Film & TV

The Toronto International Film Festival Announces Its Best Lineup in Years

Film & TV

The Toronto International Film Festival Announces Its Best Lineup in Years

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When the excellent trailer for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave hit the web last week, it was hard not to consider it an early frontrunner in this year’s Oscar race, which literally began the second last year’s Oscars ended. So with this morning’s announcement that the star-studded slavery drama will skip Venice and have its world premiere at September’s Toronto International Film Festival, which has become the unofficial awards season launch pad, we’re going to go ahead and call it: Come March, 12 Years a Slave will officially be the film to beat.

Other notable premieres among the 75 announced include Alfonso Cuaron’s long awaited lost-in-space thriller Gravity, which after wowing audiences with some apparently mind-blowing footage at Comic-Con last week, clocks in just a hair below Slave on our TIFF must-see list. Rounding out our top three is Prisoners, the Hugh Jackman-starring kidnapping saga, whose loaded cast also includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, and Paul Dano in full-on Paul Dano creep mode. Also, a special shout out to the film’s director Denis Villeneuve, whose Canadian citizenship should make him one of this year’s TIFF golden boys.

Speaking of which, a trio of hometown heroes return with their latest offerings. Jason Reitman’s Kate Winslet-starring Labor Day, Atom Egoyan’s take on the West Memphis Three Devil’s Knot, and Paul Haggis’ drama Third Person, starring Mila Kunis, Liam Neeson, and James Franco, should ensure that Toronto is well represented on its home turf. But it’s Mike Myers—who started repping T-dot long before Drake made it into a thing—that will vie hardest for the city’s affection with his directorial debut, a documentary about infamous talent agent Shep Gordon, aptly titled Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. The Mike Myers comeback is officially on.

Other actors diving into the directorial pool for the first time include Keanu Reeves with Man of Tai Chi, Jason Bateman with Bad Words, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose Don Jon, a rom-com about a porn-addicted guido who falls in love with a girl that looks exactly like Scarlett Johansson will look to build buzz before its September 27th release date.  It should be interesting to see how the aforementioned rookies stack up against the posse of auteurs that are heading north. Jim Jarmusch (Only Lovers Left Alive), David Gordon Green (Joe) and Stephen Frears (Philomena) are among those that will be dropping knowledge. Here’s who else will be joining them:

World Premieres
All Is By My Side (John Ridley)
The Art of the Steal (Jonathan Sobol)
August: Osage County (John Wells)
Attila Marcel (Sylvain Chomet)
Belle Amma (Asante)
Can a Song Save Your Life? (John Carne)
Cannibal (Manuel Martín Cuenca)
Dom Hemingway (Richard Shepard)
The Double Richard (Ayoade)
Enough Said Nicole (Holofcener)
The Fifth Estate (Bill Condon)
For Those Who Can Tell No Tales (Jasmila Žbanić)
Going Away (Nicole Garcia)
The Grand Seduction (Don McKellar)
Half of a Yellow Sun (Biyi Bandele)
Hateship Loveship (Liza Johnson)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowsk)
The Invisible Woman (Ralph Fiennes)
Life of Crime (Daniel Schechter)
The Love Punch (Joel Hopkins)
Quai d’Orsay (Bertrand Tavernier)
The Railway Man (Jonathan Teplitzky)
Starred Up (David Mackenzie)
Those Happy Years (Daniele Luchetti)
Violette (Martin Provost)
Visitors (Godfrey Reggio)
Le Week-End (Roger Michel)
You Are Here (Matthew Weiner)

International/North American/Canadian Premieres
American Dreams in China (Peter Ho-Sun Chan)
Blue Is The Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)
Cold Eyes (Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byung-seo)
Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her (Ned Benson)
Exit Marrakech (Caroline Link)
Felony (Matthew Saville)
Gloria (Sebastián Lelio)
The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino)
L’intrepido (Gianni Amelio)
The Love Punch (Joel Hopkins)
Kill Your Darlings (John Krokidas)
Like Father, Like Son (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
Man of Tai Chi (Keanu Reeves)
MARY Queen of Scots (Thomas Imbach)
Omar (Hany Abu-Assad)
One Chance (David Frankel)
Parkland (Peter Landesman)
The Past (Asghar Farhadi)
Philomena (Stephen Frears)
Pioneer (Erik Skjoldbjærg)
REAL (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
The Right Kind of Wrong (Jeremiah Chechik)
Rush (Ron Howard)
Shuddh Desi Romance (Maneesh Sharma)
Tracks (John Curran)
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer)
Walesa. Man of Hope. (Andrzej Wajda)
We are the Best! (Lukas Moodysson)
Young and Beautiful (François Ozon)