The Toronto International Film Festival hasn’t unveiled the full slate of films set to play during TIFF, but if last month’s initial announcement was any indication, this year’s edition will be chock full of stars and a bevy of Oscar hopefuls.
The guest list and complete movie list will be released later this month, so even though there’s still a ton of films yet to be named, we’d thought it be fun to look at the five we know of so far likely to garner the most audience and Oscar buzz.
If you have a flick you’re interested in seeing, let us know what it is and why in the comments.
The space thriller starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock was due out last November, but was shifted to this year so that director Alfonso Cuarón could work on the special effects. The two Hollywood stars play astronauts whose ship is hit by debris while they are outside during a space walk. Bullock’s Dr. Stone has to cut herself loose, but doing so sends her hurtling into space. This is a white-knuckle thriller (with an opening tracking shot that is rumoured to be 17 minutes) that could be one of the year’s best. I’m so positively psyched for this film that I’m including three trailers.
2. 12 Years a Slave
Based on the 1853 autobiography by Solomon Northup, director Steve McQueen’s (Hunger and Shame) latest is a star-studded drama that features Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man who was stolen and sold into slavery for 12 years. The ensemble film also stars Brad Pitt (as a Canadian no less), Michael Fassbender (as a ruthless plantation owner) and Benedict Cumberbatch. It looks riveting, but definitely not for the squeamish.
3. The Fifth Estate
Benedict Cumberbatch is going to show up in several films at this year’s TIFF, but his star turn as WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange has landed him the coveted opening night slot. The biopic (from Dreamgirls director Bill Condon) charts the whistleblowing website’s rise from taking down a billion-dollar bank in Iceland, to the controversial release of the Collateral Murder video.
4. Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the title character in his directorial debut. With his credo: “My body, my pad, my ride, my family, my church, my boys, my girls, and my porn” and a cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza and Julianne Moore – it could be the quirkiest comedy to hit TIFF this year.
I would have expected this one to be part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness, but Daniel Radcliffe’s turn as Ig Parrish, a man who wakes up one morning possessing some of the powers of Beelzebub, looks poised to turn his Harry Potter persona on its head. It’s based on the supernatural murder mystery by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), who had nothing but good things to say about the film.
“Everything I’ve seen, I’m tremendously happy with; especially Radcliffe, Juno Temple and Max Minghella as the love triangle at the centre of the story. Juno Temple and Daniel Radcliffe really smoke together. They’re a really hot couple. And Radcliffe is a really great Ig (Parrish, the main character)… he’s getting in touch with his inner Voldemort, which is nice.”
TIFF has a long history of debuting creepy films that get under the skin and stay there long after the credits end (Insidious, Saw, Hostel, You’re Next, I Saw the Devil), so I’m looking to Horns to continue that tradition.
Other ones to keep an eye out for: You Are Here, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her, Life of Crime, the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, Dallas Buyers Club, Paul Haggis’ Third Person, Jason Bateman’s Bad Words and Devil’s Knot.
The full schedule will be announced Aug. 20. For more info visit TIFF.net.