It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since my trip to the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. On this day a year ago, I was in Washington DC, checking out a few sites and gearing up for my trip to the film festival that I’ve always wanted to visit. Thankfully, I have the whole experience blogged and for those new to The Film Pie, you can check it out by clicking here. In all, I managed to see 30 films in 8 days.
I won’t be there in 2012 due to time and budgetary constraints. Hopefully that’ll change in 2013 and I can’t wait to get back there.
Toronto generally marks the start of the Oscar season. A few contenders have already popped up at Venice and Telluride (both underway) but there’ll be a lot more at Toronto and there are many out there in the film community (including myself) that will be checking the tweets, blogs and reviews to see which films are worthy of the hype.
In this week’s blog, I thought I’d provide a quick overview of the films I can’t wait to see that are either getting a world or North American premiere at this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The quick plot overviews are as per the TIFF website…
One of the most anticipated films of the year, Paul Thomas Anderson’s tale of an aimless WWII veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who befriends the charismatic founder of a new religion (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a provocative study of male camaraderie, deception, and hubris.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
In this witty and affecting coming-of-age story (adapted by writer-director Stephen Chbosky from his own novel), a shy teenager (Logan Lerman) with a dark family secret is coaxed out of his shell by a sympathetic teacher (Paul Rudd) and two wild, carefree new friends (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller).
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving head a stellar international cast in this visionary, time-tripping science-fiction epic from directors Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix).
A mob hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is assigned to kill his own future self (Bruce Willis) in this mind-bending futuristic thriller.
Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck directs and stars in this based-on-fact thriller about a CIA "exfiltration" expert who concocts an outlandish plan to get six stranded Americans out of Tehran after the 1979 invasion of the American embassy — by having them masquerade as a Hollywood film crew.
Greta Gerwig stars as Frances, an apprentice in a dance company who wants so much more than she has but lives life with unaccountable joy and lightness. This modern fable from Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Greenberg) explores youth, friendship, class, ambition, failure and redemption.
At Any Price
Zac Efron, Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham star in this drama from acclaimed director Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo), about a rebellious son whose dreams of becoming a professional race-car driver are derailed when his father's farming empire becomes the target of a high-stakes investigation.
Keira Knightley re-teams with director Joe Wright (Atonement) for this visionary adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel about a society woman torn between loyalty to her husband and the desires of her heart.
Hyde Park On The Hudson
Bill Murray and Laura Linney star in the true story of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's relationship with his distant cousin and soon-to-be mistress Margaret Suckley, over a weekend at the president's country estate with the visiting King and Queen of England in 1939.
To The Wonder
Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Olga Kurylenko star in the new film from Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart.
The Place Beyond The Pines
Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes star in this multi-generational crime drama from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), about a motorcycle stunt rider whose moonlighting a bank robber brings him into conflict with an ambitious young cop.
The Company You Keep
Robert Redford directs and stars in this gripping political thriller about a young journalist (Shia LaBeouf) who stumbles upon the story of his career when he uncovers the identity of a wanted ex-radical activist (Redford) who has been underground for five decades.
Screen legends Jean-Lous Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva are ineffably moving as an elderly couple facing their own mortality in the Palme d'Or–winning new work by modern master Michael Haneke (The White Ribbon).
In the aftermath of Japanese Emperor Hirohito’s surrender to the U.S., Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Academy Award® winner Tommy Lee Jones) and his adjutant Gen. Bonner Fellers (Matthew Fox) are faced with a decision of historic importance, in this epically scaled historical drama from director Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring).
Silver Linings Playbook
Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles and Jennifer Lawrence star in this acerbic comedy-drama from David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter), about a former high-school teacher who returns to his family home after eight months in a mental institution and begins to slowly rebuild his life.
The debut film from Brandon Cronenberg is a prescient and chilling vision of a dystopian future where celebrity obsession has gone to literally sick extremes.
The third feature from Montreal's Xavier Dolan (J'ai tué ma mère, Les Amours imaginaires) centres on a young bohemian couple whose defiantly exclusive relationship is sent spiraling when the man, Laurence, confesses that he believes he's transgendered. This audacious and searing mediation on love and sexuality is shot in hyper-florid style and driven by gutsy performances.
An all-star cast — Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron and John Cusack — get down and dirty in this sizzling, deliciously trashy chunk of Southern-fried Gothic from the director of Precious.
End Of Watch
David Ayer (Training Day) writes and directs this high-octane found-footage crime flick about two up-and-coming L.A. cops (Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña) who find themselves on the lam from a ruthless drug cartel after making an unexpected discovery during a seemingly routine traffic stop.
Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon headline this hilarious comedy about a washed-up playwright who, after faking her own suicide as a ploy to get her ex-boyfriend's attention, winds up remanded to the custody of her wackily dysfunctional family.
Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon stars alongside a stellar supporting cast — including Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta and Chris Evans — in the story of real-life mob hit-man Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski, who was reportedly responsible for over 200 murders.
Much Ado About Nothing
Shakespeare's classic comedy gets contemporary spin in Joss Whedon's stylized adaptation. Shot in just twelve days using the original text, the story of sparring lovers Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof) offers a dark, sexy and occasionally absurd view of the intricate game that is love.
Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Kristen Bell and Logan Lerman star in this touching comedy-drama about a successful novelist whose obsession with his ex-wife has sent his perplexed family into a tailspin.
James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens star in the wild new film from perennial provocateur Harmony Korine (Trash Humpers), about four flat-broke co-eds whose spring fling in Florida turns into a booze, drug and violence-fuelled bacchanal.
All Rights Reserved. Matthew Toomey. 2012.