Cranky Guy: Why I Skipped the Toronto Film Festival This Year


The Toronto International Film Festival concludes this weekend, having shown more than 300 features, hosted many swank parties for Hollywood royalty and lured most of the U.S. movie-critic establishment. So why did I miss TIFF for the first time in more than two decades?

I could chalk it up to classic Cranky Guy. Or I could explain the sad truth–that the slate of enticing films this year was significantly lower than in previous ones.

I first visited the Toronto fest in 1979, its fourth edition, when it was known as the Festival of Festivals and had an audience of about 40,000. I happily returned to the 10-day skein nearly every year thereafter, as attendance swelled to 400,000 and it grew into the most influential film festival in North America, perhaps the world.

TIFF has something for everyone — movies from scores of countries (including a surfeit from Canada), documentaries and…

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