TIFF 2012 BEST OF FESTby sharmatt | created - 16 Sep 2012 | updated - 03 Jan 2013 | Public
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1. Elefante blanco (2012)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama
While working alongside his long-time friend and colleague in building a hospital for the residents of a Buenos Aries shantytown, a troubled priest finds solace in a young, atheist social worker.
Votes: 4,041 | Gross: $0.01M
aka WHITE ELEPHANT, a powerful well made film with a strong secular fundamentalist message. Two Catholic priests must contend with drug lords, corrupt cops and their own demons as they seek to care for the residents of a Buenos Aires slum in this gripping drama from acclaimed Argentinian director Pablo Trapero (Carancho).
2. Bella addormentata (2012)
Not Rated | 115 min | Drama
A mosaic of several intertwined stories questioning the meaning of life, love and hope, set during the last six days in the life of Eluana Englaro, a young woman who spent 17 years in a vegetative state.
Italian master Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket, Good Morning, Night, Vincere) offers a multi-faceted exploration of the thorny issue of euthanasia in this response to Italy's famous Eluana Englaro controversy.
3. Jagten (2012)
R | 115 min | Drama
A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Votes: 208,067 | Gross: $0.69M
Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his performance as an innocent man accused of child molestation in this ferociously powerful new film by Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration). Steve Gordon's all time favorite film. I think Mads' performance deserves Oscar consideration. Certain to be one of the year's defining and most controversial films, The Hunt is an intelligent and disturbing dissection of Danish society Thomas Vinterberg was born in Copenhagen. He made his feature debut with The Biggest Heroes (96). His second feature, The Celebration (98), won numerous awards worldwide, including the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His other features are It's All About Love (03), Dear Wendy (05), When a Man Comes Home (07), Submarino (10) and The Hunt (12). Strongly associated with Dogme 95 film construction.
4. Den skaldede frisør (2012)
R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A hairdresser, who has lost her hair to cancer, finds out her husband is having an affair, travels to Italy for her daughter's wedding, and meets a widower who still blames the world for the loss of his wife.
Votes: 11,211 | Gross: $1.63M
Danish director Susanne Bier made her international reputation with a series of stirring, powerful dramas, from Open Hearts to Brothers to the Academy Award®–winning In a Better World. But this remarkably accomplished filmmaker has always had a lighter side as well, as evidenced by her breakthrough film The One and Only, which initiated Bier's long collaboration with her frequent star Paprika Steen. Steen returns alongside Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan in Love Is All You Need, a sparkling romantic comedy that revives the spirit of Bier's earlier work.
6. Hannah Arendt (2012)
Not Rated | 113 min | Biography, Drama
A look at the life of philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who reported for The New Yorker on the war crimes trial of the Nazi Adolf Eichmann.
Votes: 8,564 | Gross: $0.71M
Those us who are Jewish may have a problem with this seriously probing film. However if you can be objective, you may see that Hannah does have a point. Barbara Sukowa ABSOLUTELY deserves Oscar consideration, but will not get it due to this being a German film.
Margarethe von Trotta's impressive oeuvre attests to her fascination with great women of all kinds, from twelfth-century Christian mystic Hildegard von Bingen to Marxist firebrand Rosa Luxemburg. With her new film about the German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt (1906–75), von Trotta undertook a particularly difficult challenge. While Arendt's life was hardly lacking in drama — a harrowing escape from Nazi Germany, friendships and affairs with giants of the intellectual world, and involvement in some of the great political controversies of the day — her renown rested less on actions than on her influential body of thought, perhaps not the most innately cinematic of subjects. But beyond its historical and human drama, Hannah Arendt is an attempt, in von Trotta's words, to transform "thought into a film."
8. Dans la maison (2012)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery
A high school French teacher is drawn into a precocious student's increasingly transgressive story about his relationship with a friend's family.
Votes: 25,325 | Gross: $0.35M
9. Passion (2012)
R | 102 min | Mystery, Thriller
The rivalry between the manipulative boss of an advertising agency and her talented protégée escalates from stealing credit to public humiliation to murder.
Votes: 18,685 | Gross: $0.09M
10. The Iceman (2012)
R | 106 min | Action, Biography, Crime
The story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters had any clue about his real profession.
Votes: 61,273 | Gross: $1.94M
11. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime
A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster's beloved Shih Tzu.
Votes: 204,972 | Gross: $15.02M
12. Sou suo (2012)
117 min | Drama
The story begins on a bus, when white-collar worker Ye refuses to give up her seat to a senior citizen. Her defiance is videotaped by a journalist intern and played during a news show. The ... See full summary »
Votes: 796 | Gross: $0.00M
Chen Kaige, from China, another elegant production on a very relevant contemporary subject, the misuse of the internet. Insignificant innocent behaviour transmitted to millions can create negative unwanted reactions. His work is masterful in every sense of the word. An example of cyber bulling and online voyeurism.
Chen Kaige was born in Beijing. His feature films Together (02) and To Each His Own Cinema (07). His other features include Yellow Earth (84), Farewell My Concubine (93), which earned him the FIPRESCI Prize and Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Temptress Moon (96), Killing Me Softly (02), The Promise (05), Forever Enthralled (08), Sacrifice (10
13. Le capital (2012)
R | 114 min | Drama
The newly appointed CEO of a giant European investment bank works to hold on to his power when an American hedge fund company tries to buy out his company.
Votes: 4,474 | Gross: $0.10M
Costa-Gavras has created another work of genius. His "Z" is one of my all time favorites. With CAPITAL he has tackled an issue of the moment, again not fearing controversy. His dissection of the current capitalist system holds nothing back. Since the 2008 bailouts bank scandals are still here and Gavras presents this scathing drama. the production values are of the highest order. The world locations alone are worth the price of your time and money. Costa-Gavras was born in Greece. He studied at France’s Institut des hautes études cinématographiques and worked as an assistant director before directing his first feature, The Sleeping Car Murders (65). His other features include Z (69), The Confession (70), State of Siege (72), Missing (82), Music Box (89), Mad City (97), Amen. (02)
14. Ginger & Rosa (2012)
PG-13 | 90 min | Drama
A look at the lives of two teenage girls - inseparable friends Ginger and Rosa -- growing up in 1960s London as the Cuban Missile Crisis looms, and the pivotal event that comes to redefine their relationship.
Votes: 8,907 | Gross: $1.01M
15. To the Wonder (2012)
R | 112 min | Drama, Romance
After falling in love in Paris, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Their church's Spanish-born pastor struggles with his faith, while Neil encounters a woman from his childhood.
Votes: 23,757 | Gross: $0.59M
Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko star in the new film from Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart. Malick to me is the best filmmaker working today, and if you did not like my favorite film last year, TREE OF LIFE, then skip this one. This is the shortest period of time between films for Malick, sometimes up to 20 years.
"Malick studied philosophy at Harvard, and at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar; before he became a filmmaker, he translated Martin Heidegger. For all its visual poetry, his work shows a passionate interest in ideas. Where The New World and The Tree of Life open themselves to analysis of spirituality and ethics, To the Wonder continues that intellectual investigation into the realm of politics and faith. It is also, like The Tree of Life, gloriously engaged with cinematic form itself." TRANSCENDENTAL VISUAL POETRY by a true film making master. Terrence Malick is an award-winning director-writer-producer whose prolific career has spanned over four decades. His feature film Days of Heaven (78) earned him the Best Director award at Cannes and The Tree of Life (11) won last year's Palme d’Or. His other features are Badlands (73), The Thin Red Line (98), The New World (05
16. Fasle kargadan (2012)
88 min | Drama, History, Thriller
Kurdish-Iranian poet Sahel has just been released from a thirty-year prison sentence in Iran. Now the one thing keeping him going is the thought of finding his wife, who thinks him dead for over twenty years.
Acclaimed Kurdish filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi (A Time for Drunken Horses) directs Monica Bellucci and Iranian superstar Behrouz Vossoughi in this haunting, dreamlike love story that spans three decades. Monica Bellucci has never been better, and be it not for Kurdish language should be considered for an Oscar. An absolutely beautiful film that is probably the best unrequited film ever made. A haunting love story that spans three decades, Rhino Season is based on the tragic story of a Kurdish poet and family friend of Ghobadi’s who was unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution. The victim of a personal vendetta, Sahel (Iranian superstar Behrouz Vossoughi) is thrown into prison along with his devoted wife Mina. Bahman Ghobadi was born in Baneh, Iran, and studied filmmaking in Tehran. His feature film debut A Time for Drunken Horses (00) won the Caméra d’Or at Cannes. His other features are Marooned in Iraq (02), Turtles Can Fly (04), Half Moon (06), No One Knows About Persian Cats (09). DRUNKEN HORSES & TURTLES are classics that should be seen by my cinephiles. Netflix has them.
17. Dupa dealuri (2012)
Not Rated | 150 min | Drama
The friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent in Romania and refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives in Germany.
Votes: 9,813 | Gross: $0.11M
Winner of the most prestigious film award is slow, but brilliant. Another insightful study of women on the verge of a nervous breakdown from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, Beyond the Hills exhibits the same remarkable formal control as his Palme d’Or–winning 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days. Like that film, Beyond the Hills is a story about women living under an authoritarian regime: a remote Orthodox monastery in the Moldavian wilderness, where archaic beliefs still regulate the life of the community.
18. Amour (2012)
PG-13 | 127 min | Drama
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
Votes: 78,701 | Gross: $6.74M
Bring at least 1 box of Kleenex to this not to be missed film, especially if you are over 50. Both protagonists deserve the best of Oscar.
Precision, calculation, and refinement are the words that spring to mind when describing the work of Michael Haneke. But if his past work has been described by his critics as cool and clinical, Amour, which won Haneke his second Palme d’Or at Cannes, will surely put those feelings to rest. Never has this modern master been in such superb control as in this examination of a couple struggling with mortality — a subject that, in the hands of another filmmaker, could have veered toward sentimentality, cliché and bathos.
19. Pieta (2012)
Not Rated | 104 min | Crime, Drama
A loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother.
Votes: 10,397 | Gross: $0.02M
In the new film by controversial Korean auteur Kim Ki-duk, a brutal man in the employ of a loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle when a mysterious woman appears claiming to be his long-lost mother. But, as his attachment to her grows, he begins to discover the gruesome and tragic secret that made her seek him out. He is far and away the best Korean filmmaker, as his The Isle (00), Address Unknown (01), Bad Guy (02), Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring 03, are all outstanding films. "Kim’s intense, violent images — eels sliding down a staircase in the throes of imminent death, trails of blood on an empty street at dawn — hold primal significance, searing the retinas and generating a disturbing awe. The frightening beauty of Kim’s extreme storytelling colours each impeccably composed frame."
20. 4Some (2012)
Unrated | 78 min | Comedy
Two middle-aged couples are linked by more than just a lifelong friendship. While relaxing on a Caribbean island, they get an unconventional idea to enrich and, as a result, complicate their sexual lives.
aka 4SOME a stupid rename for PSIFF???? Czech Jan Hrebejk, who brought us the amazing DIVIDED WE FALL now brings us a light hearted couples comedy. it is fun, and most of you will be entertained, some will find the themes perhaps a little unnerving.
Marital fidelity can wear you down, and Ondra (Hynek Čermák) and Vitek (Jiří Langmajer) are certainly suffering from a case of serious fatigue. Working side by side and living next door to each other, it doesn’t take long before these two long-married middle-aged pals start comparing sex notes, and it’s plain to see their latest scores have fallen far below what they would have hoped.
21. Fugainai boku wa sora o mita (2012)
141 min | Drama
A married woman is having an affair with a high school student. A video of their exploits soon turns up on the internet affecting the lives of both couples.
23. Shokuzai (2012– )
270 min | Mystery
The murder of Emili, a young girl, leaves the inhabitants of a small Japanese village in shock. The body of Emily is found by the four classmates with whom she was playing. The murder is ... See full summary »
24. Wi-heom-han gyan-gye (2012)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
In Shanghai, an aging socialite's infatuation with her ex-boyfriend manifests itself as a risky game, where her former lover agrees to seduce, then abandon a naive young woman.
Votes: 1,593 | Gross: $0.05M
25. A Royal Affair (2012)
R | 137 min | Biography, Drama, History
A young queen, who is married to an insane king, falls secretly in love with her physician - and together they start a revolution that changes a nation forever.
Votes: 38,125 | Gross: $1.55M
This sumptuous historical drama from writer-director Nikolaj Arcel (screenwriter of the original version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) chronicles the scandalous love triangle between a queen (Alicia Vikander), her German doctor (Mads Mikkelsen), and the mad King of Denmark (Mikkel Følsgaard). Mikkelsen and Vikander are electrifying as the ill-starred lovers, and their palpable chemistry, combined with Arcel’s assured direction and the film’s fine art direction and costume design, create both a sweepingly romantic and subtly nuanced portrait of this infamous episode in Denmark’s history. At once intimate and epic, A Royal Affair is one of the finest, most well-crafted period dramas in recent memory. A grand period drama with a lusty, beating heart, A Royal Affair displays all the talents and charms of its star, Mads Mikkelsen.
26. The Central Park Five (2012)
Not Rated | 119 min | Documentary, Crime, History
A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.
Votes: 5,411 | Gross: $0.27M
27. Storm Surfers 3D (2012)
TV-G | 95 min | Documentary, Adventure
A 3D adventure into the world of big wave surfing with Aussie tow-surfing legend Ross Clarke-Jones and two-time World Champion Tom Carroll.
Votes: 345 | Gross: $0.12M
28. Syngué sabour, pierre de patience (2012)
R | 102 min | Drama, War
In a war ridden country a woman watches over the husband reduced to a vegetable state by a bullet in the neck, abandoned by Jihad companions and brothers. One day, the woman decides to say things to him she could never have done before.
Votes: 3,792 | Gross: $0.15M
aka THE PATIENCE STONE, If those idiots burning and bombing American embassies over a trailer of a USA film saw this film from Afghanistan, they would go bananas. This was a very unflattering view of the Muslim world, yet they know nothing of it, so rallies of protest occur over something from the free world yet ignore their own films MAKES NO SENSE TO ME! A woman in an unnamed, war-torn Middle Eastern country delivers an engrossing, emotional monologue to her comatose husband, in novelist and filmmaker Atiq Rahimi's poetic and politically charged allegory based on his award-winning novel. With this beguiling work, Rahimi has given all faceless and speechless Muslim women an opportunity to share what is going on behind their veils and in their minds. Unable to respond, the woman’s husband has no opportunity to talk back and reassert his dominance. He must listen — listen as we do, intently, fascinated by this release of long-repressed emotion. The Patience Stone is a magnificent corrective to years of silence.
29. Augustine (2012)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama, History
A look at the relationship between pioneering 19th century French neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot and his star teenage patient, a kitchen maid who is left partially paralyzed after a seizure.
Votes: 1,168 | Gross: $0.11M
31. Lemale et ha'halal (2012)
PG | 90 min | Drama, Romance
When the older sister of Shira, an 18-year-old Hasidic Israeli, dies suddenly in childbirth, Shira must decide if she can and should marry her widowed brother-in-law, which also generates tensions within her extended family.
Votes: 3,269 | Gross: $1.77M
33. The Master (2012)
R | 138 min | Drama
A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.
Votes: 118,561 | Gross: $16.38M
This is an unpleasant film to watch, however its craftsmanship is of the highest order. If you are looking for a joyful cinematic experience, then skip this one. Even though I appreciate another genius effort from Paul Thomas Anderson (MAGNOLIA, BOOGIE NIGHTS, HARD EIGHT...) as well as Oscar performances from Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix the prolonged PSYCHOBABBLE almost sent me to the exit. Ken Turan: "The Master" takes some getting used to. This is a superbly crafted film that's at times intentionally opaque, as if its creator didn't want us to see all the way into its heart of darkness. It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior, the interplay of troubled souls desperate to find their footing.
34. Looper (2012)
R | 113 min | Action, Crime, Drama
In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.
Votes: 469,469 | Gross: $66.49M