TIFF Special Presentations: from “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” to “Call Me by Your Name”

TIFF Special Presentation: from “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” to “Call Me by Your Name”

TIFF has already announced over a hundred titles I am sure many of us can’t wait to see. However, there is one of my favorite sections I am always looking forward to, and that is Special Presentation, which I guess always has better movies to showcase. As I went through the list, I found myself almost screaming, learning one of them I hope, you, same as me can’t wait to see during the festival.

A Fantastic Woman

Director: Sebastian Lelio

Cast: Daniela Verga

Chilean filmmaker Sebastian Lelio has already earned the reputation of being a decent filmmaker whose powerful stories always touch the audience’s heart. Importantly, all of them are emotionally captivating, strong and inspiring. If it happened that you got a chance to see his “Gloria” with the incredible Paulina Garcia, then you know approximately what to expect from his new feature film “A Fantastic Woman” with Daniela Verga in the lead.


Director: Darren Aronofsky

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer

As a huge fan of Michelle Pfeiffer and Darren Aronofsky, there is not much required to convince me to watch his latest feature movie any time of the day. Pfeiffer’s terrifying cold look, Aronofsky’s subtle touch, Bardem vs Jennifer Lawrence is what may require to have your festival wish to be fulfilled. This highly anticipated psychological thriller may or may not be as great as Black Swan, but learn that we don’t have to wait much.

Victoria & Abdul

Director: Stephen Frears

Cast: Dame Judy Dench

How much do we know about Queen Victoria’s sweet relationship with a decades-younger Indian clerk named Abdul Karim? But whatever it is, we all must be prepared for an excellently written script, intelligent lines, and Dame Judy Dench, whose name is enough to have our full attention.

Three Peaks

Director: Drei Zinnen

Cast: Berenice Bejo

Having seen Berenice Bejo’s last three movies, The Artist, The Past, The Search and one of my favorites “After Love” made me wonder is there any role left she would not be able to portray. Her amazing choice of characters of strong women and their powerful voice have always spoken volumes about her. Now having another compelling character she portrays in THREE PEAKS, she brings another light to the festival having a project I am sure will be outstanding.

The Shape of Water

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Cast: Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon and Sally Hawkins

At the height of the Cold war, circa 1962, two workers in a high-tech US government laboratory discover a terrifying secret experiment. As they try to stop the damage it may cause, Guillermo del Toro’s movie, if we judge just based on a trailer, is visually stunning where Sally Hawkins breaks a record delivering zero lines, but through her facial expression says more than any word can express.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Cast: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone and Barry Keoghan

After “Dogtooth” and “The Lobster” I don’t even know how to prepare myself for Lanthimos’ “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”. But based on what I heard, it will take a while to recover from this psychological thriller with the element of horror, where Farrell, Kidman and young but very talented Barry Keoghan are cooking to kill a sacred deer. But who that deer is, why it needs to be murdered is what we all have to find out. And honestly, I could not be more excited learning that.

First They Killed My Father

Director: Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie is like a rare type of diamond in the world of cinema we all must cherish. Transforming herself from actor to director, she comes to TIFF with the promising They First Killed My Father based on a bestselling memoir, which is a true festival film that cannot be missed.


Director: Sebastian Lelio

Cast: Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams

There are many talks about why straight actors portray gay couple. But in the world of craft called acting, you don’t have to be deaf to portray deaf (see The Shape of Water) or having a deadly disease to play a dying character. For real actors it does not matter what kind of script you get. What matters is if you can deliver what was envisioned in the first place. Having Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz together in a Sebastian Lelio film is almost like a dream cast, I am sure, no matter what was the reason behind of making Disobedience, this movie will be the most talked at TIFF, because there are many people who are waiting for the opening day to see the masterful acting of both Rachels they intend to showcase.

Call Me By Your Name

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Cast: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet

Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name was one of those films I was fortunate enough to see at Sundance. It’s a beautiful love story, has gorgeous scenery, stunning cinematography, and its breathtaking performances blew my mind away. Five minutes into this charming movie I found myself totally in love with it. The way the relationship of two men unfolded was the most enchanting thing I’ve seen in any movie. It’s an etalon of pure masterpiece, fascination and love every movie from now on should tell the same way. And if there was one movie I would highly recommend to see at TIFF, I would never think twice but say, “Call Me By Your Name”.

 Festival tickets go on sale September 4 at 10 am (with TIFF Member pre-sale on September 2 from 10am to 4pm). Buy tickets online
at tiff.net, by phone at 416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433, or in person at a box office. See box office locations and hours at

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