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TIFF Canada's Top Ten 2021

“Not since its inaugural year in 2001 have there been so many first appearances among the feature-film selections. Some of these films made their world premieres during the Festival and are now debuting their works on the international festival circuit, which is remarkable for first-time directors — I couldn’t be prouder.” —Cameron Bailey, CEO, TIFF

Liked reviews

Watching this film in light of the US Supreme Court’s possible overturning of Roe v Wade is a harrowing experience. Happening is a brash and undaunted abortion drama that’s unafraid to show its teeth. Everyone’s comparing it to Never Rarely Sometimes Always (understandably so), but in truth I was more affected by this film. Its screenplay and direction strikes me as more intimate, mature, unflinching. Anamaria Vartolomei stuns in every moment. I felt physically ill upon exiting the theatre — in the best possible way.

Petite Maman

Petite Maman

★★★★½

Very sweet. I'm gonna go hug my mum!

Memoria

Memoria

★★★★½

I get it now. I was so curious as to why THIS movie was getting that very interesting release strategy of only being shown in theaters, traveling around the country and world, never being released on streaming or physical media. But I get it now.

There's something so essential about seeing this on the big screen with a crowd of people. It's more than just a movie; it's an experience. One that can only truly be felt at its core…

A beautiful dream of a film, clearly inspired (as Sciamma has admitted) by the works of Hayao Miyazaki, and yet Petit Maman still feels wholly like the work of Celine Sciamma. This is a gentle fable about a lesson we all learn in time: that our parents are people, with their own hopes and dreams, their own regrets and shames. How the film gets there is by this point, I think, well known (and the title is pretty much a…

Happening

Happening

★★★★½

Compassionately human and appropriately harrowing. An important film.

Petite Maman

Petite Maman

★★★★½

This was magic. Just beautiful. Made me see my friendship with my mom in a new way.

Memoria

Memoria

★★★★½

Casually bifurcating memory from geographic and temporal ideation, but it’s cozy and kinda spooky. 

Really beautiful film, once I sank into its glacial pace I was fully entranced by every element of this fugue like dream space. Once the credits hit I was so suddenly snapped out of the dream that I began sweating, crying, and my heart rate skyrocketed. Absolutely unreal experience.

Happening

Happening

★★★★½

Fuck me. Peerless filmmaking, so much more than just ~bleak~ or Important or whatever. So affected by Anamaria Vartolomei's performance, and the way Diwan handles everything – the judgements, the tone, the design, the restraint, the horror, the determination, the pain of it all - is exemplary. Stuff like this doesn't come around often.