By virtue of its rapturous reception at its world premiere on opening night of the Venice Film Festival, it appears that the "the season" already has a pace-setter by the name of Birdman. In terms of explosive cinematic style and viewer exhilaration, Alejandro G. Inarritu's breathlessly stylish look at a once-famous actor trying to make a comeback would be hard to beat in any year, which is not to say that many films won't give it a shot. And several of them will be unveiled over the next two weeks, first over Labor Day weekend at the Telluride Film Festival, where both 12 Years A Slave and Gravity first turned heads a year ago, and then at the cinematic blow-out in Toronto, where an announced total of 143 films will have their world premieres.
With so many world premieres on offer this year, Toronto now looks quite peevish indeed having declared a vendetta against Telluride for presuming to snare a handful of world bows for itself; does Toronto really feel it has to have absolutely everything first to retain its position? In any event, Toronto, having abandoned its policy of always opening with a Canadian film, will launch with the world premiere of David Dobkin's family legal drama The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, which can only be an improvement over last year's ill-advised opener, The Fifth Estate.
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