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You may have seen earlier today that the Toronto International Film Festival has announced their lineup of galas and special presentations for this year's festival, which kicks off September 8. The list of films, which is really just a selection of what will be screened at TIFF, is phenomenal, featuring a ton of the most anticipated upcoming films from great directors like David Cronenberg, Todd Solondz and Alexander Payne, plus even more promising up and comers like Nicolas Winding Refn, Sarah Polley, Jonathan Levine and this guy called George Clooney.
The TIFF website will eventually host stills from all of these films for journalists to use in their coverage of the festival, but to go along with the announcement today they've already unleashed a ton of them, including our first looks at Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan in Steve McQueen's Shame, Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes in Fernando Meirelles' 360, Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in Polley's Take This Waltz, Jason Segel and Ed Helms in the Jay and Mark Duplass's Jeff Who Lives At Home, and many more. You can check out the best of these images below, along with synopses for the films in question. I'll be in Toronto in September and doing my best to cover all of these, though many of the biggest titles are either set for theatrical release later this year or will likely be picked up at the festival. After a long summer of disappointing blockbusters, it's finally time to start looking forward to the quiet, classy fall movie season.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon. Penned by the writer/director team of brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (Cyrus), this is the story of one man searching for the meaning of life while running to the store to buy wood glue. Using the universe as his guide, Jeff looks for signs to help determine his path. However, a series of comedic and unexpected events leads him to cross paths with his family in the strangest of locations and circumstances. Jeff just may find the meaning of his life... and if he's lucky, pick up the wood glue as well.
Friends With Kids is a poignant ensemble comedy about a close-knit circle of friends at that moment in life when children arrive and everything changes. There are big laughs and unexpected emotional truths as the last two singles in the group, out of step with their married pals, resolve to have a kid together... and date other people. Stars Kristen Wiig, Megan Fox, Jon Hamm, Maya Rudolph and Edward Burns.
Ten Year focuses on a group of friends – married and unmarried, successful and unsuccessful, happy and unhappy – as they return home on the night of their high school reunion. It stars a large ensemble cast that includes Channing Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, Kate Mara, Anthony Mackie and Chris Pratt.
Hester Collyer (Academy Award-winner Rachel Weisz) leads a privileged life in 1950s London as the beautiful wife of high court judge Sir William Collyer (Simon Russell Beale). To the shock of those around her, she walks out on her marriage to move in with young ex-RAF pilot, Freddie Page (Tom Hiddleston), with whom she has fallen passionately in love.
A writer with a career in decline arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. Stars Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning and Ben Chaplin.
Brandon is a thirty-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon?s world spirals out of control. From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us. Stars Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale and Nicole Beharie.
Swelteringly hot, bright and colourful like a bowl of fruit, Take this Waltz leads us laughing through the familiar, but uncharted question of what long-term relationships do to love, sex, and our images of ourselves. Starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby.
A genre-bending, 1990s Los Angeles police family drama, Rampart explores the dark soul and romantic misadventures of a never-changing LAPD cop (Woody Harrelson) whose past is finally catching up with him in the wake of a department-wide corruption scandal. Along the way, he is forced to confront his disgruntled daughters (Brie Larson, Sammy Boyarsky), his two ex-wives (Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon), a tenacious Deputy DA (Sigourney Weaver), an investigator on his trail (Ice Cube), a homeless witness to his crimes (Ben Foster), his aging mentor (Ned Beatty) and a mysterious new lover who may or may not be on his side (Robin Wright), as he fights for his own sanity and survival.
Directed by two-time Academy Award nominated Bruce Beresford, Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding stars Academy Award-winning Jane Fonda, two-time Academy Award-nominated Catherine Keener, international heartthrob Chace Crawford, and Sundance's breakout star Elizabeth Olsen. The film is a comedy about an uptight New York City lawyer who takes her two spirited teenagers to her hippie mother's farmhouse in the countryside for a family vacation. What was meant to be a weekend getaway quickly turns into a summer adventure of romance, music, family secrets, and self-discovery.
When 22-year-old drug dealer Chris (Emile Hirsch) has his stash stolen by his mother, he has to come up with six thousand dollars quick or he?s dead. Desperate, he turns to “Killer Joe” (Matthew McConaughey) when he finds out that his mother?s life insurance policy is worth $50,000. Although Joe usually demands cash up front, he finds himself willing to bend the rules in exchange for Chris? attractive younger sister, Dottie, who will serve as sexual collateral until the money comes in... if it ever does.
Coriolanus (Ralph Fiennes), a hero of Rome, is a great soldier but despises the people. His extreme views ignite a mass riot and he is banished from Rome. Coriolanus allies with a sworn enemy (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.
Tired of fending for herself and her mother?s penchant for hard-drinking men and barroom drama, 13-year-old Luli hits the road on her own, heading west to realize her dream of becoming a superstar. Among her travels she meets Eddie, a drifter with a chip on his shoulder, and Glenda, a troubled but spirited woman who takes Luli under her wing. Luli?s quick wit, some help from Glenda, the mercurial Eddie, and her colourful daydreams help protect her from the incredibly unpredictable band of characters she encounters on her journey. Hick is a road picture about a young girl who comes face-to-face with the realities of just how complicated adulthood can be. Stars Blake Lively, Chloe Moretz, Alec Baldwin, Juliette Lewis, Eddie Redmayne and Rory Culkin.
George Clooney's third directorial effort since Good Night, and Good Luck (though we'd rather pretend Leatherheads didn't happen), starring Ryan Gosling as a frazzled political campaign press secretary. It looks smart, politically savvy and a little bit funny-- kinda like Clooney himself.