The best, worst, strangest film titles at TIFF

arts-year-sex-392.jpg Married couple Ross (Matt Day, left) and Natalie (Sacha Horler) deal with family relationships in the Australian comedy My Year Without Sex. (TIFF)

It’s premature to be giving awards at this year’s TIFF, with the festival only in its third day. However, there’s one batch of prizes we can safely dole out right now. Those are the unofficial TIFF Title Awards – awards I just made up for festival movies with the best, worst, strangest, silliest, etc. titles.

The trophy for the Worst Title is an easy one: My Year Without Sex, by Australian director Sarah Watt. Crikey, Sarah, what were you thinking? Who wants to watch someone’s 12-month slog through celibacy? Actually, libido-dampening title aside, it’s a very good film – a gentle, well-observed comedy about a young family’s fragile annus mirabilis after the mother survives a brain aneurysm.

The award for Clunkiest Title? OK, take a deep breath: Precious, Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire. Hmm… I wonder why they didn’t add, As Published by Knopf, Hardcover, $27.95?

Most Pretentious Title: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, another elaborate Terry Gilliam folly already informally known as Heath Ledger’s Last Movie.

Most Loaded Title: Suck, Rob Stefaniuk’s rock-and-vampires comedy – which doesn’t, BTW.

The Title That Most Sounds Like an English Translation of a Film From Kazakhstan
: The Men Who Stare at Goats. As you probably know, this movie stars George Clooney as a simple goat herder who experiences the timeless cycle of life and death in a rural village. (Joke.)

The Title That Most Sounds Like a Heavy Metal Band: Valhalla Rising, a Viking saga from Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn. By the hammer of Thor, it’s turgid!

The Title With the Most Unnecessary Use of Punctuation
: The Informant! There’s no need to shout – Steven Soderbergh’s funny, devious tale of a sketchy corporate whistleblower (Matt Damon) is already an early Oscar contender.

It’s hard to pick a Best Title, although my favourite so far has been Tales From the Golden Age. A witty omnibus film about daily life in Communist Romania under the Ceausescu dictatorship (food shortages, propaganda, petty bureaucracy), its title is saturated in irony.

--Martin Morrow

What do you think are the best/worst film titles at this year's festival? Let us know below.

Comments (3)

Anonymous wrote: Posted: 2009/09/15 at 3:26 PM


David wrote: Posted: 2009/09/16 at 6:31 PM

The Title With the Most Irony: Capitalism: A Love Story - by Michael Moore

R wrote: Posted: 2009/09/17 at 2:13 PM

Most Strained Genre Association:
Documentary & Michael Moore.
Perhaps "Video Editorial" would be more apt.