sheep Reviews @ #TIFF15


This year, Black Sheep Reviews will turn 10 years old. Also this year, the Toronto International Film Festival turns 40. And even though BSR is but a quarter of TIFF’s age, we are intrinsically linked in ways that TIFF will never know. As BSR’s founder living in Montreal, I always felt the call of TIFF each fall and a few years into BSR’s existence, I dipped my feet in TIFF’s glorious waters for the first time. I came back year after year, each time seeing a little bit more before heading back home but the allure became too great for me resist anymore. So I just moved here instead. Yes, that’s right, the main reason I moved to Toronto six years ago was to be closer to TIFF. I have no regrets as TIFF has been really great to me ever since.

This is my 8th TIFF, which still makes me a TIFF toddler to some extent, which explains why I still look at the festival with wide eyes and why I can barely sleep in the nights leading up to it. Yesterday was my ticket window and while I missed out on some of the titles I was most looking forward to (THE PROGRAM), that’s ok. There is always something else to see at TIFF and I learned long ago to let my TIFF experience be what it will be instead of what I want it to be. It always ends up great either way and this approach leads to way more surprises.


Sleeping Giant, the first film I saw for TIFF15. Also, a must see.

Over the course of 11 days, from Thursday, September 10, through Sunday, September 20, Black Sheep Reviews, thanks to its dedicated team of passionate writers, will cover 40 films, in honour of TIFF’s anniversary. I’ve only had the chance to see a few films thus far but what I’ve seen, I’ve loved, and my writers have had mostly great things to say about everything they’ve seen so far too. This bodes well for all.

Now, as anything can happen during TIFF, like a major recording star could get a last minute injunction to cease the screening of a film about her or something, the following list is subject to change. That said, these are the films we will bring to you during TIFF15.

Demolition, the opening night film of TIFF15

Demolition, the opening night film of TIFF15

45 YEARS / Written and Directed by Andrew Haigh / Starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay

ABOUT RAY / Directed by Gaby Dellal / Written by Nikole Beckwith / Starring Naomi Watts, Elle Fanning and Susan Sarandon

BEASTS OF NO NATION / Written and Directed by Cary Fukunaga / Starring Idris Elba

BEEBA BOYS / Written and Directed by Deepa Mehta

BORN TO BE BLUE / Written and Directed by Robert Boudreau / Starring Ethan Hawke

BROOKLYN / Written by Nick Hornby / Directed by John Crowley / Starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson

CLOSET MONSTER / Written and Directed by Stephen Dunn

THE DANISH GIRL / Written by Lucinda Coxon / Directed by Tom Hooper / Starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander

DEMOLITION / Written by Bryan Sipe / Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee / Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts (above)

DHEEPAN / Written and Directed by Jacques Audiard

He Named Me Malala, one of TIFF15's most anticipated documentaries

He Named Me Malala, one of TIFF15’s most anticipated documentaries

EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE / Written by Bjørn Olaf Johannessen / Directed by Wim Wenders / Starring James Franco and Rachel McAdams

EYE IN THE SKY / Written by Guy Hibbert / Directed by Gavin Hood / Starring Helen Mirren and Aaron Paul

FREEHELD / Written by Ron Nyswaner / Directed by Peter Sollett / Starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page

HE NAMED ME MALALA / Directed by Davis Guggenheim (above)

HELLIONS / Written by Pascal Trottier / Directed by Bruce McDonals

I SAW THE LIGHT / Written and Directed by Marc Abraham / Starring Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen

I SMILE BACK / Written by Paige Dylan and Amy Koppelman / Directed by Adam Salky / Starring Sarah Silverman and Josh Charles

INTO THE FOREST / Written and Directed by Patricia Rozema / Starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood

LEGEND / Written and Directed by Brian Helgeland / Starring Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy

THE LOBSTER / Written by Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou / Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos / Starring Colin Ferrell and Rachel Weisz

Room, a guaranteed cry and beautiful experience.

Room, a guaranteed cry and beautiful experience.

LONDON ROAD / Written by Alecky Blythe / Directed by Rufus Norris / Starring Tom Hardy

LOUDER THAN BOMBS / Written and Directed by Joachim Trier / Starring Jesse Eisenberg

LOVE / Written and Directed by  Gaspar Noé

MA MA / Written and Directed by Julio Medem / Starring Penelope Cruz

THE MARTIAN / Written by Drew Goddard / Directed by Ridley Scott / Starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain

MISS YOU ALREADY / Written by Morwenna Banks / Directed by Catherine Hardwicke / Starring Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette

REMEMBER / Written by Benjamin August / Directed by Atom Egoyan / Starring Christopher Plummer

RIVER / Written and Directed by Jamie M. Dagg

ROOM / Written by Emma Donaghue / Directed by Lenny Abramson / Starring Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay (above)

SICARIO / Written by Taylor Sheridan / Directed by Denis Villeneuve / Starring Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin

Bryan Cranston as famed, blacklisted screenwriter, Trumbo.

Bryan Cranston as famed, blacklisted screenwriter, Trumbo.

SLEEPING GIANT / Written and Directed by Andrew Cidivino

SPOTLIGHT / Written and Directed by Tom McCarthy / Starring Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams

THE STEPS / Written by Andrew Currie / Directed by Robyn Harding

STONEWALL / Written by Jon Robin Baitz / Directed by Roland Emmerich / Starring Jeremy Irvine and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

TRUMBO / Written by John McNamara / Directed by Jay Roach / Starring Bryan Cranston and Elle Fanning

TRUTH / Written and Directed by James Vanderbilt / Starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT / Directed by Michael Moore

THE WITCH / Written and Directed by Robert Eggers

YAKUZA APOCALYPSE / Written by Yoshitaka Yamaguchi / Directed by Takashi Miike

ZOOM / Written by Matt Hansen / Directed by Pedro Morelli / Starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Alison Pill

(Click on any title for more information on the film from TIFF themselves.)

Black Sheep Reviews’ #TIFF15 coverage begins on Thursday, September 10.

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