Even with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike, TIFF 2023 continues to bring an exciting set of premieres, red carpet talks and some controversy.
The 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) keeps on chugging though, despite many of its usual amount of stars are on strike, with the ongoing double-strike of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA. Despite the conflicts in Hollywood, the films and guests who can attend have brought a lot of interesting premiere talks, and even those not appearing have been receiving some concerning news. The opening film to TIFF 2023 was Studio Ghibli and famed animator Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron, which has already received a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes!
Two other amazing films that have earned the 100% rating was the Anna Kendrick-directed Women of the Hour and Elizabeth Olsen starring in his Three Daughters, alongside Carrie Coon (Boston Strangler) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll). One of the most recently talked about films from TIFF 2023 screened last night, Taika Waititi’s underdog soccer comedy Next Goal Wins.
Before the screening, Waititi gave a lovely introduction to the film, and even dedicated his talk on recognizing colonialism and New Zealand, along with addressing the Indigenous land he was on for the premiere itself. The film was met with thunderous applause for the Marvel/Thor director as he came out with the real-life characters the film was based on: Dutch coach Thomas Rongen and transgender soccer player Jaiyah Saelua. Both were present for the world premiere on Sunday night at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The film stars Michael Fassbender portraying the Dutch coach as he tries to get the American Samoa national football team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup.
The night before this, on Saturday, was a bit scarier since a bomb threat delayed the global premiere of Lil Nas X’s new documentary, Lil Nas X: Long Live Montero. The screening was supposed to begin at 10:00pm but was delayed until about 10:30pm after festival organizers received word of the bomb threat. Reports indicated that the threat “specifically targeted” Lil Nas X “for being a Black queer artist.” However, it was later determined that the threat was not targeted, but was still classified as a general threat in the vicinity.
As for tonight, there is buzz around Chris Evans, Emily Blunt and Catherine O’Hara’s film Pain Hustlers, based on the non-fiction book The Hard Sell. It tells a more intimate look at how the opioid epidemic salesman community worked at its alarmingly rising height. This will be an interesting to watch, as it is directed by David Yates of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. While this film will not be taking place in the wizarding world, it will be one that tackles a more real, historical issue. It will hit select theaters on October 20, before arriving on Netflix on October 27.
Another highlight for tonight at TIFF 2023 will be Sandra Oh and Awkwafina’s Quiz Lady. There has been a lot of buzz around the film that sees the two actresses playing the strange sibling couple in thus comedy directed by Jessica Yu. The film follows reserved, socially anxious Anne (Awkwafina) as her rebellious estranged sister Jenny (Oh) concocts a scheme to pay off their absentee mother’s gambling debts via a TV quiz show. Will Ferrell also stars in the film as the TV host; the film will be coming to Disney+ on November 3.
Many other films will be premiering tonight, so be sure to keep an eye on updates for TIFF 2023, here on CGMagazine!