Tag: toronto international film festival

How I Live Now TIFF Review


How I Live Now started off with an unexpectedly rocking and upbeat song. As the main character goes through the airport security, you catch snippets of things that seem a bit off. Military personnel are glimpsed on numerous occasions, and a glance at the television shows images of a Paris bombing.

Elizabeth  (Saoirse Ronan) or Daisy, as she prefers to be called, has been sent off to live with her cousins in England for the summer. Her acerbic attitude can be a bit painful to watch sometimes when
up against her wholesome, cheerful cousins. Eventually the countryside charms Daisy and her relationship with her three cousins improves. She also begins to grow closer to the oldest cousin, Edmund (George MacKay).  It’s important to note that they aren’t really blood cousins. FYI.

All is not right however. One of the key scenes of the film is a warm, fun filled river scene juxtoposed with the harrowing aftermath of a nuclear bomb. After that, all bets are off. Idyllic county scenes are peppered with the looming threat (and beghinnings) of World War 3. Eventally, those scenes are gone completely, as Daisy and her youngest cousin Piper (Harley Bird) are stuck together to navigate this new war torn world.  What’s left behind is stark and at times harrowing.

This movie will grab you. It’s emotionally, at times unapologetically stark and beautiful to behold. The acting by all characters was fantastic, and the soundtrack was very fitting.

(I do want to note though, that Daisy’s internal monologue confused me at times, and that I also got the (mistaken?) impression that Emund seemed to be able to read her mind. ) Interestingly, the movie never reveals who the country is at war with.

As someone that didn’t read the book, this film had me at the edge of my seat, hoping for the best. This film was directed by Kevin Macdonald.

The cast and crew were present afterwards for a Q&A, which was great. It was so funny to hear Saoirse’s very Irish accent, and to hear about their favourite scenes. (George and Saoirse both enjoyed the scene where they released a hawk.)

TIFF Lounge: IT Lounge Portrait Studio

We are in full swing with TIFF Festivities! As the celebs and films roll into town, so do the exclusive swag lounges for the visiting celebrities.

I peeked in the IT Lounge Portrait Studio to give you a taste of what celebrities will be walking away with…after getting their portrait done, of course!


Skyy Vodka was on hand to provide signature movie inspired cocktails. I had the SKYY Adam’s Apple dedicated to Adam Levine’s role in “Can a Song Save Your Life?”. Sparkling golden apple juice paired with ginger ale and a sprig of Thyme bring this drink to life.



Yo Sox are Canadian (yay!) and come is a variety of delightful patterns such as anchors, Eiffel towers and cupcakes! These socks are designed in Canada and are available for men and women. They’ll be launching soon!


Guests will be treated to their choice of movie themed David’s Tea, in iced or hot form. Guests will be gifted with a Canadian favourite:  Oh Canada tea. This South African Red Rooibos Tea is sweetened with  Maple Syrup.


Each year, Tweezerman does a collaberation with an artist to design for their distinctive tweezers. This year, the featured paint splattered design is created by Isaac Mizrahi.


 Avon showed off a funky new mascara brush, new marc makeup collection items and fall Gel finish polish.

Colgate_Slim Soft_Brush_1

The Colgate Slimsoft is probably the coolest toothbrush I’ve seen. It’s charcoal hued bristles are extra thin to get to tough to reach spots. (Have you seen the creative Twitter campaign?)


Of course, a swag lounge isn’t complete without a lush area to relax in, and tasty treats to consume.

Coldstone Creamery provided cool treats, and there was a beautiful candy bar featuring baked goods from PS by Pretty Sweet & LOL Candy.

My TIFF Picks for 2013

It’s one of my favourite times of year in Toronto! The Toronto International Film Festival! TIFF runs from Sept 5- 15. Tickets go on sale on Sept 1st at 9:00 a.m. Below are some of the films that I want to see this year!

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her


Every story has two sides. The unprecedented cinematic event The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her sets out to prove just that in this quietly realized, heartwrenching drama from director Ned Benson.

Following a horrific tragedy, the enviable marriage between Conor (James McAvoy), a restaurant owner, and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain), a returning college student, begins to fall apart. With each day worse than the last, their connection starts deteriorating, until one day Eleanor just disappears….

The Lunchbox
In Mumbai, a misdelivered lunchbox brings together two very different people — a neglected housewife (Nimrat Kaur) and a grumpy, solitary widower on the verge of retirement (Bollywood star Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi) — in this funny and touching comedy-drama from first-time writer-director Ritesh Batra.

The Wind Rises

This decades-spanning epic from maestro Hayao Miyazaki is his most unique films to date. Inspired by the stories of Jiro Horikoshi, visionary designer of one the most beautiful airplanes in history — the famed Zero fighter — and the writer Tatsuo Hori, this tale of love and perseverance in a turbulent world is brought to life by the vivid animation of Studio Ghibli.
Sarah Prefers to Run
Introverted and singularly focused, Sarah lives to run. When she is accepted as a middle-distance runner into the athletic training program at Montreal’s McGill University, one of the best in the province, she is determined to leave Quebec City and go, in spite of her mother’s surprising lack of support, both emotional and financial. A solution comes from an unexpected source, her friend Antoine (Jean-Sébastien Courchesne), who offers to move in with her to help her save money — he even proposes they wed to access funding for married university students.

The Right Kind of Wrong
Leo Palomino is supposed to be a writer. Before his wife left him for his best friend, Leo used to be a husband. Now he washes dishes — professionally — and stands by while his ex publicly broadcasts his apparently infinite number of character flaws on a blog called Why You Suck. Leo is closing in on thirty and not exactly feeling at the top of his game. But he’s about to meet a woman who might change his life forever — if only she weren’t about to marry someone else.

Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive occupies a claustrophobic, languid nocturnal world befitting vampires who live a counter-normal existence. Centuries old, they have seen it all, and simply want to be left alone to get on with their (eternal) lives.
A Random Desi Romance
From the writer of Chak De! India and the director of Band Baaja Baaraat comes a modern desi love story.

Don Jon

Our Sunhi
Korean auteur Hong Sang-soo’s latest follows an aspiring young filmmaker who becomes the object of desire for three very different men, in this smart, resonant, coming-of-age comedy.

Picture Day TIFF Review

Tonight I saw one of my first TIFF picks of the festival, Picture Day! I love watching Canadian films, and was delighted to find that it was shot in Toronto!

Picture Day is written by Kate Melville, a scriptwriter for Degrassi and other shows. This is her first film.

Claire is a cheerful high school student doing her “victory lap” and failing miserably. She isn’t really going to classes, and doesn’t particularly seem to care. She also has some issues with her classmates (no one likes her, and there are some pretty nasty rumors) and things aren’t great at home either. Three weeks into school, Claire bumps into her old baby-sitting ward, Henry, is now in grade 9. She befriends him and tries to remake his image. Henry has a bit of a crush on her, but she can’t see it because she’s too busy falling for an older rocker (Jim) in his “Jesus year” and hanging out at his shows.

This film had hilarious moments juxtaposed in familiar Toronto spots. (Active Surplus, anyone?) It really captures what high school is like, and got the characters just right. Tatiana Maslany is a natural and fits right into the role of Claire. Spencer Van Wyck’s wide eyed, innocent portray of Henry was perfect. I’d also like to point out that Susan Coyne is fantastic and funny as Henry’s mom. Fun fact! Jim’s band actually exists! It’s a real Toronto band called the ElastoCitizens!

I really enjoyed the soundtrack of the film. During the Q&A, Kate told us that all of the songs from the movie can be found on the movie website, which is awesome, because I was trying to scribble down the titles of songs.

The thing that tied it all together for me was the end of the movies. As we exited the theater, we were handed a glowing LED light to add to the fence outside (tying into one of the best scenes in the film). It made for a magical ending of a memorable film. Go Canada!

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