Powerful stories about family drama hit close to home at TIFF

Powerful stories about family drama hit close to home at TIFF

Think your relatives are a lot to deal with? You’ll relate to these true-to-life movies about the people we live with and love the most.

Fantasy is so much fun on the big screen, but it’s often stories exploring true love and family that stay with us the longest. This year, the programmers at TIFF have assembled a film slate rich in complex and emotional stories that allow you to focus on someone else’s family drama for a change. And what a gene pool it is: These titles feature highly anticipated performances from Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet and more.

Here are four films featuring complicated families that you will fall in love with at TIFF (or in theatres soon).

The Goldfinch

Adapted from Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel and directed by John Crowley, The Goldfinch is one of the most highly anticipated films of the festival, a gripping coming-of-age drama that revolves around a boy who loses his mother in a museum bombing. Shot by one of the greatest living cinematographers, Roger Deakins, The Goldfinch features a heavy-hitting cast that includes Ansel Elgort, Nicole Kidman, Finn Wolfhard, Sarah Paulson, Luke Wilson and Jeffrey Wright. Expect a stunning, stylish crime drama with heart in this emotional awards contender.


An English-language remake of the 2014 Danish film Silent Heart, Blackbird — starring Susan Sarandon, Sam Neill, Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska — is a drama about a terminally ill mother who decides to undergo voluntary euthanasia and how that decision affects her family. Directed by Notting Hill filmmaker Roger Michell, this ensemble cast will have no problem balancing dramatic beats with some heavy emotional topics as they navigate one of the most difficult realities a family could face.


When your famous wife/ex-wife/mother/friend summons you to Portugal for a vacation, you oblige. Another sprawling family ensemble featuring Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson and Greg Kinnear, Frankie dives deep into the psyche of the titular character as she attempts to connect with those closest to her and share some major personal news. Huppert, one of the most versatile actors working today, is always amazing to watch on screen — no matter how sweet or sinister her character, you can’t take your eyes off her performance.

Hope Gap

When you love someone, sometimes the best thing for them is to let them go. In William Nicholson’s Hope Gap, Annette Bening and Bill Nighy star as Edward and Grace, a couple who decide that, after 33 years, they should split up — well, at least Edward does. Divorce is never easy, and two-time Academy Award nominee Nicholson doesn’t shy away from presenting the turbulence it can create for a family. Hope Gap deals with a heavy theme but is ultimately a tale of perseverance through tough times.

Experience the dramatic highs and lows that only family can provoke in these moving selections at TIFF 2019.

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