With the Venice Film Festival still taking place in Europe, the Toronto International Film Festival opens its 35th edition with a broad offering of movies that promise to enlight us this upcoming fall/winter season. This festival is known for its non-competitive nature compared to Cannes, Berlin or Venice but it is considered the launching pad for the studios to start the so-called “Oscar buzz.”
This Oscar buzz is clearly seen when you take a look at the lineup and observe that there are many movies which have been going from one festival to another such as Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, François Ozon’s Potiche, or Ben Affleck’s The Town, all of which were screened in Venice, or Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s Biutiful which earned the Best Actor Award to Javier Bardem in Cannes.
Of course, there are plenty of other movies which look for the maximum media exposure during these 10 days of cinema in Toronto. Robert Redford gets behind the camera again in The Conspirator, a story of a Union war hero who must defend a mother accused of helping her son in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, starring James McAvoy and Tom Wilkinson. I’m specially intrigued by Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart, based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire. The French essence comes from Guillaume Canet who directs his partner, Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, in Little White Lies, and the British one comes thanks to Helen Mirren (The Debt), Rosamund Pike (Barney’s Version), and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech).
In Special Presentations, we’ll be able to check out the new films of Vera Farmiga (Henry’s Crime), Keira Knightley (Never Let Me Go), Ewan McGregor (Beginners), Hillary Swank (Conviction), and Robert De Niro (Stone). Clint Eastwood presents Hereafter, a story of three people haunted by mortality in different ways starring Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard, and Danny Boyle, after the success of Slumdog Millionaire, presents 127 Hours, starring James Franco.
In recent years, vampires have been so trendy on TV and in the movies and that couldn’t be forgotten in Toronto. Darkness will come with Let Me In, the American remake of the Swedish film Let The Right One In, starring Chloe Moretz and Richard Jenkins. Now, most of us know David Schwimmer for his role of Ross in Friends, but he doesn’t travel to Toronto as an actor but as a director with Trust. Seeing Schwimmer outside of his comfort zone is reason enough for me to take a look at this movie starring the always outstanding Catherine Keener and Clive Owen. And how about Ryan Reynolds presenting Buried in his native Canada? It’s impossible not to think about Tarantino when we see Reynolds buried alive but the movie hides something else — at least that’s what Sundance and the great reviews said.
Finally, Toronto also indulges in some Midnight Madness with Brad Anderson’s Vanishing on 7th Street and John Carpenter’s The Ward.
What do you think of the movies that are going to hit the TIFF? Which one are you most interested in?