While there might be some overlap with Venice and a little stolen thunder (at least for hardcore cinephiles) thanks to Telluride, that doesn’t make the TIFF lineup this year any less spectacular. In fact this year's slate — that runs as deep as it does long — works more than ever to make those other festivals, impressive though they may individually be, feel a little like the throat-clearings before the main event. Boasting a staggering array of splashy premieres, the latest from a barrage of auteurs and a host of indie efforts that have hitherto flown below the radar but that could surprise in a big way, it feels like the TIFF 2013 program may be their most packed ever (though we seem to say that every year). So whilst our attendees face the unenviable (but actually extremely enviable) task of working out their schedules, we've dug through the near and far corners of this embarrassment of riches to highlight the 15 films we're most anticipating from this year's Toronto International Film Festival. It wasn't an easy choice.
To make it slightly more manageable, however, we’ve excluded several films because we've already seen them very recently in either Venice or Telluride. And there is also a clutch of Cannes or Sundance titles that we caught earlier in the year and so won't feature here. But despite all these exclusions, TIFF 2013 still gave us a run for our money in narrowing the field of our most anticipated down to 15, but we did it, and here they are.
Synopsis: Chronicles the early days and rise of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, as he navigates the line between moral responsibility and journalistic ethics with co-founder Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
What You Need To Know: No drama arriving this fall is as plugged into the current newscycle and zeitgeist as “The Fifth Estate.” With
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY : HER
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY : HIS
Synopsis: Two companion-piece films that examine the dissolution of a marriage after the wife decides to go back to college, shown from the different perspectives of each half of the couple, as they struggle to regain their old connection.
What You Need To Know: Brimful of ambition, the intriguing concept of making two interlocking but distinct films out of a single relationship drama is certainly novel and the fact that it has overcome potential distribution difficulties, and tricky marketing conundrums to get made at all is a clear signal that someone up there has great faith in the scripts, and in first-time writer/director Ned Benson. Another clear signal is the mouthwatering cast; quite aside from perennial Playlist favorites Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy in the lead roles, there's Viola Davis, Ciaran Hinds, Nina Arianda, Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Jess Weixler and Bill Hader in support. We're not sure how this is going to make its way to theaters and while it has a lot of potential, as we mentioned in our Awards Dark Horses feature, the two-part structure could end up working against it in terms of categorisation for awards purposes. But we've been following this one pretty closely since we first heard about it and are anxious to see if neophyte Benson makes good on a vertiginously high concept. And we can't help but root for a project that bets so high. (Side note: this will be screening in Toronto as a "work-in-progress" rather than a completed film).
DALLAS BUYER'S CLUB
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film is set in the ‘80s and centers on Ron Woodruff, newly diagnosed with AIDS and given 30 days to live. Fighting for his life and against the system, Ron begins to take and distribute non-FDA approved drugs extending his life, as well as others infected with the disease.
What You Need To Know: Could Matthew McConaughey’s streak of acclaimed films end with an Oscar nomination? Well, he’s certainly giving the Academy the kind of stuff they love, dropping down to a skeletal weight, and playing an everyman struck down with a life-ending illness. But beyond that, this years-in-the-making picture has attracted headlines for a while now. Previous incarnations that didn’t get off the ground included a version with Marc Forster directing Brad Pitt (they would ultimately collaborate on this summer’s “World War Z”) and a take with Ryan Gosling starring for his “Lars And The Real Girl” helmer Craig Gillespie. But this time around it’s rising filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee who has gotten behind camera, proving himself with two very well-received but perhaps underrated efforts in “C.R.A.Z.Y.” and “The Young Victoria.” Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn and a rather surprising turn by Jared Leto round things out in support, and it could all be a prescription for a success.
AUGUST : OSAGE COUNTY
Synopsis: Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts, the story follows the women of the Weston family who are brought back to the family home in the wake of a crisis and forced to confront each other and their past.
What You Need To Know: The Weinstein Company certainly weren’t messing around when casting up this project, with heavyweights Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts leading an all-star cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Sam Shepard, Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis and much more. On paper this sounds like a no-brainer home run: celebrated play + dream team cast = awards glory, right? Well, that will be up to director John Wells, whose last time out was the respectable economic crisis drama “The Company Men.” But so much of the heavy lifting is done already with this one that if the sparks fly like they should — and given this talent, there’s no reason they shouldn’t — this could be irresistible both to audiences and critics at large.
CAN A SONG SAVE YOUR LIFE?
Synopsis: An aspiring singer-songwriter new to New York forms a bond with a record producer and his young daughter.
What You Need To Know: Whether "Once" director John Carney can bottle lightning a second time out is the question that hangs over his next musically-leaning tale (Carney's two other movies in the intervening years were "Zonad" and "The Rafters," neither of which went anywhere at all really). Because it really does feel like "Once...Again!," albeit on a bigger scale; instead of Dublin, it's Manhattan, instead of Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, it's Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley (in a role originally earmarked for Scarlett Johannson). We're hoping Carney can bring the same heartfelt quality and true understanding of the genre to this bigger, higher-profile canvas that will come with a weight of expectation he hasn't really had to contend with before. Helping him step up is producer Judd Apatow, in a rare excursion away from full-on comedy, and a solid supporting cast includes Hailee Steinfeld (as Ruffalo's daughter), Catherine Keener and James Corden. Adam Levine also makes a bid for acting cred, while the film will have cameos from musical figures like Mos Def and Cee Lo Green.
The other anticipated films The Playlist looks forward to seeing at TIFF 2013 can be found at the ( SOURCE )
Well, it's officially Oscar season now that the fall/winter movie period has begun. What are you excited to see in the coming months that will hopefully pop up at Ellen's hosting gig next year, ONTD?