Best and Worst of the 2013 Toronto Film Festival

Overall, this year’s edition of the Toronto International Film Festival delivered a very strong slate of films. While some major titles such as Cannes players “All is Lost,” “Nebraska” and “Inside Llewyn Davis” skipped a repeat at the traditional awards season-friendly event, TIFF could still claim the debuts of “Dallas Buyers Club,” “August: Osage County” and quickly-picked-up acquisitions “Can A Song Save Your Life?” and “Bad Words,” among others. There were reports that festival organizers were annoyed (like their Venice peers) that films such as “Prisoners,” “Gravity” and “12 Years A Slave” all screened at Telluride first, but that didn’t diminish the love from the Toronto audiences who saw them. In fact, those films were the talk of the festival even days after their Toronto premieres.

Moreover, many attendees, press and industry folks were vocal in their concern that the first weekend of the festival has become more and more crowded with the high profile releases. Sadly, the programmers left little reason to stay past Monday unless you needed to catch a second screening of a film you’d previously missed. It’s always been an issue, and at many other festivals, too, for that matter, but this was the worst year in recent memory and TIFF organizers are going to have to seriously address it for 2014 and beyond. That being said, the festival must be credited for a very balanced program of films that included far fewer disasters than previous years. Many of the selections were middle-of-the-road, but you could count the number of God-awful ones on one hand. And, when you’re screening over 300 films, that’s a very good thing.

With the festival less than 24 hours from completion it’s time to put the 2013 edition to bed with our annual look at the best and worst of Toronto. You can discover our choices in the embedded story gallery in this post.

Did you catch any films at Toronto? Agree or disagree with our opinions? Share your thoughts below.