September 12, 2019

VIFF 2019 | 20 Most Anticipated Films (You Should See)

VIFF 2019—Our city's two-week-long arthouse cinema showcase in the 38th annual Vancouver International Film Festival is almost here. Every year, VIFF celebrates expanded forms of multimedia and cinematic storytelling by showing hundreds of local, Canadian, and international films in its dedication to advancing contemporary world cinema.

Here are twenty films I think you should see during this year's VIFF screenings:

Ash (dir. Andrew Huculiak, Canada)

Set against the backdrop of the Okanagan wildfires, this civic thriller looks to be a psychological rich in its dramatization of heroism (Sea to Sky / BC Spotlight)

Boyz in the Wood (dir. Ninian Doff, UK)

Three teenage n'er-do-wells and a milquetoast tagalong embark on a misguided expedition in the Scottish highlands. (Altered States)

Come to Daddy (dir. Ant Timpson, New Zealand/Canada/Ireland)

A nebbish Elijah Wood stars in this darkly comic father and son reunion story transported to a 1970s Tofino shoreline inspired setting. (Altered States)

Daughter (dir. Anthony Lim, Canada)

Set and made on the streets of Vancouver, this personal film from first-time filmmaker Lim looks to be a gritty, insular story of tragedy and loss starring John Cassini. (Seak to Sky / BC Spotlight / Galas)

The Death of Dick Long (dir. Daniel Scheinert, USA)

Things get weird fast on a night of drug-fuelled redneck revelry full of grisly violence. (Altered States)

Extra Ordinary (dir. Mike Ahern & Enda Loughman, Ireland/Belgium)

There's something eerie going on in this sleepy, listless Irish town as some twisted horror-comedy antics start to occur starring Will Forte and Claudia O’Doherty. (Altered States)

Ford v Ferrari (dir. James Mangold, USA)

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in this real-life racing drama about obsession and innovation. (Panorama / Special Presentations / Canadian Premiere)

Greener Grass (dir. Joceyln Deboer & Dawn Luebbe, USA)

Danger abounds in the kitschy, pastel-tinged suburban setting of this glossy killer comedy. (Altered States)

Guest of Honour (dir. Atom Egoyan, Canada)

This year's opening gala film looks to double as a celebration of Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan's work as David Thewlis stars as a Toronto health inspector of family restaurants dealing with his own personal drama. (Panorama / Galas)

Jojo Rabbit (dir. Taika Waititi, USA)

New Zealander Waititi writes, directs, and co-stars as an imaginary Hitler in this absurd anti-hate historical satire of a young boy's life in Nazi Germany. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

VIFF Live 2019 | Vancouver International Film Festival

Just Mercy (dir. Destin Daniel Cretin, USA)

Cretin directs a powerhouse cast, including Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson, in this inspiring Southern courthouse drama based on a true story of a falsely convicted man serving hard time. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

The Laundromat (dir. Steven Soderbergh, USA)

The prolific Soderbergh dials up the comedy in his dramatization of the investigation behind the Panama Papers insurance scam. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

The Lighthouse (dir. Robert Eggers, USA)

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play two lighthouse keepers trying to maintain their sanity in desolate nineteenth-century Maine. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

Marriage Story (dir. Noah Baumbach, USA)

Dramatist Baumbach re-teams with Adam Driver for a powerful story of family and divorce among creative personalities co-starring Scarlett Johannson. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

Motherless Brooklyn (dir. Edward Norton, USA)

Norton directs and stars in this period murder mystery about a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

Mr. Jones (dir. Agnieszka Holland, Poland/UK/Ukraine)

Set in the spring of 1933, the film looks to be another sweeping WWII drama of historical reportage behind the famine in the Soviet Union. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

Parasite (dir. Bong Joon-ho, South Korea)

Bong's latest black comedy thriller uses family and small-time cons to dramatize the complexities of class struggle and conflicts. (Panorama / Gateway / Special Presentations)

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (dir. Celine Sciamma, France)

Forbidden love stirs between two young women in eighteenth-century Britain in a classically told tale of tragic drama. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

Sometimes Always Never (dir. Carl Hunter, UK)

Bill Nighy and Sam Riley star in this British dramedy about grief, mystery, and messy family relationships. (Panorama / Contemporary World Cinema)

The Two Popes (dir. Fernando Meirelles, USA/UK/Italy/Argentina)

Powerhouses Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce portray Pope Benedict and the future Pope Frances in this religious two-hander about their different philosophies and the winds of change. (Panorama / Special Presentations)

Beyond attending film screenings and showings, VIFF has so much more to offer in alternative programming. There are always ton of cinematic events involving new forms of digital storytelling and live media showcases coming from VIFF Live (performance), Amp (music), Immersed (virtual reality), Totally Indie Day (creators), the Sustainable Production Forum, and various Creator Talks + Masterclasses programming.

Some hot ticket events:
VIFF 2019 runs from September 26th to October 11th. Remember to check back here for all my coverage and reviews. Get your tickets now.

More | YVArcade / 2018 / Courier / Globe and Mail / Montecristo / Straight / Taste of Cinema / Tyee

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