Canada beckons! Every September, we anticipate our trip to the Great White North, where the film industry aims to put their best on display as part of the sprawling, stimulating and overwhelming (in a good way) slate at the Toronto International Film Festival. Toronto arrives on the heels of Venice and Telluride -- two equally powerful bellweathers in the field of Awards prediction (which is why we attend TIFF), so a handful of these anticipated features come with that ever-valuable "heated" generated by critical buzz.

Knowing that we are taking our first tentative steps into the Awards race -- as well as keeping a close eye on the best films that will be screening near you between now and year's end -- here are the 10 movies we can not wait to see and report on during our time in Toronto. Which of these are you dying to see?

The Shape of Water

Even before it opened the Venice Film Festival, we were excited to see Guillermo del Toro's supernatural romance... because it's a supernatural romance by Guillermo del Toro. The brilliant mind behind Pan's Labyrinth and Crimson Peak turns his attention to a King Kong-esque love story between a woman (Sally Hawkins) and an amphibious creature being held captive in a lab. The reviews out of Venice and Telluride moved The Shape of Water near the top of our TIFF list, though.


Alexander Payne has been on a roll, exploring the pain and peril of, well, humanity in deeply personal stories like The Descendants and Nebraska. And yet, he's had his foot in the comedy genre before, delivering the bitingly satirical Election, a true masterpiece. This one sounds like a total departure into sci-fi, with Matt Damon playing a man who invests in an experimental technology that shrinks people down to tiny size as a means of coping with the globe's overpopulation. Get it? Downsizing. Venice flipped for Payne's dark comedy, but Telluride was driven in half between supporters and detractors, so we'll see how the movie plays for Canadian audiences.

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