It’s definitely a different Toronto International Film Festival than usual, with a couch and a Keurig taking the place of theater seats and a coffeehouse stop.
In a year when everything in the movie industry has had to scramble amid COVID-19, Toronto (running through Sept. 19) is the biggest of the A-list film festivals to go virtual, with a reduced slate of movies for an event that’s considered one of the biggest kickoffs for Oscar season. Still, you can’t ignore its cache, even in a very strange 2020: The last five best-picture winners all played Toronto, so it might be the place that (at least virtually) launches, say, Chloe Zhao’s road drama “Nomadland” (starring Frances McDormand) or Francis Lee’s lesbian romance “Ammonite” (with Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan) into Academy Awards consideration.
Like last year but with way more WiFi involved, we’re going to be keeping readers up to date with reaction to all the major films and hidden gems we’re seeing. (And, yep, because we love to rank things, we’re doing that, too.)