Toronto International Film Festival: Dramas Steal the Show

by Kerry Torpey on September 20, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

Bradley Cooper (left) and Lady Gaga (right) have been praised for their on-screen chemistry in A Star Is Born.

by Brigid Walshe ’19

A&E Staff

It is that time of the year again: film festival season. Following the Venice Film Festival earlier this month, the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) began last week and wrapped up on Monday. 

The festival is one of the most popular film festivals in the world, garnering more than 380,000 attendants annually. Each year, more than 4,000 films are entered, and only between 400 and 460 are shown. In the past, films that were shown at TIFF have performed pretty well during awards season. Two movies (both dramas) that are generating a lot of buzz this season are A Star Is Born and Beautiful Boy.

A Star Is Born is the story of Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper), a seasoned musician, and Ally (Lady Gaga), a struggling artist. The movie follows their relationship, and their careers as musicians and artists. 

This is Gaga’s first leading role in a film, although she has previously acted on the small screen in American Horror Story, which she received an Emmy for. The film is also Cooper’s directorial debut. The movie has received a lot of praise from critics, and they anticipate that the movie will be a huge hit, with some critics, such as David Sims of The Atlantic, even calling it an “Oscar front runner.”

Another film that critics and fans are talking about is Beautiful Boy. Hot off acclaimed performances in Call Me by Your Name and Ladybird, Timothée Chalamet returns to the screen with Beautiful Boy, a film based on the 2008 novel, Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff.

The film follows the relationship between a father (Steve Carell) and son (Chalamet) as the son struggles with a meth addiction. The movie, based on a true story of Sheff and his son Nic, does not shy away from the real demons that come with addiction. On the other hand, it also shows the love, life, and hope that can come out of it. The Los Angeles Times wrote that “Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell are superb in a moving portrait of addiction and familial love” and the movie opened to generally positive reviews. The Shape of Water, last year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture, was screened at the TIFF. Green Book, a drama about a New York bouncer’s new job as a chauffer for a pianist in the Deep South, won the People’s Choice Award, which is awarded to the most popular film at the festival. Green Book, Beautiful Boy, and A Star Is Born, will all be released in cinemas in the coming months.