The final curtain has fallen on the 10 days of the 47th Toronto International Film Festival, where legendary filmmaker Steve Spielberg has come and certainly conquered.
Spielberg, multiple Oscar nominee and two-time Best Director (for ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and Best Picture ‘Schindler’s List’), had never attended North America’s biggest film festival before, but now that If he did, the Cincinnati-born legend can also add a TIFF People’s Choice Award to his trophy-filled showcase.
Festival audiences voted “The Fabelmans” their favorite film, and the film based on the director and co-writer’s debut (starring Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner) now sets him up for a slew of awards possibilities.
“The warm welcome from everyone in Toronto made my first visit to TIFF so intimate and personal for me and my ‘Fabelmans’ family,” Spielberg said in a statement read by festival CEO Cameron Bailey to the end of the awards ceremony on September 18. “It’s the most personal film I’ve ever done.”
Last year, the ‘People’ winner ‘Belfast’, coincidentally a memoir by another famous name (actor/director Kenneth Branagh), garnered six Oscar nominations before picking up just one award, Best Screenplay original for Branagh. Even more notable, however, for “The Fabelmans” — not to mention potentially good news for all Toronto movies in 2022 — TIFF has shown the recipient of Best Picture in 14 of the past 16 years, only missing out on “Birdman.” in 2014 and last year with “CODA”.
Before we start handing out trophies prematurely, here are some personal nods to some 47 TIFF films (alas, we only found time to see 31):
Favorite Entries: “The Banshees of Inisherin,” another unique, in-depth story from director and screenwriter Martin McDonagh (“In Bruges,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”); and “Triangle of Sadness”, Ruben Ostlund’s satire (“Force Majeure”, “The Square”), which has already won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. His long “Captain’s Dinner” streak may amaze you (or something like that).
Two Little Charmers: Canadian coming-of-age comedy “I Like Movies”; and the tender French comedy-drama “Driving Madeleine”. Hard to Watch, But Worth It: Director Sarah Polly’s People’s Choice finalist “Women Talking” (“Away From Her”); “The Whale” by Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”); and “Saint Omer,” the first narrative feature from doc filmmaker Alice Diop.
I would have liked to see them: “Black Ice” (the public’s choice for a documentary); and “The Wonder,” a hotly-hyped period piece by Sebastian Leloi that features the ever-strong Florence Pugh.
I’d like to enjoy them more: “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” People’s Choice No. 2 runner-up (thought it would never end); and “Weird: The Story of Al Yankovic,” the winner of “People’s Midnight Madness.” (A great first half hour just disintegrates into one big mess.)
The “Oh, Canada” Award: To the ever-patient Toronto masses who have no problem putting up with anything or anyone. It’s girls and guys like John Raghunathan, a tech specialist inside the city’s venerable old Princess of Wales Theatre. He so easily and efficiently helped the same guy show up with an old Android phone who rarely made it past the lobby with a proper digital ticket.
By the way, a little taste of TIFF 47 is already available in some local theaters like Viola Davis, such as “The Woman King” and “Pearl”, a prequel to the horror film “X” and the public’s choice of this year’s “Midnight Madness”. first runner-up, both opening September 16. Two more are also on the way, with Lena Dunham’s ‘Catherine Called Birdy’ and David Bowie’s doc, ‘Moorage Daydream,’ directed by Brett Morgan, both set to debut September 23.
Here are all of the People’s Choice winners, who for the 45th consecutive year are honoring the festival’s premier public title, as voted by the public. All films from the TIFF Official Selection were eligible:
The winner of the TIFF 2022 People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award is “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (director Eric Appel). The first runner-up is “Pearl” (director Ti West). The second runner-up is “The Blackening” (director Tim Story).
The winner of the 2022 TIFF People’s Documentary Award is “Black Ice” (director Hubert Davis). The second runner-up is “Maya and the Wave” (director Stephanie Johns). The second runner-up is “752 is not a number” (director Babak Payam).
The winner of the 2022 TIFF People’s Choice Award is “The Fabelmans” (director Steven Spielberg). The first finalist is “Women Talking” (director Sarah Polly). The second runner-up is “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”. (director Rian Johnson).
For other festival winners or information on all the films mentioned above, visit tiff.net.
John M. Urbancich, former and first editor of CriticsChoiceMovies (criticschoice.com), reviewed films and wrote related articles and celebrity profiles for Cleveland’s Sun newspapers from 1983 to 2018. He was an accredited Festival reporter Toronto International Film Festival for 29 years. consecutive years. Look for his notes on recent releases on JMUvies.com.