Monday morning brought on my window to select my individual films for TIFF 2015. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: the beauty of an early draw is being able to get exactly the films you want, and not having to worry about screenings being sold-out already.

Even though in the past I found that I had very good luck going into the advance draw, there’s still something to be said for getting those last one-or-two that didn’t make the cut in the past.

So while I might add two or three more as the festival goes along, here’s what I have planned for TIFF 2015 (and for those who are curious, my Tiffr schedule is here)


In Conversation with Matthew Weiner

Green Room (USA) The newest nail-biting thriller from the director of the cult hit Blue Ruin is preceded by Davy Force and Nick DenBoer’s clucky fast-food horror flick.

Demolition (USA) Grief-stricken after a family tragedy, a New York investment banker (Jake Gyllenhaal) engages in random acts of destruction, in the highly anticipated new film by Jean-Marc Vallée

Dheepan (France) Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes, this powerful drama from director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust & Bone) follows a former Tamil Tiger soldier as he flees from the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war to begin a new life in a Parisian suburb

Sicario (USA) An idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) joins two shadowy government operatives (Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro) in a high-risk, cross-border sting against a Mexican cartel boss, in this gritty drug-war thriller from Quebec’s Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners).

The Lobster (Ireland) Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly star in the deliciously bizarre new film from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, ALPS), about a curious hotel where the residents are charged with finding a new mate within 45 days — under penalty of being transformed into animals should they fail.

The Hong Kong Trilogy (Hong Kong) Renowned cinematographer and artist Christopher Doyle celebrates Hong Kong and its people with this documentary-fiction hybrid that focuses on Hong Kong residents in their childhood, youth, and old age.

Youth (UK) Two old friends (Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel) reflect on their past, present, and the beauty and absurdity of the world during a vacation in the Swiss Alps, in the lovely and heart-warming new film from Academy Award winner Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty).

Five Nights in Maine (USA) Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo (Selma) and Academy Award winner Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway) star in this intimate drama about a grieving widower who sets out to fulfill his wife’s last wish that he finally meet her irascible mother.

Cemetery of Splendour (Thailand) A young medium and a middle-aged hospital volunteer investigate a case of mass sleeping sickness that may have supernatural roots, in the gorgeous, mysterious, and gently humorous new film from Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives).

Brooklyn (USA) In the early 1950s, a young Irish woman (Saoirse Ronan) crosses the Atlantic to begin a new life in America, in this exquisitely crafted adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Colm Tóibín.

Into the Forest (Canada) Two sisters (Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood) struggle to survive in a remote country house after a continent-wide power outage, in this gripping apocalyptic drama from director Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing).

The Wait (Italy) Juliette Binoche stars in this dazzling, Sicilian-set meditation on grief and perseverance from first-time feature director Piero Messina (assistant director on Paolo Sorrentino’sThe Great Beauty).

ma ma (Spain) Academy Award winner Penélope Cruz stars in the new film from fearless Spanish director Julio Medem (Sex and Lucia, Chaotic Ana), about a woman recently diagnosed with cancer who forms an unexpected bond with a soccer scout (Luis Tosar) whose wife has been gravely injured in a car accident.

Rams (Iceland) Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at this year’s Cannes festival, Grímur Hákonarson’s stunningly shot drama focuses on two Icelandic sheep farmers whose decades-long feud comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks.

Anomalisa (USA) Charlie Kaufman, the celebrated screenwriter of Being John Malkovich and Adaptationand director of Synecdoche, New York, and Duke Johnson venture into the world of stop-motion animation with this fable about a motivational speaker seeking to transcend his monotonous existence.

Victoria (Germany) A beautiful young Spanish nightclubber in Berlin becomes wheelwoman for a quartet of bank robbers, in this stunning heist thriller shot in a single extended take.

The Martian (USA) Stranded on Mars, a NASA astronaut (Matt Damon) struggles to survive on the arid planet while his ground crew races to mount a rescue mission, in this interplanetary epic from director Ridley Scott.

Love (France) French provocateur Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void) continues to push the envelope with this 3D melodrama featuring explicit, unsimulated sex.

The Witch (USA) The astonishing feature debut by director Robert Eggers evokes Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining in its tale of a family of settlers in 17th-century New England who encounter mysterious, possibly supernatural forces when they are exiled from their village and forced to live on the outskirts of an ominous forest.

Northern Soul (UK) World-renowned photographer Elaine Constantine makes her feature directorial debut with this invigorating coming-of-age film about a working-class teen in 1974 Lancashire who finds liberation in the area’s burgeoning soul-music scene.

Semana Santa (Mexico) In this poignant debut, a young widow’s attempt to bond with both her eight-year-old son and her new boyfriend on a beach vacation becomes a strained exercise in isolation and longing.

Hitchcock/Truffaut (USA) Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, James Gray, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and others discuss the importance of the epochal book that transcribed the week-long 1962 interview between Alfred Hitchcock and French New Wave luminary François Truffaut.

Girls Lost (Swededn) Three outcast teenage girls get a new perspective on high-school life when they are mysteriously transformed into boys, in this skillfully crafted tale of sexual confusion with a supernatural twist.

London Road (UK) Tom Hardy and Olivia Colman headline this big-screen adaptation of the stage musical by Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork, about the “Suffolk Strangler” murders in Ipswich in 2006.