Romance movie

TIFF 2022: Breakdown of Every Romance Movie

One of the largest film gatherings in the world, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is a respected and revered forum for massive entertainment and small arthouse favorites. After two years of stifled programming due to Covid-19, TIFF is back in full force for 2022, with major films from Steven Spielberg, Martin McDonagh, Park Chan-wook, Lena Dunham, Sam Mendes, Rian Johnson, Darren Aronofsky and many more, as well as feature film debuts by up-and-coming filmmakers.


Some of the best and most anticipated movies at TIFF this year are romantic in nature, whether they’re pure romance movies like Carmen or sexy hybrids of thriller and romance like night talk. Extremely varied in tone, theme and vision, these romantic films represent a broad spectrum of international cinema, in which there is truly something for everyone. Here are all the romance movies screened at TIFF 2022.

Romantic Films at TIFF 2022


Benjamin Millepied directs his first feature film after having been for decades one of the best choreographers and directors of music videos in the sector; former New York City Ballet member Millepied brings the longevity of his impressive dancing career to this modern adaptation of the short story and opera Carmen.

Melissa Barrera and Paul Mescal have already won acclaim for their performances as Carmen and Aidan respectively in a musical drama that is set to update history with the topical twist of Carmen being a Mexican immigrant traveling across the deserts to in Los Angeles, and embarking on one of opera’s great love affairs. Jörg Widmer’s cinematography looks utterly breathtaking in this great and beautiful international film.

Decision to leave

TIFF wouldn’t be the same without spreading a little love, even if it’s channeled through master director Park Chan-wook’s typically twisted and deliciously dark lens. The Old boy director helmed new south korean romance mystery Decision to leave. Produced and directed by Park, the film begins with two police detectives at the shooting range, chatting together about their need for excitement in their lives and the lack of murder cases to solve. Luckily for them, a new case comes after a man suddenly fell while climbing a peak outside Busan. Or did he?

Maybe he was pushed, but it’s up to Detective Hae-joon and his partner to find out. When they realize that the deceased’s wife, Seo-rae, is strangely deadpan, it begins to arouse suspicion. Soe-rae is interrogated by Hae-joon in a game of cat and mouse, with the woman and the detective beginning to appreciate the tension and form a flirtatious and devious relationship (despite their other relationships). What begins with bubbling sensual interest quickly turns dark, and audiences will wonder who’s good and who’s just playing a game.

Related: Here’s A Ranking Of All Of Park Chan-wook’s Movies

Park won the well-deserved Best Director award at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival for the film, and following its release in South Korea in June, Decision to leave was previously selected as the South Korean entry for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars. Park has proven he’s mastered erotic, tacky romance with his incredible recent flick The Handmaid’s Tale, and he seems to be doing it again with a more mysterious and thrilling film that picks up some traits from his earlier work. There is no doubt that this will be one of his most beloved films and a TIFF favorite.

falcon lake

The beautiful actress Charlotte Le Bon (Moon Indigo, The Walk, Fresh) makes her directorial debut with the French-Canadian film falcon lake, a free adaptation of a French graphic novel by Bastien Vivès. The film is a charming coming-of-age romantic drama that follows 13-year-old Bastien on vacation in Quebec away from the hustle and bustle of Paris; there, he meets and lusts after Chloé, 16, the daughter of his mother’s friend. The film made its world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and won acclaim for its sultry imagery and almost borderline gothic cinematic aesthetic.

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night talk

Donald Shebib is frequently cited as one of the most important figures in the history of Canadian cinema, with his films Go on the road, with friends, and sorrows of love defining the country’s cinema throughout the 70s and 80s. Now, at 84, the master is back with what looks to be a raunchy, dark thriller that delves into the police, sex work and women’s experiences. . In what appears to be Shebib’s version of classic Nordic Noir TV shows, night talk follows a cop (Ashley Bryant) named Brenda who hides in a digital phone hotline where a recent murder victim was employed. As Brenda investigates the murder, she begins a more personal relationship with a caller amidst the world of sex talk she had immersed herself in.

A nice morning

A nice morning is a Franco-German film, written and directed by the incredible Mia Hansen-Løve (Bergman Island, things to come). The story follows a man who suffers from a neurodegenerative disease and his daughter, Sandra, who lives alone with her own daughter. Sandra (the great Léa Seydoux) struggles to sustain her life, along with regular visits to her sick father and the hassle of finding a good nursing home. One day she meets a friend and (although the friend is in a relationship) they find themselves falling into a passionate and secret affair.

Related: Best Léa Seydoux Movies, Ranked

Katie Walsh of The Wrap called A nice morning “a profound and captivating portrait of love, lost, found and eternal”, and the film is truly beautiful and heartbreaking. This story of a confused and troubled girl, her mother and her lover, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, won the Europa Cinemas label award for Best European Film and is now coming to TIFF in the Presentations section. specials. For those ready to shed a few tears, prepare your tissues for A nice morning.


Anishinaabe filmmaker Darlene Naponse draws on her Indigenous roots to explore a deeply symbolic romance between Her (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers) and Him (Braeden Clarke) in Northern Ontario. The allegorical characters of the film Stellar explore their relationship amid an epic natural disaster affecting the surrounding lands in this riveting and hypnotic film that approaches spirituality in a modern world and the coming disasters of climate change with visual aplomb.

The blue caftan

Directed by Maryam Touzani, the film in Arabic language The blue caftan follows Mia and her secretly gay husband, Halim, as they hire an apprentice to help run a kaftan store in Morocco. Audiences watch Mia’s emotional battle with cancer and her heartbreaking realization when she catches her husband staring at the young apprentice. However, the deep devotion and love Mia has for Halim does not fade when she reaches her final days.

The blue caftan offers a beautifully tragic insight into a world where living with such secrecy is often normal, and appreciation for how things are progressing. The blue caftan shows true, raw and unconditional love at its most vulnerable state and has been described by Playlist’s Marya E. Gates as “a rich, vibrant ode to love in all its forms”. The film was selected for TIFF and will be released in the United States in 2023.

The oath jar

Lindsay Mackay caused a stir on the festival circuit with the film Wet buttocksand she’s back now with The oath jar. The film is written by Kate Hewlitt, who adapts her own play about a recently married music teacher who decides to throw a concert for her new husband’s birthday. The result is a delightful balance of musical elements, tender romance, introspection and emotional subtlety as the married couple reminisce over the party, reflecting on their relationship and contemplating the future with their newborn baby. The oath jar has an excellent cast, including Adelaide Clemens, Patrick J. Adams, Douglas Smith, Alison Pill and Kathleen Turner, and is sure to be truly endearing.

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