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Toronto Buzz: Here’s What We Thought of ‘La La Land,’ ‘Jackie,’ ‘Sing’ and More


The 2016 Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing, with many of this fall’s most anticipated movies rolling out over the course of several days here in one of Canada’s friendliest (and cleanest) cities.

This year I’m here seeing as many movies as I possibly can, and in between them all I’m recording 30-second(ish) instant reviews for you to devour. Plenty more can be said about each and every one of these films, but if you want a quick bite-sized nugget to help give you a sense of what to expect, check this out.

(Note this year’s French Fry rating scale is in honor of the choice meal in Canada: poutine!)

La La Land

Watch the 30-second review

Here it is! My 5-Fry review of the jaw-droppingly beautiful #LaLaLand, starring Emma Stone and @RyanGosling#TIFF16pic.twitter.com/XvzqA94HH4

— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) September 13, 2016

Watch the trailer

What else you should know: The fact that someone let director Damien Chazelle make not one, but two movies about the magic of jazz is insane. But we’ll take it! This is a fantastic film for the ages; a movie-musical that feels old school and modern at the same time. No one is texting or crafting YouTube videos, and yet much of the plot surrounds the future of music, art and craft. Truly exceptional film that will likely find itself a front-runner for Best Picture.


Watch the 30-second review

Natalie Portman’s #Jackie required multiple Fry ratings. Does Portman deliver the performance of her career? Watch pic.twitter.com/xsuak57Fbi

— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) September 13, 2016

No trailer has been released for Jackie as of this writing.

What else you should know: Natalie Portman isn’t the only star in the film (though she is the only one who truly stands out as being remarkable). Portman is joined by Peter Sarsgaard as Bobby Kennedy, as well as Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and John Hurt.


Watch the 30-second review

Moms & dads of the world get ready cause #Sing is gonna play like gangbusters for your kids. My 30-sec take #TIFF16pic.twitter.com/rGA5LpQnwI

— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) September 14, 2016

Watch the trailer

Bonus video: Watch part of the incredible postpremiere performance given by Jennifer Hudson and Tori Kelly.

Guys, Jennifer Hudson just joined Tori Kelly on stage and they’re crushing it! #TIFF16#SingMoviepic.twitter.com/uB03BqTv6q

— Fandango (@Fandango) September 11, 2016

What else you should know: Just a few of the songs featured in this film include “Stay with Me,” “Rock Star,” “Call Me Maybe,” “The Humpty Dance,” Anaconda,” “I Love Rock & Roll,” “Shake It Off,” “Hallelujah” and so much more.

Free Fire

Watch the 30-second review

Some thoughts on #FreeFire, a deliriously funny 90-minute shoot out lead by @brielarson & lotsa dudes #TIFFpic.twitter.com/aju9MXkVmS

— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) September 9, 2016

Watch the trailer (warning: NSFW)

What else you should know: This film is proud of being loud (so, yeah, expect plenty of gunshots), but it also boasts a pretty terrific cast, even if their characters aren’t people you really want to invest in. Aside from Sam Riley and Jack Reynor, mentioned in the above review, Free Fire also stars Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Armie Hammer and a very amusing Sharlto Copley.

Stay tuned for more 30-second reviews, including ones for Bleed for This, Lion, Nocturnal Animals and more. You can find additional TIFF coverage here.

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