- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
To attempt to accurately evaluate a film festival with some 250 entries in it (a wise reduction of about 20 percent from 2016) is akin to describing the proverbial elephant by touching just one of its legs. But, as they had been at Venice and Telluride just beforehand, the prevailing winds at the Toronto International Film Festival were, like the weather, generally favorable and certainly intermittently bracing enough to put memories of a sorry cinematic summer happily behind.
If there was a grand slam winner at TIFF 2017, it was Fox Searchlight, which brought to town its trifecta of the big Venice victor, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s hugely entertaining Battle of the Sexes and Martin McDonough’s insidiously engaging Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It’s hard to remember when a single company debuted three such singular and accomplished films together at any festival at the same time (they will be released between late September and early December), and rarely has the international festival scene witnessed anything like the magnificent spectacle of the widely beloved del Toro bouncing tirelessly between Venice, then Telluride, then back to Venice to collect his prize, then to Toronto, where he did endless press — and where, coincidentally, he not only shot Shape of Water (including one scene filmed at the Elgin Theatre) but where he now resides.
If, on the American indie front, there was another champ this September, it had to be longtime indie stalwart Greta Gerwig, who broke through as a writer-director with the significantly autobiographical, wonderfully observed and vitally engaging Lady Bird; it’s the rare film about which, at least this far, there seems to be no dissent whatsoever. Gerwig traverses territory that’s been trodden countless times before — the growing pains of one’s late teens that include rebellion against parents, sexual awakening and leaving the nest — but makes it all feel fresh again.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day