Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival

Talk about impossible. While having to choose from so many amazing titles is a great problem to have, that doesn’t stop it from being endlessly infuriating. While putting together my schedule for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival I came up with a total of 44 films that I would like to see, and that was a conservative effort. That was me saying, “Nah, I won’t add that one because I definitely won’t be able to find time to see it.”

I say this so you understand what I’m up against and why some films just won’t make the cut. Last year I saw 17 movies at the festival and reviewed 18, one of which I saw before leaving to go to Toronto. This year I also have already seen one film that will be playing the fest, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and will be posting that review the day it plays in Toronto. Other than that I am guessing I’ll probably have room for seven more beyond the ten I’ve listed here, but what those seven are I have no idea.

To give you an idea of what isn’t in the top ten, here are the 34 titles that didn’t make it in alphabetical order:

  1. Aftershock
  2. Bad 25
  3. The Bay
  4. Byzantium
  5. Dial M for Murder
  6. Dredd 3D
  7. End of Watch
  8. Ernest & Celestine
  9. Frances Ha
  10. Great Expectations
  11. Hotel Transylvania
  12. How to Make Money Selling Drugs
  13. Hyde Park on Hudson
  14. The Iceman
  15. Imogene
  16. Jayne Mansfield’s Car
  17. John Dies at the End
  18. A Liar’s Autobiography
  19. Love is All You Need
  20. Mr. Pip
  21. Much Ado about Nothing
  22. No
  23. The Place Beyond the Pines
  24. Pusher
  25. Quartet
  26. The Sessions
  27. Sightseers
  28. Silver Linings Playbook
  29. Smashed
  30. Something in the Air
  31. Spring Breakers
  32. Thanks for Sharing
  33. West of Memphis
  34. Yellow

That’s a lot of movies. Not only is it a lot, it’s a lot of intriguing movies. Movies I want to see. Like I said, this is a good problem to have. I’d hate for it to be the opposite and not have enough to choose from. The horror!

All of that said, let’s have a look at the ten films I am most excited about seeing and reviewing for you. Ten films I can assure you I will be seeing. Let’s get to it…



Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper

Photo: TriStar Pictures

I’m wary of Looper for one big reason… the advanced buzz is daunting. For what feels like 6-8 months, I’ve heard rumblings of how good this film is and now that it has screened for critics in Los Angeles in advance of its Toronto premiere those rumblings are increasing into a dull roar. So often this advanced buzz can lead to disappointment, it elevates expectations to concerning levels, but as we all know, we can’t quell expectations. We can only hope to contain them, something I’m having to do not only here but on the majority of these ten films, particularly the one at #1.

Most important, however, is the film itself. Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brothers Bloom) and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, this is a film to get excited for and with the Toronto Film Festival organizers choosing it as their opening night film tells me my expectations and I have nothing to worry about.


To the Wonder

Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in To the Wonder
Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in To the Wonder

The “big” news all last week was how Terrence Malick has reportedly cut the likes of Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet‘s performances from To the Wonder. Why this is surprising I have no idea. Have these people forgotten about the likes of Bill Pullman, Gary Oldman, Lukas Haas, Viggo Mortensen, Martin Sheen and Mickey Rourke, all of which were cut from The Thin Red Line?

Then there’s talk of Will Malick show up in Venice or Toronto? Who cares? These distractions take away from what we’re supposed to be evaluating, the film itself. It’s exactly the reason Malick gave for staying away from the press at Cannes last year where The Tree of Life went home with the Palme d’Or.

So when the lights dim on To the Wonder on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, then we will finally be able to judge. In fact, if you want to find something to discuss about the film, perhaps explore what may have been some of Malick’s inspiration for the story… Like Tree of Life, his own experiences.

Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has done a fantastic job in a pair of posts (here and here) giving you plenty information to begin your journey.


The Company You Keep

Robert Redford in The Company You Keep
Robert Redford in The Company You Keep

Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

I’m interested in this one for a few reasons, one being Robert Redford at the helm and my belief he can be better than what he has been recently with Lions for Lambs and The Conspirator, neither of which were very good, though The Conspirator did have some solid performances and held some modicum of intrigue. Secondly I want to see Shia LaBeouf knock it out of the park if only to show he’s been running his mouth for a reason. I love cocky behavior and the “I don’t give a shit” attitude, but I also like to see it backed up. Talk is cheap… now back it up and show what you stand for really means something.

These might not be the best of reasons to want to see a movie, but in the end, the dream, as always, is to see a good film and beyond everything above I believe The Company You Keep has that kind of potential.


Marvel and DC