It's clear that Brandon Cronenberg sees something in his directorial debut that we don't. Sure, there's love and lust in "Antiviral" -- mostly obsessive celebrity worship -- but there's only a smattering of comedic relief among the blood, scabbed lips and sickly people in the movie.
In "Antiviral," overly "dedicated" fans seek to get as close as they can to the object(s) of their affection by becoming infected with viruses that previously infected the star. This odd plotline seems quite reminiscent of his father, legendary Canadian director David Cronenberg, who wowed moviegoers with classics like "The Fly" and "Eastern Promises."
Moviefone Canada caught up with Brandon Cronenberg at the Toronto Film Festival, where his film will be screening for the first time in North America. Only 27 years old, Cronenberg is confident in his film, and we spoke candidly about gore, our celebrity-obsessed culture, and the ultimate irony of releasing a film of this nature in the midst of a celebrity-driven festival.
Check out our video interview, above.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Jeff Daniels, Paul Dano <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> TIFF 2012's opening film is action, drama and sci-fi all in one. In this cinematic age, it's tough to find a compelling original script anymore; thankfully "Looper" takes the concept of time travel and does something we've never seen before. Bonus points go to the child actor (Pierce Gagnon) in this one -- he's so good you won't believe it.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> This is the directorial debut of David Cronenberg's son, Brandon. Time to see if the proverbial apple falls anywhere close to the tree. Seems like he does with this chilling plot -- the movie focuses on obsessed fans who want to be infected with their favourite celebrity's viruses.
'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> This film will be the teenage opus for the next little while, so it's probably a good idea to get acquainted with it. Heavily emotional and brutally honest, "Perks" will make you feel uncomfortable. (It's also another wonderful performance from Miller, who you can expect big things from in the future.)
<strong>Starring:</strong> Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Based on the novel of the same name, this story has often been described as "impossible" to turn into a film. Looks like <em>someone</em> was up to the challenge. If the stunning trailer accurately portrays the film, then this one will be a doozy.
'The Place Beyond The Pines'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> We know why Gosling fans want to go; like last year's "Drive," the Canadian heartthrob's driving another potentially dangerous vehicle, this time a motorcycle. The film chronicles a multi-generational feud between cops and robbers, fathers and sons and heroes and villains. Oh, and Gosling bleached his hair for the role.
'On The Road'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Based upon the world-famous Jack Kerouac novel of the same name, it'll be interesting to see how the book translates into film. Full of drugs and ennui, the story travels across America as the wanderers try to discover their true paths and identities, meeting an eclectic group of characters along the way.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Word has it that this film is a commentary on Scientology (called "The Cause" in the movie); a post-war, floundering Navy vet is mesmerized by The Cause and its charismatic leader, and is inevitably sucked in. With all the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce speculation going on, this makes for one very timely film.
'To The Wonder'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem, Olga Kurylenko <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Whether you loved or hated director Terrence Malick's last film, the poetic, epic "The Tree Of Life," it certainly stirred up conversation. "To The Wonder" promises to provoke similar discussion, as this movie dissects love in its various forms, right down to the sometimes-ugly core.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> As if this lead cast wasn't enough, check out the plot: struggling screenwriter Farrell gets all wrapped up in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his idiotic friends steal a gangster's Shih-Tzu. (We can hear all the puns already!)
'West Of Memphis'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Appearances by Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder, Peter Jackson and more <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> This documentary's buzz has been deafening. It looks closely at a case in Arkansas involving three teenagers (known as "The West Memphis Three") who were tried and convicted of murdering three boys in 1994, despite their claims that they were innocent. A shocking look at the American justice/judicial process.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, John Cusack <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Everyone's been talking about the Nicole Kidman-Zac Efron "pee" scene, and yes, that's just bizarre enough to check out, but there's more to this film than that. This chilling film noir takes us into the sultry backwaters of South Florida in the 1960s -- a raw place rarely uncovered.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Annette Bening, Kristen Wiig, Matt Dillon, Darren Criss <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Besides the alliteration in each cast member's name (which is weird), who doesn't love seeing Kristen Wiig in anything? In this movie, she stages her own fake suicide to win back her ex-boyfriend, but instead ends up being forced into the custody of her gambling addict mother.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, John Goodman <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Another powerhouse cast bringing a real-life event to the big screen, "Argo" is directed by Affleck. If you loved "The Town," then you'll probably dig this movie about a CIA specialist seeking to save six Americans stranded in Tehran. Canada plays a starring role, too.
'Hyde Park On Hudson'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Bill Murray, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Laura Linney <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> As if seeing Bill Murray as FDR isn't enough (check out that picture!), the scenery is gorgeous and the movie takes the period drama to the next level -- closely examining the relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain at the beginning of WWII.
'Everybody Has A Plan'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Viggo Mortensen <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> This man knows how to carry a movie, and he's the focal point of this one. Having grown bored with his life in Buenos Aires, he assumes the identity of his dead identical twin brother only to discover that sometimes the grass may only <em>look</em> greener.
'A Late Quartet'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Aside from seeing some veteran actors in very strong roles, this touching drama examines how passion for one thing can destroy everything else if not kept in check. If you're a fan of Beethoven and string quartets, then this one is for you.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> A superhero movie at TIFF? What's going on here? Revisiting the comic anti-hero Dredd, "Dredd 3D" is filmed in slow-motion photography sequences, and promises a ton of dark, visceral action.
'End Of Watch'
<strong>Starring:</strong> Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> We've seen corrupt cops, we've seen fat cops, and we've seen the "COPS" cops. This movie takes us into the nitty-gritty day-to-day life of regular Joe police officers who patrol some of the meanest streets in the US.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Michael Shannon, Chris Evans, Winona Ryder, David Schwimmer, Ray Liotta <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> Serial killers make for interesting movie subjects, no matter if we loathe them. Inspired by the true-life story of Richard Kuklinski -- a little-known criminal who's believed to have killed more than 250 people over a 30-year span.
<strong>Starring:</strong> Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins <strong>Why It's Worth Seeing:</strong> This is Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut. That's reason enough. Plus Maggie Smith and her co-stars play cantankerous divas -- a truly enjoyable way to spend a couple hours.