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Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sean Kelly

Running Down Canada’s Top Ten 2012

Canada's Top Ten 2012

TIFF has announced this year’s Canada’s Top Ten line-up, which showcases the best in Canadian Cinema and takes place from January 4-13 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.  The line-up includes the latest films from the likes of David Cronenberg and Sarah Polley, as well as the smaller independent films that make up much of the Canadian cinema landscape.  Also notable in this year’s line-up is the inclusion of not one, but three, documentaries.  As a lover of this style of film, I am definitely happy that documentaries are getting this type of exposure.

Without further ado, here are this year’s Canada’s Top Ten line-up, along with my thoughts on each film.

Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg
Screens: January 11, 9:30 pm and January 12, 12:30 pm
My Review

Cosmopolis is quite possibly the most controversial selection of this year’s Canada’s Top Ten, because it’s a film that had a very polarizing response from people.  While I absolutely loved the film (it will likely be in my top ten of the year), there are others that absolutely hated it.  As such, you have to wonder if the film was picked solely because it was directed by Cronenberg, who is one of the top directors in the country.  I should also note that Cronenberg’s son Brandon’s relatively well-received debut film Antiviral was not chosen as part of the line-up.

The End of Time – Peter Mettler
Screens: January 12, 6:45pm and January 13, 12:30pm (also opening as a new release December 12)

There is nearly always one Canada’s Top Ten, which is also in regular release at the Bell Lightbox.  This documentary about the concept of time will be opening at the Bell Lightbox next week for a pre-scheduled regular release, before returning next month as part of the Canada’s Top Ten line-up.  It definitely gives you plenty of time to check this one out.

Goon - Michael Dowse
Screens: January 7, 9:30pm and January 8, 4:00pm
My Review

You can call this the obligatory genre film selection, in the same way Hobo with a Shotgun was included last year.  I actually quite like Goon, since it is a hockey movie for people that don’t really like hockey.  The film is less about the sport and more about the fighting and that’s OK with me.

Laurence Anyways - Xavier Dolan
Screens: January 5, 8:00pm and January 6, 12:00pm

As the winner of Best Canadian Film at TIFF, it would be safe to say that Laurence Anyways is one of the must-see films of this year’s Canada’s Top Ten line-up.  It’s also probably the longest film of this year’s line-up, running at a length of 2h41m.

Midnight’s Children - Deepa Mehta
Screens: January 10, 6:30pm and January 11, 3:00pm

Here is another film by a Canada’s Top Ten regular.  I’m not really that familiar with the film or the novel it was based on, however it might be one of the films that I check out this year.

My Awkward Sexual Adventure - Sean Garrity
Screens: January 12, 9:45pm and January 13, 3:30pm

This was a film that I wanted to see when it screened at TIFF, so I am happy that I will get another chance to see it at Canada’s Top Ten.  I don’t really know the exact plot details, but this is one of those films that you’d see based on the title alone.

Rebelle (War Witch) - Kim Nguyen
Screens: January 8, 7:30pm and January 9, 4:00pm

This is the film that is Canada’s submission for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. I missed it when it played earlier this fall at the Bell Lightbox, so I will try and check it out at Canada’s Top Ten.

Still - Michael McGowan
Screens: January 4, 8:00pm and January 5, 12:30pm

I’m a little surprised to see this James Cromwell-starring film in the line-up, since I viewed it as somewhat of an “also ran” film at TIFF this year.  The fact that Still was picked for Canada’s Top Ten got me curious and it might be one worth checking out.

Stories We Tell – Sarah Polley
Screens: January 5, 5:30pm and January 6, 3:30pm
Mavericks: Sarah Polley – January 5, 3:30pm

This will likely be the first film I see at Canada’s Top Ten and it is my top pick of this year’s line-up.  From what I’ve been hearing this is an excellent documentary and I quite look forward to seeing it.  Sarah Polley will also be on stage for a Mavericks session before the first screening of the film, in which she will discuss her entire career.

The World Before Her - Nisha Pahuja
Screens: January 9, 7:30pm and January 10, 4:00pm
My Review

With so many documentaries in this year’s line-up, it’s not surprising that the film that won Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs would be included.  This is definitely an excellent documentary, which looks at the role of women in today’s India through both a beauty pageant and a militant Hindu boot camp. I’d recommend checking it out.


In addition to the features, there will also be Canada’s Top Ten Shorts, which will be shown in two five short programmes.  Here’s a quick rundown.

Short Programme A – January 6, 6:30pm

Short Programme B – January 6, 9:30pm

(Note: I previously saw both Malody and Bydlo as part of the Canada After Dark shorts programme at Toronto After Dark)


That wraps up my rundown of the line-up of Canada’s Top Ten 2012.  Advance tickets are now on sale for TIFF members and go on sale on December 12 for the general public.

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).