TIFF19: Ranking this year’s films...

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver star in MARRIAGE STORY.


In my thirteen years attending the Toronto International Film Festival, I’ve never seen as many genuinely great films as I did in 2019. And I’m not the only TIFF19 attendee saying that. From world premieres (Knives Out, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) to hits from other festivals (Parasite, Waves, Marriage Story), the consensus is that this was one of the strongest TIFFs in recent memory.


And yes, it still runs until September 15.


Below is a rundown of the nineteen films I saw this year. I may watch a few more from home before all is said and done. Visit tiff.net/films for summaries and trailers for these and more. 


  1. Parasite

  2. Waves

  3. Marriage Story

  4. Uncut Gems

  5. Knives Out

  6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

  7. Jojo Rabbit

  8. Ford v Ferrari

  9. The Report

  10. Bad Education

  11. The Lighthouse

  12. Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band

  13. Red Penguins

  14. Just Mercy

  15. Clifton Hill

  16. Joker

  17. Weathering With You

  18. The Truth

  19. Seberg


It was such a strong year that some very good films — Bad Education, The Lighthouse — that would ranker higher in any other year are instead a bit far down the list. 


It’s very likely that one of the films listed above will take home 2019’s Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Voted for by TIFF audiences, it is often a good Oscar predictor — for better (12 Years a Slave) or worse (Green Book). 


My 2019 prediction is Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, a powerhouse of a film that anyone who has ever been in a relationship will find identifiable. Backups? Let’s go with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers, and Taika Waititi’s Nazi satire, Jojo Rabbit


With so many gems, let’s hope a deserving film takes the crown. Watch for more TIFF coverage from me in the November Buffalo Spree.



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