The Toronto International Film Festival today announced a slew of films that have made it into their lineup of galas and special presentations. The selection includes 10 galas and 43 special presentations, including the world premieres from directors Luc Besson, Cameron Crowe, Jay and Mark Duplass, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne and more.
Pedro Almodóvar, George Clooney, David Cronenberg, Ralph Fiennes, Madonna, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, Lars von Trier and more will be making their North American premieres.
TIFF also announced tangentially that Davis Guggenheim's documentary on U2, "From the Sky Down," will open the festival, making it the first documentary in 36 years to do so. TIFF will be trickling out more announcements every Tuesday until Aug 23.
Some films of note that made the cut:
Bennett Miller's "Moneyball," starring Brad Pitt, is making its world premiere. Pitt plays BIlly Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's who comes to a realization -- everything about how baseball is run is wrong. From there beings his journey to reinvent the team on a tight budget.
George Clooney's "The Ides of March," is making its North American premiere. According to TIFF's release, "The Ides of March takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and-coming campaign press secretary (Ryan Gosling) finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate's shot at the presidency." The film will also open the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 31.
The Duplass brothers -- who first charmed us with "The Puffy Chair," and most recently "Cyrus" -- are premiering "Jeff Who Lives at Home." In their signature style, they use something mundane as a vehicle to propel the plot of a man searching for the meaning of life -- in this case, its wood glue. The film stars Jason Segel, Susan Sarandon, Ed Helms and Judy Greer.
Madonna's "W.E." is a romance-drama that weaves the stories of two women from different time periods -- Wally (Abby Cornish), who is frustrated in her marriage, and Wallis Simpson, a divorcee you might remember as the woman Edward the VIII abdicated the throne for in "The King's Speech" (and, of course, in real life). Madonna's daughter, Lourdes, will be playing a younger version of Abbie Cornish's character.
Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live In" is one of the stranger, more intriguing offerings of the festival, as one would expect with Almodovar. The film follows a plastic surgeon (Antonio Banderas) who, after his wife dies in a car crash, becomes obsessed with creating a skin that could have saved her. For that he needs a guinea pig, and you can surmise what you will from there.
Remember "Persepolis," the graphic-novel-turned-film that chronicled one girl's experience during the Iranian revolution? Its author, Marjane Satrapi, teamed up with Vincent Paronnaud to bring an adaptation of her novel "Chicken With Plums" to the screen. This story is much simpler than "Persepolis," but its told in a similar way -- using humor to express unspeakable sadness. It follows Satrapi's great-uncle, a celebrated violinist whose instrument is broken. This completely breaks him, and he begins to find life to be unbearable without the only thing he ever really loved.
Francis Ford Coppola's "Twixt" will make its world premiere at TIFF. According to the release, it involves "a writer with a career in decline arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl." Apparently, the plot is malleable, as Coppola announced at Comic-Con that he will be taking the film on a tour where it will change depending on how the audience reacts. And in other unusual-but-delightful news, it will be scored by electronic musician Dan Deacon.
TIFF runs from Sept. 8 - 18. For more of their lineup, visit their website.