The Toronto Film Festival announced its lineup yesterday, and it is impressive. You want to get an early glimpse at who and what will be celebrated at the 2013 Oscars, look no further than the Great White North’s premier film festival in early September.
After attending the Toronto Film Festival last year, Movie Fanatic believes that the stakes have been raised in 2012 with films from Ben Affleck (Argo), Emma Watson (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and surprise... The Avengers director Joss Whedon (Much Ado About Nothing).
Here are the top 10 films that have our highest of anticipations at this year’s TIFF.
10. Silver Linings Playbook
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are joined by Robert De Niro in filmmaker David O. Russell’s first work since The Fighter. It’s awesome to see a film based on a serio-comic novel by Matthew Quick hit the festival circuit before a global big screen release.
As best seen in the Looper international trailer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a younger version of Bruce Willis. That clip showcases a wildly original story from filmmaker Rian Johnson.
Gordon-Levitt is a Looper, someone whom the mob employs in the past to take out people who are causing them problems in a future where time travel is available but illegal, and only the mob has it. What happens when Gordon-Levitt shows up ready to kill the next person who comes through the portal and it's... the future him?
8. Hyde Park on the Hudson
Bill Murray as President Franklin Roosevelt? Count us in as director Roger Michell takes us behind the scenes of the true-life meeting between one of our best presidents and the King and Queen of England as World War II is heating up.
The weekend-in-the-country setting masks the stress of the underlying global threat from Germany. How the free world responds is decided on that fateful holiday retreat.
No matter what Kristen Wiig did after her Bridesmaids success and leaving Saturday Night Live would intrigue us. Imogene continues Wiig’s turn to movies as she portrays a playwright who fakes her own suicide, then gets exactly the attention she does not want: The court forcing her to live with her gambling-addled mother (Annette Bening).
6. Much Ado About Nothing
How does director Joss Whedon follow up the phenomenal success of The Avengers? Why not do Shakespeare! This low budget film was only recently announced as even being made, so prepare to be surprised by a superhero and sci-fi master with his take on the Bard.
5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The first truly big role since leaving Harry Potter behind for Emma Watson is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Based on the bestselling book by Stephen Chbosky, Watson is part of a youthful ensemble navigating life that is the modern university campus.
4. The Impossible
Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star as parents on vacation in Thailand when one of the worst tsunamis in human history strikes. The Impossible is one of the first films to tackle the disaster.
3. Anna Karenina
Director Joe Wright and Keira Knightley reteam after their brilliant work on Pride and Prejudice by tackling another great literary work. Anna Karenina is a film custom made for the Toronto Film Festival audience and we, for one, cannot wait to witness Wright’s majesty.
2. Cloud Atlas
Of all the films set to premiere at TIFF, Cloud Atlas has our eyebrows raised the highest. The movie is from Tom Tykwer, Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix) and follows several storylines that span time periods and locales.
Its cast is simply brilliant: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving.
After impressive turns directing Gone, Baby, Gone and The Town, Ben Affleck is poised for a triumphant trifecta of directorial work with Argo.
The true story stars Affleck as a CIA agent in charge of rescuing hostages in Iran. The superstar’s 1970s beard alone deserves top billing.