Last week saw the release of Gimme the Loot, the SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner by Adam Leon, which sees two graffiti artists seek revenge after their replica of the…
It’s time again for the frenzy of anticipation to begin. The Toronto International Film Festival, one of the world’s largest and most celebrity-studded film festivals in the world, has just made the first programming announcement for 2012.
So far, over 60 Galas and Special Presentations titles have been released, and as we’ve come to expect from TIFF, there’s no shortage of world premieres, famous directors or mega-watt star power. Ranging from from documentaries and family dramas, to literary adaptations and sci-fi epics – the list includes works from the likes of David O. Russell, Deepa Mehta, Joss Whedon, Tom Twyker, Mike Newell, Mira Nair, Noah Baumbach, Terrence Malick, Margarethe von Trotta, Laurent Cantet, and Joe Wright.
Opening the 2012 festival is Looper, the latest from writer-director Rian Johnson (the man behind Brick and The Brothers Bloom), a time travel action-thriller starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt. In 2072, if the mob wants to get rid of someone, they send a hitman into the past to “take care of them.”
The time travel theme continues with the adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel Cloud Atlas, from the directorial trio of Tom Twyker (Run Lola Run) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (of The Matrix fame). It stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant.
Speaking of adaptations, there seem to be a great many of them going on at the festival this year. Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children will screen, as well as Laurent Cantet’s borrowing of Joyce Carol Oates’ story Foxfire, and Stephen Chbosky’s adaptation of his own novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Also up this year are adaptations of several classics with Mike Newell’s version of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, Joe Wright’s look at Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and the highly anticipated adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing from Joss Whedon.
A few of the films announced have been directed by people we normally see in front of the camera. Ben Affleck’s thriller Argo, set in 1970s Tehran during the Iranian revolution, stars Bryan Cranston and himself; Billy Bob Thornton brings Jayne Mansfield’s Car to town, a 1960s Southern drama starring Robert Duvall, John Hurt and Kevin Bacon; and Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut in the Special Presentation of Quartet, starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon.
Some of the international films screening this year include A Royal Affair, from Danish director Nikolaj Arcel and starring crowd-pleaser Mads Mikkelsen; Hur Jin-Ho’s Dangerous Liaisons; Hideki Takeuchi’s Thermae Romae; Chen Kaige’s Caught in the Web; Pablo LarraÃn’s No; Outrage Beyond from Takeshi Kitano; Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone; Marco Bellocchio’s Dormant Beauty; Ana Piterbarg’s Everybody Has a Plan (starring Viggo Mortensen); and Joachim RÃ¸nning and Espen Sandberg’s Kon-Tiki.
The line up also includes films for documentary lovers to enjoy. There’s Maiken Baird’s documentary on tennis champions Venus and Serena; Shola Lynch’s Free Angela and All Political Prisoners; one on Marilyn Monroe’s recently discovered writings, Liz Garbus’ Love, Marilyn; and the sort-of doco A Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, which promises to make us laugh.
Some films to watch for
Every film programmed in Galas and Special Presentations is notable, but there are far too many to detail here (over 60!). However, here are some to watch out for:
- Roger Michell’s Hyde Park on the Hudson, a comedic drama starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney.
- Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist starring Kate Hudson and Liev Schreiber.
- Robert Redford brings his fugitive drama The Company You Keep to town. It stars Redford himself and Shia LaBeouf.
- David O. Russell’s family drama Silver Linings Playbook stars Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.
- Toronto director Ruba Nadda’s timely Syria-set thriller, Inescapable, stars Joshua Jackson and Alexander Siddig.
- Juan Antonio Bayona’s tsunami-set The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor.
- Margarethe von Trotta’s filmic portrait of Hannah Arendt.
- Stuart Blumberg’s comedy-drama Thanks for Sharing, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins and Gwyneth Paltrow.
- Terrence Malick’s romantic drama To the Wonder with Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Michael Sheen and Ben Affleck.
- Jake Gyllenhaal and Anna Kendrick in David Ayer’s cop drama End of Watch.
- The comedic film Imogene starring Annette Bening, Matt Damon and the hilarious Kristen Wiig.
- And what TIFF festival would be complete without a film starring Canadian Ryan Gosling (he had two last festival!). This year, he shows up alongside Bradley Cooper and Rose Byrne in Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines.
TIFF 2012 kicks off on September 6 and runs until September 16, 2012 bringing over 300 films to Toronto for your viewing pleasure. What we’ve given you here is just a small drop in the TIFF movie bucket. And we’ll be bringing you all the TIFF programming notices as they’re released, so keep an eye out right here over the coming weeks. Visit the TIFF festival website for all the details.
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