Skip to content


TThe Hollywood strikes might have brought a new look to this year’s fall festival season, with stars and red carpets to a minimum, but the queues are still huge and, you might say, suggest focusing less on the circus and more on the circus. movie theater.

Venice gave us Maestro by Bradley Cooper, The Killer by David Fincher and Poor Things by Yorgos Lanthimos. Telluride gave us Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, Andrew Haigh’s All of Us Strangers and Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers. And now the biggest of them all, at least in terms of audience size, Toronto, arrives this week with a long list of question marks. Here are the movies to watch:

bad little letters

From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Jessie Buckley and Olivia Colman in Wicked Little Letters. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

In a relatively short time, Olivia Colman has racked up the accolades, respect and influence that most of her more established peers still aspire to, her name attached to a project that immediately sparks intrigue. While most were unfair about her heartbreaking performance in Sam Mendes’ delicate two-man flick Empire of Light (even though she still nabbed a Golden Globe nomination), she remains a hot ticket, especially during Oscar season, so all eyes are on the big Saturday. nightly premiere of factual mystery Wicked Little Letters, a film reuniting her with fellow Lost Daughter nominee Jessie Buckley. The duo play 1920s neighbors trying to figure out who’s behind a series of obscene letters.


From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Kate Winslet in Lee. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

After her Bafta-winning performance in the harrowing one-off drama I Am Ruth and her even more grueling breath-holding time for James Cameron in Avatar 2, Kate Winslet is sticking to tough territory with Lee, a long-running biopic of Lee Miller, a model turned war photographer. Two-time Oscar winner Winslet has been attached to the project for eight years and has assembled an excellent supporting cast including Marion Cotillard, Alexander Skarsgård, Josh O’Connor, Noémie Merlant and recent Best Actress nominee Andrea Riseborough.

Dream scenario

From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Nicolas Cage in Dream Scenario. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

Movies starring Nicolas Cage in Toronto aren’t always the safest bets (in previous years, he’s worked his way through silly parenting horror Mom and Dad, Lovecraft’s rickety adaptation Color Out of Space and the still-unreleased western Butcher’s Crossing) but in line with some of his more recent left-field picks, such as Pig and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, this year’s Cage premiere offers something a little more interesting. In the Ari Aster-produced dream script, which sees Cage go from Midnight Madness to Platform, he plays an academic who becomes an unlikely celebrity after appearing in people’s dreams, billed as a comedic version of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

North Star

From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Scarlett Johansson, Emily Beecham and Sienna Miller in North Star. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

This year’s festival sees a slew of actors getting behind the camera, which festival director Cameron Bailey calls less the result of the actors’ strike, which would technically allow them to promote in person, and more the result of Covid, with an increased duration. hands. Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Patricia Arquette and Michael Keaton are among them, but the most interesting of the bunch might just be Kristin Scott Thomas. Her film North Star is a comedy-drama in which she plays a woman getting married for the third time, forcing her three daughters, played by Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller and Emily Beecham, to consider their own love lives. The screenplay, co-written by Scott Thomas with Bloomberg reporter John Micklethwait, draws on elements from his own family history.

The Pain Scammers

One of the biggest stars who won’t be attending this year’s festival is Emily Blunt, whose factual movie Pain Hustlers comes from the big bad Netflix, a streamer with a number of titles exempt from any potential waivers that would allow promotion. . After premiering auteur titles Maestro and El Conde in Venice and acting contenders Nyad and Rustin in Telluride, this seems to be the most commercial and beloved title of awards season, drawing inspiration from films such as The wolf of Wall Street. and The Big Short in a story about big pharma and the sales people who helped reignite the opioid epidemic. Chris Evans and Andy Garcia also star.

The end from where we begin

From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Jodie Comer in The End From Where We Begin. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

After deservingly winning every award available for her stunning stage role in Prima Facie as a lawyer dealing with the aftermath of a sexual assault, Jodie Comer is set for a busy season at the ‘screen. She’s already garnered accolades for her role in the male-dominated ensemble of Jeff Nichols’ 60s drama The Bikeriders, which premiered at this year’s Telluride Festival, and is now tackling her all. first film in The End We Start From. It may sound like a Colleen Hoover adaptation, but it’s actually a realistic survival thriller about an ecological crisis that leads to massive flooding in London. Comer plays a mother trying to protect her baby with the support of Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong and Katherine Waterston.

The next goal wins

Taika Waititi had a big hit at the 2019 festival with Jojo Rabbit, winning the coveted People’s Choice Award and snagging the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay a few months later. His long-delayed latest comedy, Next Goal Wins, hopes to follow a similar path (it will even air on the same festival night as his last), telling the rags-to-riches story of the American Samoa soccer team. and the American Samoa soccer team. unlikely coach, played by Michael Fassbender, who is to lead them to glory. It’s the actor’s second film of the fall festival season, following the premiere of The Killer in Venice, and his biggest comedic role to date, alongside another not-so-well-known actor. for her lighter side: Elisabeth Moss.

stupid money

A movie based on the 2021 GameStop scandal was inevitable, especially in a climate obsessed with trying to get every viral tech story out on social media, but it was less obvious that it would happen that quickly. Dumb Money is a film based on author Ben Mezrich’s almost instantaneous account of what happened when the Redditors attacked Wall Street. Directed by Craig Gillespie, a regular on pop biopics who directed Me, Tonya, Mike and Pam & Tommy, it stars Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Shailene Woodley and, fresh out of her Barbie womb, America Ferrera.

A life

From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Anthony Hopkins in One Life. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

Acclaimed TV director James Hawes, whose credits include Doctor Who, Black Mirror and Slow Horses, makes his feature film debut, casting his 2010 Enid protagonist Helena Bonham Carter alongside two-time winner Anthony Hopkins of an Oscar. This is the story of Nicholas Winton, a stockbroker who helped rescue Jewish children in Czechoslovakia before the start of World War II. His younger self will be played by Johnny Flynn, best known for playing David Bowie in 2020’s Stardust. While Hopkins is enjoying a career resurgence after his career-best work in The Father, this has the makings of another great player. of rewards.

The critic

From The Critic to Wicked Little Letters: 10 films to watch at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival |  Toronto Film Festival 2023
Ian McKellen in The Critic. Photography: Toronto Film Festival

There’s a potentially fascinating relationship at the center of 1930s thriller The Critic, where gay theater critic Ian McKellen is forced into an uneasy alliance with theater actor Gemma Arterton, someone he has regularly torn to shreds in his reviews. Based on the novel Curtain Call by Anthony Quinn, it promises to be a tale of ambition and ruthless intrigue, ushering in the rampant, state-sponsored homophobia of the era to ground a nasty tale of beatings in back and blackmail. It also stars Mark Strong and Lesley Manville and, more excitingly, marks Patrick Marber’s return to screenwriting, after showing us his knack for villainy with Closer and Notes on a Scandal.