Toronto Film Festival News

A Toronto Film Festival Preview in Pictures

Source: Edward Douglas
July 25, 2012

Yesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival announced a good portion of the line-up for their 37th annual film festival with Rian Johnson's Looper (Sony - Sept. 28) opening the festival on September 6.

Since many of the movies premiering at TIFF also had some of their first images (or a new photo) released yesterday, we've decided to put together a single piece where you can get a quick overview of some of the high profile movies announced to premiere at the annual festival.

You can click on each of the pictures to be taken to a gallery of new pictures or a larger version of the picture in the case where there's only one.

Byzantium

It's been 15 years since director Neil Jordan directed the adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and he's returning to that territory with his latest movie starring Gemma Arterton, Saoirse Ronan, Jonny Lee Miller, Caleb Landry Jones, Sam Riley and Tom Hollander. Some may remember that Jordan turned a young Kirsten Dunst into a vampire for his earlier film and we can't wait to see what he does with one of Ireland's hottest young actresses. We expect this to be one of the hot genre films playing outside the Midnight Madness track and it should be scooped up fairly quickly for distribution.


Imogene

Kristen Wiig's first leading role since the breakout hit Bridesmaids is a movie directed by Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman of American Splendour fame, She plays a New York playwright who fakes suicide after being dumped and she's put into the care of her Atlantic City mother Zelda, played by Annette Bening. That seems like a good set-up for comedy right there and though the idea of a grown woman moving home sounds a lot like the upcoming Hello I Must Be Going, Wiig's current status as a comedy star should get distributors interested.


The Place Beyond the Pines

Anyone who saw Blue Valentine will be excited to see the reunion of director Derek Cianfrance with Ryan Gosling, this time playing a motorcycle rider who takes to robbing banks to support a new baby. The one photo released from the movie so far is a simple shot of Gosling on a motorcycle, but this looks like it should be a thriller for anyone who enjoyed Gosling's driving in last year's Drive.


Frances Ha

One of the bigger surprises on the announced TIFF slate was a secret project directed by Noah Baumbach starring his Greenberg starlet Greta Gerwig, which seems to be a black and white comedy that returns Baumbach to his home turf of New York City as it follows Gerwig's character, seemingly another woman trying to find her way similar to her recent role in Lola Versus.


The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The latest movie from Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding) is a political thriller based on a hugely popular bestselling novel that tells the story of a Pakistani man, played by Riz Ahmed who appeared in Michael Winterbottom's recent Trishna, who is hoping to find success on Wall Street but whose dream is shattered by a hostage crisis and a growing desire to return home. The movie will open the Venice Film Festival just a few short days before it plays at TIFF, and that honor is nothing to scoff at going by past films that have opened Venice, including Black Swan and Atonement.


The Iceman

Ariel Vroman's crime thriller about contract killer Richard Kuklinski, played by Michael Shannon, has been coasting under the radar, but his M.O. of freezing the bodies of his victims to throw police off his trail is certainly one that should lead to great cinematic moments. The film also stars Chris Evans and Winona Ryder, but for this one, we only get a single image of Shannon looking decidedly different from how we normally have seen him with beard and shades.


Jayne Mansfield's Car

It's been over ten years since Billy Bob Thornton directed a dramatic feature and his latest takes place in the South during the ‘60s with an impressive cast of co-stars including Kevin Bacon, Robert Duvall, John Hurt, Ray Stevenson and Robert Patrick. It's a story about fathers and sons and with that cast and the Oscar-winning writer and director of Sling Blade at the helm, we can't imagine this won't be a movie picked up for awards consideration.


Writers

We don't know much about writer/director Josh Boone, who is making his filmmaking debut with this drama starring Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly, as an acclaimed writer and his ex-wife, as it explores the complicated relationship and their two teen children, the older of them, played by Lily Collins, who has just sold her first novel. We're always intrigued by new filmmaking talent when they work with established actors as is the case here, although the photos don't say much about the story.


Thanks for Sharing

The Kids Are All Right was one of our favorite movies from 2010 and that film's co-writer Stuart Blumberg takes the directing reins for this dramedy which teams Mark Ruffalo, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in "Kids," with Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Josh Gad and Pink as a group of unlikely friends suffering from sexual addiction who are trying to overcome their shared problem. The first still features Ruffalo and Paltrow staring longingly at each other.


Mr. Pip

While we know that "Shrek" and "Chronicles of Narnia" director Andrew Adamson is helming the Cirque du Soleil movie coming out later this year, he also directed a smaller project starring Hugh Laurie, the Emmy-winning star of "House," which will premiere at TIFF. Based on Lloyd Jones' novel, Laurie plays an eccentric schoolteacher whose students find an imaginary friend in the character Pip from "Great Expectations." We have a simple picture of Laurie's character on a beach with one of his students.


The Company You Keep

This Robert Redford-directed political thriller, adapted from Neil Gordon's novel by Lem Dobbs (The Limey), co-stars Shia Labeouf as a reporter looking for a story who finds Redford's Jason Sinai, a man wanted for murder in a robbery gone wrong. The film's description says it's "set against the rise and fall of the radical anti-war group the Weather Underground."


The Impossible (Summit – Dec. 21)

Picked up by Summit recently, The Orphanage director Juan Antonia Bayona's family drama set amidst the Southeast Asian tsunami of 2004 stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor and it should get a lot of interest from those who admired Bayona's previous movie.


Quartet (The Weinstein Company)

Actor Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut (but doesn't appear in) this ensemble comedy starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Michael Gambon as the residents of Beecham House, a retirement home for opera singers staging a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday and the tension that arises between a former couple who are reunited. Anyone who saw how successful The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was among older moviegoers will see the potential of this one.



Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company)

Lots of eyes are on the new movie from David O. Russell following his Oscar nomination for The Fighter, this one starring Bradley Cooper as Pat, a guy released from an institution who has to move back in with his mother and father---this seems to be a running theme in movies right now--as played by Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro. He enlists the help of a young woman played by Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games to help him reconnect with his wife and the picture below shows the two main stars.


Argo (Warner Bros. - October 12)

Ben Affleck's third movie as director is another thriller with an impressive ensemble cast, this one involving an intriciate plot to save a number of kidnapped Americans who escaped during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. Affleck's previous movie The Town had a Gala Premiere at TIFF and went onto be a huge success for Warner Bros, so no surprise they're trying to repeat the magic. They've released a new photo featuring Affleck and Bryan Cranston below.


End of Watch (Open Road - Sept. 28)

There are few writers who understand the L.A. police and crime scenes as well as David Ayer, writer of Training Day and director of Harsh Times and Street Kings. Unlike his last movie as director, Ayer wrote this story of two L.A. police officers, played by two powerful dramatic actors, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, whose work in Crash and on "The Shield" preceded his recent string of comedies. Open Road have added a few new stills of the two actors.


The Sessions (Fox Searchlight - Oct. 26)

Ben Lewin's drama is about California journalist Mark O'Brien who spent all his life in an iron lung until he decided at the age of 38 to hire a sex therapist to lose his virginity. John Hawkes of Winter's Bone plays O'Brien and Helen Hunt plays the therapist and Fox Searchlight have released the first stills from the movie that will continue its slow run for awards with its gala at TIFF.


Rust & Bone (Sony Pictures Classics - Nov. 16)

In our book, Jacques Audiard is one of France's best filmmakers as proven by his previous films Un Prophete, Read My Lips and The Beat My Heart Skipped and his new movie has gotten a ton of raves out of the Cannes Film Festival for the performance by Oscar winner Marion Cotillard, currently appearing in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. We love Cotillard and we can't wait to see what this collaboration adapted from short stories by Craig Davidson delivers. They've released a couple new pictures, though they both feature Thomas Bidegain rather than Cotillard.


To the Wonder

There was a lot of excitement yesterday when it was announced that visionary filmmaker Terrence Malick is bringing his follow-up to The Tree of Life to TIFF, and while we didn't get any new images--the one below was revealed a few months back--we did get a semiofficial plot summary:

After visiting Mont Saint-Michel — once known in France as the Wonder — at the height of their love, Marina (Olga Kurylenko) and Neil (Ben Affleck) come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile (Javier Bardem), who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane (Rachel McAdams). An exploration of love in its many forms.


We left off a few other movies we're looking forward to seeing, but look for our full TIFF coverage from September 6 through 16 and a more comprehensive preview of movies we're looking forward to (including many we haven't discussed here) sometime before then.





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