Eli Roth’s return to TIFF where Hostel and Cabin Fever both premiered is also his first feature film as a director in nearly six years, this one about a group of student activists who travel down to the Amazon to protect a dying tribe, only to be taken hostage by them.
How I Live Now (Magnolia – Nov. 8)
TIFF regular Saoirse Ronan and George MacKay star in Kevin (The Last King of Scotland) Macdonald’s near-future drama about a romance between two young people in a budding romance in the English countryside while the rest of the UK turns into a violent military state. It also stars Tom Holland, who was amazing in last year’s The Impossible.
David Gordon Green follows his “return to indie” Prince Avalanche with another lower budget film set in the wilds of Texas, this one based on Larry Brown’s novel and starring Nicolas Cage as ex-convict Joe Ransom, who tries to make up for his past life by becoming a mentor towards a teenager.
Labor Day (Paramount)
Filmmaker Jason Reitman returns to TIFF, after Young Adult became his only movie not to premiere there, with a drama based on Joyce Maynard’s novel starring Kate Winslet as the single mother of a 13-year-old son, whose home is invaded by an escaped convict, played by Josh Brolin, as he holds them semi-hostage over Labor Day weekend.
Le Week-End (Music Box Films – Nov. 1)
A more romance-oriented weekend is at the center of the new film from Roger Michel (Notting Hill) with Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan playing a British couple who travel to Paris to reinvigorate their marriage only to have it interrupted by his friend, played by Jeff Goldblum.
Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom (The Weinstein Company – Nov. 29)
Idris Elba plays Nelson Mandela in this film that promises to be more of a biopic than Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, this one based on Mandela’s own autobiography about the time leading up to his 27 years in prison for fighting against Apartheid in South Africa. It’s directed by Justin Chadwick (The First Grader) and co-stars Naomie Harris as his wife Winnie.
Parkland (Exclusive Releasing – Sept. 20)
Based on the book “Four Days in November,” Peter Landesman’s look at the days following JFK’s assassination looks at a number of people around the events including doctors, nurses, FBI agents and JFK’s security team. It features an impressive ensemble cast including Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton, Jacki Weaver, Paul Giamatti, Jackie Earl Haley and more.
Philomena (The Weinstein Company)
This drama, about an Irish woman looking for the son she gave up for adoption, reunites Dame Judi Dench with director Stephen Frears (The Queen) and The Weinstein Company, all of whom appeared at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival with Mrs. Henderson Presents for which Dench received her fifth (of six) Oscar nomination. Word out of Venice makes it sound as if she’s due for a seventh.
Prisoners (Warner Bros. Sept. 20)
This long-in-development crime-thriller has Hugh Jackman as the father of a kidnapped 6-year-old girl who goes around the law, in this case represented by Jake Gyllenhaal as the detective on the case, to kidnap and torture the crime’s primary suspect, played by Paul Dano. It’s one of two movies at TIFF directed by Oscar-nominated Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve (Incendies).
This period drama is based on the autobiography of Eric Lomax, played by Colin Firth, a railway man captured by the Japanese during World War II and sent to work on the Burma-Siam railroad. It’s co-written by Frank Cottrell Boyce, frequent Danny Boyle and Michael Winterbottom collaborator, and co-stars Nicole Kidman as Lomax’s wife.
Rush (Universal Sept 20)
Ron Howard directs this intense Formula 1 drama starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as rival racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, whose competitive nature throughout the 70s got the attention of the media around them even as it drove the latter to near-obsession. It also stars Olivia Wilde in a small role as Hunt’s super model girlfriend.
Filmmaker Ti West (The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers) reunites with many of his You’re Next castmates (AJ Bowen, Amy Seimetz and Joe Swanberg) for his latest, which follows a photographer and his journalist friends who investigate the former sister’s new life in an isolated community that may or may not be a cult. Since this is Ti West, we’re hoping that it is a cult.
Mike Myers makes his directorial debut with this documentary about the life of entertainment industry legend Shep Gordon, who managed Alice Cooper, Raquel Welch and others while exemplifying the type of debauchery made famous during the 70s. Both of them will be on hand for the film’s TIFF Gala Premiere.
Scarlett Johansson stars in the latest film from Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Sexy Beast) playing an “alien seductress” who lands in Scotland and starts driving around looking for male victims. Having already played Venice and Telluride, it may already have distribution by the time it plays TIFF.
A few other movies of interest include Words and Pictures, starring Clive Owen and Juliet Binoche and directed by Fred Schepisi (Roxanne), Patrice Leconte’s English language debut A Promise, starring Alan Rickman and Rebecca Hall, and Therese, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac.
There are a lot of movies that we’re missing above–such as all the movies that already premiered at Sundance or Cannes–but that’s because there are literally so many movies playing at TIFF this year that it’s impossible to really showcase everything that’s being offered. Stay tuned over the next week or so and we’ll try our best to get you some reviews and interviews with the filmmakers and cast of the above.