POLL: The Best of TIFF 2019


The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) has come to a close with Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit taking the event’s top prize, the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Our five attendees either missed that one or decided there were too many other great titles overshadowing it in their memory as it landed just a single vote. That happens when we see a collective 100-plus films during the eleven-day festival. We’ve used a weighted ranking of our individual favorites in order to compile this consensus with everyone’s top pick worth ten points, second pick nine points, and so on.

Our vote for “best of the fest” is Rian Johnson’s “whodunnit” Knives Out. With a mention by four of our five critics, it also ties Cory Finley’s Bad Education for receiving the most single votes. Second place saw its own tie between Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (the Grolsch People’s Choice First Runner-Up) and the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems with three mentions each. And right behind them is Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (the Grolsch People’s Choice Second Runner-Up) and its two first-place votes—the most of any title.

Ten of our eleven picks (due to ties) have already secured US distribution in 2019 or 2020, so you will be able to watch them on Blu-Ray/VOD if they don’t make it to WNY theaters. See below for everyone’s full lists (10 or fewer).

GWNYFCA’s Top Ten Films from the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival:

01. Knives Out (28)
d. Rian Johnson (Lionsgate, 11/27/19)
02. (tied) Marriage Story (22)
d. Noah Baumbach (Netflix, 12/06/19)
02. (tied) Uncut Gems (22)
d. Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie (A24, 12/25/19)
04. Parasite (20)
d. Bong Joon-ho (Neon, 10/11/19)
05. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (19)
d. Marielle Heller (Sony, 11/22/19)
06. Sound of Metal (17)
d. Darius Marder (Amazon Studios, TBA)
07. Bad Education (14)
d. Cory Finley (HBO, TBA 2020)
08. (tied) Hope (9)
d. Maria Sødahl (NA)
08. (tied) Pain & Glory (9)
d. Pedro Almodóvar (Sony Pictures Classics, 10/4/19)
08. (tied) Portrait of a Lady on Fire (9)
d. Céline Sciamma (Neon, 12/6/19)
08. (tied) Waves (9)
d. Trey Edward Shults (A24, 11/1/19)


Adam Lubitow
1. Parasite
2. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
3. Saint Maud
4. Sound of Metal
5. Knives Out
6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
7. Marriage Story
8. Bad Education
9. The Long Walk
10. The Report

Jared Mobarak
1. Sound of Metal
2. Hope
3. Calm with Horses
4. The Rest of Us
5. Knives Out
6. Son-Mother
7. Corpus Christi
8. Proxima
9. Bad Education
10. The Australian Dream

Matthew Passantino
1. Marriage Story
2. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
3. Bad Education
4. Uncut Gems
5. The Truth

Christopher Schobert
1. Parasite
2. Waves
3. Marriage Story
4. Uncut Gems
5. Knives Out
6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
7. Jojo Rabbit
8. Ford v Ferrari
9. The Report
10. Bad Education

Jordan M. Smith
1. Knives Out
2. Pain & Glory
3. Uncut Gems
4. Un film dramatique
5. The Cave
6. Bacurau
7. I Am Not Alone
8. Love Child
9. This Is Not a Movie
10. 143 Sahara Street

Header image by Shane Parent, courtesy of TIFF.

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