With the Cannes film festival getting underway, movie buffs can start to look forward to the Toronto International Film Festival with an eye on some high-profile films debuting in the South of France that may have their North American premiere here in September.
Over the next week, we’ll see new films from the Coen brothers, James Gray, Alexander Payne, James Franco and Nicholas Winding Refen. So while it’s not rocket science, we can start to handicap some of the movies debuting at Cannes that we expect to see in Toronto this September.
Inside Llewyn Davis
I love when the Coens go full-tilt into quirky comedy territory, but their latest, a drama about a young musician (Oscar Isaac) trying to make it in New York, boasts the year’s most intriguing cast. John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, Adam Driver, Carey Mulligan and F. Murray Abraham join Isaac (Drive), with a soundtrack that includes music from T Bone Burnett, Timberlake, and Marcus Mumford.
The Coen brothers have brought many of their films to Toronto over the years – Burn After Reading, A Serious Man, No Country for Old Men – so I expect this one to play opening weekend.
Director Alexander Payne makes dramedies that really seem to click with Toronto audiences. He has had success bringing The Descendants and Sideways here, so this is another sure bet as he makes a run at awards season.
The film features Bruce Dern as an elderly booze hound who, after winning the lottery, must take a road trip with his estranged son (played by SNL’s Will Forte) to collect his prize. It’s black and white, but thus far Payne has proved he can do no wrong when writing stories that unflinchingly examine love and human relationships.
James Gray re-teams with Joaquin Phoenix for his first film in five years. It’s a period drama that focuses on a love triangle between an Eastern European immigrant (played by Marion Cotillard) who gets involved with a nefarious New Yorker (Phoenix) and his magician brother (played by Jeremy Renner).
Gray has brought The Yards to TIFF, and Phoenix had been here many times, with last year’s The Master earning him his third Oscar nomination.
Its glitzy cast and rich storyline are a match made in heaven for TIFF’s first Friday night.
As I Lay Dying
James Franco is showing he has a real knack for flipping between big-budget Hollywood fare (Oz the Great and Powerful) and edgy independent cinema (Spring Breakers). His directorial debut adapts William Faulkner’s 1930 stream-of-consciousness novel for the big screen. It employs 15 narrators in its quest to tell the story of how one family struggles to carry out Addie Bundren’s wish to be buried in her hometown.
Fitzgerald it ain’t.
All Is Lost
Robert Redford struggles to survive after he becomes lost at sea. The film, directed by J.C. Chandor (Margin Call), is rumoured to have no dialogue. This is the perfect blend of intriguing concept and Hollywood star power TIFF likes best.
One film that’s making its debut at Cannes that I was hoping would be coming to TIFF is Nicholas Winding Refen’s Only God Forgives.
The director of Drive hooks up once again with Ryan Gosling in a revenge thriller set in Bangkok. It’s due out in North America this July.
For full coverage of the Cannes film festival, head over to the Toronto Sun.
As we get closer to TIFF, I’ll be posting news as it happens.