Toronto International Film Festival Preview #TIFF2023

I’m heading back to Toronto for my second visit to TIFF. Last year was a whole lot of fun, though it was intense — the biggest crowds I’d been part of since the pandemic. I expect that with fewer of the actors appearing on red carpets due to the ongoing strike the crowds in general will be diminished, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

I will be posting here regularly while I’m in Toronto, but please give @flaw_in_the_iris a follow on Instagram for images, video, and my first impressions coming out of screenings.

Here’s a long list of films screening at the festival that have caught my eye — if there were three of me I’d see them all. It’s not even complete, I’ve got a separate list I’m building of indie and international films to consider for Carbon Arc Cinema.

Some titles here include ones I’m hoping to see when I get back to Halifax at the Atlantic International Film Festival — may as well spread them around.

A Difficult Year starring Mathieu Amalric

American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson, starring Jeffrey Wright
Anatomy Of A Fall, directed by Justine Triet, this year’s Palme D’Or winner
The Beast, a French science fiction epic directed by Bertrand Bonello, starring Léa Seydoux and Hal Hartley favourite Elina Löwensohn
Close to You, a Canadian LGBTQ+ drama starring Elliot Page
Dicks: The Musical, with a title like that how could I resist?
Dream Scenario, another high-concept headscratcher starring Nicolas Cage
Dumb Money, directed by Craig Gillespie
Gonzo Girl, directed by Patricia Arquette, a fictionalized account of the experience of a personal assistant to Hunter S Thompson
Fair Play, directed by Chloe Domont, a Sundance hit snapped up by Netflix
Flora And Son, written and directed by John Carney

Hit Man a new comedy from Richard Linklater

Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person Also love the title of this film from Quebec

In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, Alex Gibney’s documentary on the life and work of the legendary songwriter from Queens
Knox Goes Away, a thriller directed by and starring Michael Keaton
La Chimera, directed by Alice Rohrwacher
Lee, directed by Ellen Kuras, Kate Winslet stars as Elizabeth Lee Miller, a model turned correspondent in the Second World War
Limbo, written and directed by Ivan Sen, an Australian daytime noir.
NAGA, an Iranian political comedy
Next Goal Wins, Taika Waititi’s heartwarming soccer comedy.
North Star, Kristin Scott Thomas’ directorial debut
Pain Hustlers, directed by David Yates

The Pigeon Tunnel, Errol Morris takes a look at the man who was John Le Carré
Poolman, an LA noir directed by and starring Chris Pine

Robot Dreams, an animated fable without dialogue
Shoshana, directed by Michael Winterbottom
Stop Making Sense, a 4K rerelease of the Talking Heads concert film
The Boy And The Heron, the return of anime master Hayao Miyazaki
The Critic, a mystery starring Gemma Arterton and Ian McKellan, from director Anand Tucker
The End We Start From, directed by Mahalia Belo, a post-apocalyptic drama starring Jodie Comer
The Holdovers, directed by Alexander Payne
The Movie Teller, directed by Dogme legend Lone Scherfig
The Promised Land, from the director of A Royal Affair, Nikolaj Arcel, starring Mads Mikkelsen

The Royal Hotel, from the director of The Assistant, Kitty Green
Wicked Little Letters, a mystery starring Olivia Colman
Wildcat, Ethan Hawke directs his daughter, Maya, in a biopic of writer Flannery O’Connor
Woman of the Hour, Anna Kendrick’s directorial debut

The Zone of Interest, the long-awaited return of Jonathan Glazer, director of Sexy Beast, Birth, and Under The Skin

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.