The 37th Toronto International Film Festival promises to be filled with blockbusters, gala premieres and major stars, with 17 galas and 45 special presentations announced today, including 38 world premieres.
Toronto audiences will be the first in the world to see the latest directorial effort from Ben Affleck (Argo), the first-ever direction by Dustin Hoffman (Quartet) and Deepa Mehta's latest feature (Midnight's Children), among many other prestigious names slated to showcase their talents at the Fest.
After some internal debate at TIFF, the powers-that-be decided on Rian Johnson's Looper as the opening film for 2012. Starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, the futuristic action thriller definitely sets a different tone for this year's festival. Cameron Bailey, the artistic director at TIFF, says, "We were fortunate enough to premiere his follow-up film The Brothers Bloom. Now, with Looper, Rian has taken his filmmaking to a new level, and we can't wait to present it to the Toronto audience in the most prestigious platform we can offer. This is a new kind of opening night: an exciting, thinking-person's action film from a director who really understands genre."
Both Bailey and TIFF Director/CEO Piers Handling were mum on which celebrities will be attending (they'll announce a star list in August), but at least we've got a taste of the film lineup. Here are some films we cannot wait to see at this year's TIFF.
(For a complete lineup, schedule, and all TIFF information, visit the Festival's website.)
In the future, time travel will be invented -- but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper" - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up. <strong>Cast:</strong> Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels.
When militants storm the U.S. embassy in 1979 Tehran, six Americans manage to slip away. Knowing it's only a matter of time before they are found, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist comes up with a plan to get them out of the country: a plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies <strong>Cast:</strong> Ben Affleck (also directing), Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.
'Hyde Park on Hudson'
In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his wife Eleanor host the King and Queen of England for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson in upstate New York --- the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. <strong>Cast:</strong> Murray, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman and Laura Linney.
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'
Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, this is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. The film is a moving tale of love, loss, fear, hope and the unforgettable friends who help us through life. <strong>Cast: </strong>Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Rudd and Dylan McDermott.
This third collaboration of Keira Knightley with acclaimed director Joe Wright is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic love story, adapted from Leo Tolstoy's timeless novel. <strong>Cast:</strong> Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
'Silver Linings Playbook'
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. <strong>Cast:</strong> Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker and Jacki Weaver.
'To the Wonder'
After visiting Mont Saint-Michel -- once known in France as the Wonder -- at the height of their love, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile who struggles with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane. An exploration of love in its many forms. <strong>Cast:</strong> Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams; Director: Terrence Malick.
'The Place Beyond the Pines'
Luke is a professional motorcycle rider who turns to bank robberies to support his newborn son. But when he crosses paths with a rookie police officer, their violent confrontation spirals into a tense generational feud. <strong>Cast:</strong> Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes.
'The Late Quartet'
When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the group's future suddenly hangs in the balance. <strong>Cast: </strong>Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener.
'Ginger and Rosa'
London, 1962: Two teenage girls, Ginger and Rosa, are inseparable. They play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' frustrated domesticity. But as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is threatened. <strong>Cast:</strong> Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola.
A playwright stages a suicide in an attempt to win back her ex, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addict mother. <strong>Cast:</strong> Kristen Wiig, Natasha Lyonne, Annette Bening, Darren Criss and Matt Dillon.
Based on a true story, this movie tells the unforgettable account of a family caught in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. True-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion and simple kindness this family encounters during the darkest hours of their lives. <strong>Cast:</strong> Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast and Ewan McGregor.
The directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman, this is a high-drama comedy about temperamental divas and old grudges, passion and pride, romance and Rigoletto. <strong>Cast: </strong>Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins.