If you haven't heard yet, I'm extremely excited to be representing Cinema Blend for the first time ever at the Toronto Film Festival this year. In addition to spending some time in a city everyone seems to love, I'll have the chance to catch some of the fall's biggest movies in their North American and sometimes World Premieres-- the lineup already includes Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, Robert Redford's The Conspirator, Ben Affleck's The Town and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, among many others.
As if that weren't enough, 44 more titles were announced today, and they include even to be excited about-- the Will Ferrell drama Everything Must Go, Danny Boyle's new film 127 Hours, the Joaquin Phoenix documentary I'm Still Here, Dustin Lance Black's directorial debut What's Wrong With Virginia, the Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox-starring Passion Play and Matt Reeves's Let Me In. I have no idea how I'll make time to see all of it, but I have a feeling with this much out there to see, I won't be getting much sleep.
Click here for the previously announced lineup, and read the new additions below. The Toronto International Film Festival gets started September 9, so get ready for as much coverage as you and I can handle.
Closing Night Film Last Night. Massy Tadjedin, USA/France World Premiere
A married couple are apart for a night when the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he's attracted. While he's away, his wife encounters her past love. The film stars Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet.
Sarah’s Key. Gilles Paquet Brenner, FranceWorld Premiere
Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s best-selling novel, Sarah’s Key tells the story of an American journalist on the brink of making big life decisions regarding her marriage and her unborn child. What starts off as research for an article about the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 in France ends up as a journey towards self discovery as she stumbles upon a terrible secret. The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy and Aidan Quinn.
127 Hours. Danny Boyle, USA World Premiere
127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah. Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary. The film also stars Clémence Poésy, Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara.
AMIGO. John Sayles, USAWorld Premiere
At the beginning of the 20th Century, during the Philippine-American War, a garrison under the command of US Lieutenant Compton is left to ‘protect’ San Isidro, a remote region located in the Philippines. Compton can only communicate with Rafael, the Head of the barrio, through the friar Hidalgo who bears a deep resentment towards Rafael. Neither side can understand or trust the other, but are forced to live together, trying to survive in the middle of a war. When the American occupation policy gets tougher, Rafael has to answer to both the Americans and the Filipino patriots.
Deep in the Woods. Benoît Jacquot, France/GermanyNorth American Premiere
France, 1865. A young vagabond, Timothée, arrives in a village and is given food and lodging by Doctor Hughes and his daughter Joséphine. Joséphine runs after him, leaving her home and father, driven by an uncontrollable force. Distraught, she follows this young man for whom she seems to feel only fear and disgust. Their pilgrimage will reveal another truth.
Everything Must Go. Dan Rush, USA World Premiere
After 16 years spent devising motivational speeches that promise certain success, Nick Porter (Will Ferrell) is abruptly fired. He returns home to discover his wife has left him, changed the locks on their home and dumped all his possessions on the front yard. Nick puts it all on the line – or, more properly, on the lawn – with an absurdly escalating garage sale that becomes a unique strategy for survival. Nick comes face-to-face with a life turned inside out and discovers in total exposure an unexpected path to renewal.
Gorbaciòf - The Cashier who Liked Gambling. Stefano Incerti, Italy North American Premiere
A compulsive gambler who works in the petty-cash office of the Poggioreale prison falls in love with Lily, an illegal immigrant, and tries to free both of them from their dead-end lives. The film stars Toni Servillo, Mi Yang and Nello Mascia.
Hereafter. Clint Eastwood, United KingdomWorld Premiere
The story of three people haunted by mortality in different ways, Hereafter stars Matt Damon as a blue-collar American who has a special connection to the afterlife. On the other side of the world, a French journalist (Cécile de France), has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. And when London schoolboy Marcus (Frankie/George McLaren) loses the person closest to him, he needs answers. Each in search of the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what might – or must – exist in the hereafter. The film also stars Jay Mohr, Bryce Dallas Howard, Marthe Keller, Thierry Neuvic and Derek Jacobi.
I’m Still Here. Casey Affleck, USA International Premiere
The directorial debut of Oscar-nominated actor Casey Affleck, I’m Still Here is a portrayal of a tumultuous year in the life of internationally acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix. With remarkable access, I’m Still Here follows the Oscar nominee as he announces his retirement from a successful film career in the fall of 2008 and sets off to reinvent himself as a hip hop musician. The film is a portrait of an artist at a crossroads. Defying expectations, it deftly explores notions of courage and creative reinvention, as well as the ramifications of a life spent in the public eye.
Julia’s Eyes. Guillem Morales, Spain World Premiere
Julia, a woman suffering from a degenerative eye disease, finds her blind twin sister Sara hanged in the basement of her house. Julia decides to investigate what she feels is a murder case, entering a dark world that seems to hide a mysterious presence. As Julia begins to uncover the terrifying truth about her sister's death, her sight deteriorates further, until a series of unexplained deaths and disappearances cross her path. The film stars Belén Rueda and Lluis Homar.
The Last Circus. Álex de la Iglesia, Spain/France North American Premiere
Álex de la Iglesia's genius for dark humour is at its most eloquent in his latest parody about the Spanish Civil War. Two clowns attack and disfigure one another in jealous rages over a beautiful dancer. In the name of love, they destroy the very object of their affection.
Let Me In. Matt Reeves, United Kingdom / USA World Premiere
Chloë Moretz (Kick-Ass) stars as Abby, a mysterious 12-year-old girl, who moves next door to Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Road), a social outcast who is viciously bullied at school. As a string of grisly murders occupy the town, Owen has to confront the reality that this seemingly innocent girl is really a savage vampire. Let Me In is based on the best-selling Swedish novel Låt den Rätte Komma (Let The Right One In), and the highly acclaimed film of the same name.
The House by the Medlar Tree. Pasquale Scimeca, Italy International Premiere
The Malavoglia are a family of fishermen: Grandfather Padron 'Ntoni, his son Bastianazzo and wife Maruzza, and their children 'Ntoni, Mena, Alessi and Lia. One night Bastianazzo dies in a boating accident, leaving the family on the verge of a break down.
Mothers. Milcho Manchevski, Macedonia/France/Bulgaria World Premiere
A child's friend is accosted by a flasher so she decides to go to the police herself; a film crew sets out to find the old traditions and discovers a grandmother living alone in an abandoned village; retired cleaning women are found raped and strangled in a small town. The innovative structure of Mothers highlights the delicate nature of truth and fiction, of drama and documentary.
Passion. John Turturro, Italy North American Premiere
Passion journeys through Napoli, one of the biggest jukeboxes in the world with a treasure chest of songs from the 1200s to present day. Each song conjures distant stories and myths that speak of love, sex, jealousy, crime, poverty, irony, superstition, and social protest.
Passion Play. Mitch Glazer, USA World Premiere
Set in the desert and laced with the deep elements of a modern fable, Passion Play tells the tale of Nate (Mickey Rourke), a down-on-his-luck jazz trumpet player who forms a bond with Lily (Megan Fox), a woman born with wings who has wound up as a carnival sideshow attraction. Together these two damaged souls undertake a turbulent romantic journey while trying to avoid the witty and menacing Happy (Bill Murray), a local gangster.
The Poll Diaries Chris Kraus, Germany/Austria/Estonia World Premiere
On the eve of World War I, a 14-year-old German girl returns to her home on the Baltic coast, a place uneasily shared by Germans, Russians and Estonians. While her morbid scientist father controls the family with a cruel hand, the passionate young girl secretly nurses a wounded Estonian anarchist back to health – an act of curiosity and then of defiance that could set off an uncontrollable chain reaction.
Rio Sex Comedy. Jonathan Nossiter, France/Brazil World Premiere
Rio Sex Comedy charts the misadventures of expatriates in Rio in their search for both personal pleasures and social justice. Charlotte Rampling is an English plastic surgeon determined to subvert anyone from going near the knife. Irène Jacob is a French anthropologist whose political correctness is upstaged by more carnal ambitions. Bill Pullman is a befuddled American ambassador who flees from his responsibilities into one of Rio’s most dangerous favelas. There he becomes co-opted by the schemes of Fisher Stevens, favela tour operator and romantic huckster.
Special Treatment. Jeanne Labrune, France/Luxembourg/Belgium World Premiere
A high-class prostitute and a pre-eminent psychoanalyst discover that they share many things in common. They are both unhappy with their professions, seeking a way out that involves unique contact with each other's worlds.
What's Wrong With Virginia. Dustin Lance Black, USAWorld Premiere
Jennifer Connelly stars as Virginia, a charming yet mentally ill mother whose greatest love is her protector and illegitimate son, Emmett (Harrison Gilbertson). Richard Tipton (Ed Harris), the local married Mormon sheriff, who is running for public office, might very well be Emmett’s father. Their boardwalk town’s peculiar secrets are threatened when Virginia’s son begins a romantic relationship with Tipton’s daughter (Emma Roberts) sending mother and son on a mad dash to seize their own brand of the American Dream – guns blazing.
Ticket packages for the Festival are now available for purchase by cash, debit or Visa†. Purchase online at tiff.net/thefestival, by phone at 416-968-FILM or 1-877-968-FILM (Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) or in person until August 20 at the TIFF Box Office at 2 Carlton Street, West Mezzanine (Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.). Beginning August 24, tickets may be purchased at the Festival Box Office located at 363 King Street West at Peter St. The 35th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 9 to 19, 2010.