Last weekend, the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr – an excellent film critic not normally prone to such nonsense – caused a bit of a flurry in cinema circles with a piece surmising that, “someday we may look back on 2016 as the year the movies died.” It’s a forgivable leap, coming as it does at the end of a summer of mainstream movies as dire as this one, but if cinema is dying, it’s making noises like that old man in the cart in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And it will continue to howl at the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off an ambitious program today. As the Ebert-sanctioned starter pistol for “Good Movie Season,” the eleven-day movie orgy is the showplace for the films we may spend the fall and winter (and sometimes even next spring) buzzing about. Your correspondent will be on site, filing daily festival diaries with capsule reviews and general impressions; here are the ten I’m looking forward to most.
Most filmmakers are lucky to make one great movie in calendar year; if the Cannes critics were right, Jeff Nichols may have blessed us with two. He follows up last spring’s Midnight Special with a hard right turn from that sci-fi/action adventure, telling the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia couple whose landmark Supreme Court case invalidated laws against interracial marriage. Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton star as the Lovings, while Nichols’s good-luck charm Michael Shannon appears as photographer Grey Villet.