From Sept. 5, when Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate" premieres, to Sept. 14, when Daniel Schechter's Elmore Leonard adaptation "Life of Crime" debuts, all eyes will be on Canada and the Toronto International Film Festival.
This year, the prestigious 10-day event -- one of the early-year awards season kick-off parties, along with film festivals in Telluride, Colo., Venice, Italy and New York -- will feature screenings of upcoming films like "Gravity," "12 Years A Slave," "August: Osage County," "Prisoners" and countless other upcoming releases. HuffPost Entertainment senior entertainment writer, Mike Ryan (that's me) and HuffPost executive arts and entertainment editor, Michael Hogan, will be on the ground in Toronto over the next two weeks to cover all bases.
What surprises will we encounter? (Will a cast member from "Marvel's The Avengers" flip one of us "this bird"?) More important, what movies are generating the most buzz right now? To answer that question, we recruited critics and journalists from the internet's top film and culture sites to pass along their most anticipated TIFF films for 2013. (We added ours as well.)
Check back to HuffPost Entertainment throughout the next 10 days for festival updates and interviews -- and go ahead and follow these fine folk, too, for the utmost TIFF coverage.
From what I'm hearing out of Venice and Telluride, it would appear that all the big festival movies are great this year -- "Gravity," "12 Years A Slave," "Prisoners," etc. -- but if I had to narrow it down, I'd choose the latest films by three of my favorite directors: Kelly Reichardt, whose "Meek's Cutoff" was maybe my favorite movie since I've been reviewing them professionally, is back with "Night Moves," a film about the actions of radical environmentalists; the wonderfully intuitive Claire Denis (Beau Travail) returns with the nocturnal thriller "Bastards," which drew intriguing notices at Cannes; and Taiwan's Tsai Ming-liang ("What Time Is It There?"), who specializes in deadpan melan-comedy, premieres "Stray Dogs," which he claims is the best work he's ever done. Should be an amazing festival this year.
Like a lot of people, I'm really excited to see "12 Years a Slave" and "Gravity." But I'm also quite curious to hear how people respond to some of the movies I loved at Cannes. Specifically, I wonder what reception "Blue Is the Warmest Color," which I think is one of the year's best films, will receive now that it has won the Palme d'Or (and also been the target of some backlash).
I'm so, so curious about "You Are Here," which reps the feature directorial debut of "Mad Men" mastermind Matthew Weiner. It's a road trip comedy about two dudes (Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis) who head back to their hometown to collect a big inheritance, and if that logline makes it sound like just about any big-studio comedy ... well, I'm reminded of how little Weiner's "Mad Men" episode synopses tend to reveal, and then how rich the actual episodes turn out to be. I have no idea what to expect from this film -- no trailer, no poster, no nothing -- which is exactly how I like it. Half the fun of a film festival, after all, is when a movie can surprise you.
It wasn't one of my must-sees at first, but the more I learn about "Metallica: Through the Never," the more I can't wait to see it. These days, I'm a bigger fan of director Nimrod Antal ("Armored," "Vacancy") than the titular metalheads, but the combination of live concert footage with a parallel narrative involving Dane DeHaan's roadie navigating a "post-apocalyptic streetscape" -- and filmed in IMAX 3D! -- sounds too utterly insane to miss.
I am excited to see "The Fifth Estate," especially to find out how it compares to the recent WikiLeaks documentary, "We Steal Secrets." "Dallas Buyers Club" looks strong -- and seeing Jared Leto in drag should be entertaining, although not surprising. I've already had the fortune to see "12 Years a Slave," "Mandela," and "Blue is the Warmest Color." If I have time to see one of those films again (which I won't), I will be watching ladies in lusty love at an ungodly morning hour.
I've been looking forward to "Prisoners" since before they even started shooting just because I have so much confidence in the director, Denis Villeneuve, having been such a fan of his previous movie, "Incendies." Since I'm only there a limited time, I won't be able to see many movies but I am looking forward to "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," and I'm actually really curious to see what Atom Egoyan does with "Devil's Knot," having followed the West Memphis 3 case for so long.
I am most looking forward to "Gravity" because I'm really in the mood for a movie that's going to blow my mind, both physically and emotionally. I love films that demand you see them on the largest screen possible; the type of edge-of-your-seat material you'll remember 10 years from now when someone asks for your most memorable moviegoing experiences. Plus, I like not breathing for two hours. Other than that: "Prisoners," 12 Years a Slave," and "Child of God," because after a summer of fun, splashy blockbusters, I'm so ready to get down and dirty with some freakishly dark and challenging material.
The movie I'm most excited to see is "Gravity," especially given how well it was received in Venice. I love Sandy Bullock and George Clooney, of course, but I also love the whole premise of her trapped in space. I want to see how Alfonso Cuaron handles that. The other film I'm looking forward to is Jason Bateman's directorial debut, "Bad Words." I'm a terrible speller myself, so the title alone makes me laugh. And Bateman is such a journeyman -- kid actor, television star, movie star, and now director. I'm curious to see how he handles himself behind the camera.
Looking forward to seeing "12 Years A Slave," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," John Ridley's "All Is By My Side," "Gravity," and "Dallas Buyers Club."
I'm most excited to see a few films at TIFF that I missed at other festivals. Mainly: "Blue Ruin", "Borgman," "Bethlehem and Tracks." However, I'm also looking forward to the premieres of Richard Ayoade's "The Double," Ron Howard's "Rush," Jean-Marc Vallée's "Dallas Buyers Club" and the Midnight Film's "Why Don't You Play in Hell?" and "Afflicted." Plus, I just really want to see "Gravity" as many times as I possible, so I may fit in another screening in Toronto.
TIFF has historically proven to be quite the debut stage for some of the year's biggest prestige films, so I'm looking forward to catching screenings of all the sure-to-be-big awards contenders, films like "Labor Day," "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," and "August: Osage County," and literally tens of others. But I'm also excited to make time to see the latest productions from independent filmmakers who have always delivered for me even without major theatrical releases -- especially Atom Egoyan's "Devil's Knot" and Kelly Reichardt's "Night Moves."
I am very much looking forward to seeing Godfrey Reggio's non-narrative experimental art film "Visitors." The special TIFF screening has Philip Glass conducting an live orchestra and Steven Soderbergh as master of ceremonies. I have no idea what the movie is about, but seeing Reggio's "Koyaanisqatsi" was one of those life-changing things. Reggio's last film, "Naqoyqatsi," is almost unwatchable, and his other film, "Powaqqatsi" is merely okay. Nevertheless, I have extremely high expectations for this. Lest this all make me sound like an enormous snob, I'm also excited about Jason Bateman's comedy about spelling bees ("Bad Words").
Like everyone else in the universe, I'm dying to see "12 Years A Slave." And not just because I can't un-forget my TIFF 2011 experience of seeing Michael Fassbender's junk in "Shame" in the early morning, and then interviewing Steve McQueen under a stairwell. Also, Hayao Miyazaki's apparent last film, "The Wind Rises," and Scarlett Johansson in "Under The Skin" in the role she was born to play: a sexy-beast alien seductress.
Besides the obvious -- "Gravity," "Mandela," "12 Years a Slave" -- I am really looking forward to "For No Good Reason," a documentary on artist Ralph Steadman. Best known for his adventures with the late Hunter S. Thompson, I have been a fan of Steadman's ever since I laid eyes on the terrifying images he drew for the good doctor's legendary Kentucky Derby article in Scanlon's Monthly. Bonus: the film promises stories of Steadman's gun fights with William S. Burroughs.
Michael Hogan, The Huffington Post
"Blue Is the Warmest Color." I guess I could wait until this comes to the New York Film Festival (where it will also screen), but realistically there's no way I'm squeezing a 180-minute epic about two French lesbians into a regular work week. No, this is why the gods invented film festivals: it's the ultimate excuse to spend three hours in the middle of a weekday watching a dirty art movie. (And have you read that Daily Beast interview with stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos? I need to see this thing before the film is banned and everyone involved goes to prison!)
Mike Ryan, The Huffington Post
For me, it's between "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave" and "Dallas Buyers Club." From everything I've heard, "Gravity" is unlike anything I've ever seen before; "12 Years a Slave" seems to be winning the early rounds of Oscar shoo-in buzz; and, with "Dallas Buyers Club," Matthew McConaughey's "McConaissance" keeps on trucking.
Mike Ryan is senior writer for Huffington Post Entertainment. You can contact him directly on Twitter.
"Adore" (Sept. 6)
Naomi Watts and Robin Wright star as two mothers who fall into sexual relationships with each other's sons. (Yep, it's real.)
"Riddick" (Sept. 6)
When Vin Diesel isn't starring in "Fast and Furious" movies, he's playing Riddick.
'Good Ol' Freda' (Sept. 6)
A documentary about The Beatles' famed secretary.
"Salinger" (Sept. 6)
Shane Salerno ("Savages") directs this documentary about the reclusive "Catcher in the Rye" author.
"Winnie Mandela" (Sept. 6)
Jennifer Hudson stars as Nelson Mandela's wife Winnie in this new film, the first of two Mandela features set for release this year.
"The Family" (Sept. 13)
Director Luc Besson's mob comedy stars Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, because sometimes we're allowed to have nice things.
"Insidious: Chapter 2" (Sept. 13)
"Jayne Mansfield's Car" (Sept. 13)
Billy Bob Thornton's first feature directorial effort since 2001's "Daddy and Them" stars Thornton himself, Kevin Bacon and Robert Duvall.
"Battle Of The Year" (Sept. 20)
Chris Brown made a movie with Sawyer from "Lost." (Real.)
"Prisoners" (Sept. 20)
Hugh Jackman leads an all-star cast (Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo) in this revenge drama from director Denis Villeneuve.
"A Single Shot" (Sept. 20)
Sam Rockwell stars in this thriller, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.
"Enough Said" (Sept. 20)
Nicole Holofcener's romantic comedy features James Gandolfini's final role as a leading man. (Gandolfini has a supporting role in the upcoming film "Animal Rescue.") Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Toni Collette and Catherine Keener co-star.
"Thanks For Sharing" (Sept. 20)
Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow star in this dramedy about sex addiction. From Stuart Blumberg, an Oscar nominee for "The Kids Are All Right."
"After Tiller" (Sept. 20)
A controversial documentary about U.S. doctors who still perform third-trimester abortions.
"Parkland" (Sept. 20)
Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti and Zac Efron star in this drama about the immediate aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
"C.O.G." (Sept. 20)
Jonathan Groff stars in this new movie, which is based on a story by David Sedaris.
"Rush" (Sept. 20)
Ron Howard's Formula 1 drama casts Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl as, respectively, James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two of the sport's greatest competitors. The film, which is also due to bow at the Toronto International Film Festival, opens wide on Sept. 27.
"Baggage Claim" (Sept. 27)
Paula Patton stars in this rom-com about a flight attendant looking for love. Bonus: <strike>Seth Cohen</strike> Adam Brody as her outlandish confidant.
"Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2" (Sept. 27)
Tying up all the loose ends from part one.
"Don Jon" (Sept. 27)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut is a funny and poignant look at relationships in the age of instantaneous gratification. (Also, porn.) Tony Danza, Julianne Moore and a scene-stealing Scarlett Johansson all co-star.
"Metallica: Through The Never" (Sept. 27)
Enter sandman: Metallica made a concert movie that's not a just a concert movie. Dane DeHaan stars.
"Gravity" (Oct. 4)
Alfonso Cuaron's first film since 2006's "Children of Men" stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts lost in space. One of the year's must-see events.
"Runner Runner" (Oct. 4)
Justin Timberlake takes on an evil Ben Affleck in this new thriller about online gambling. Brad Furman ("The Lincoln Lawyer") directs.
"Captain Phillips" (Oct. 11)
Tom Hanks stars as the title captain in this thriller from Paul Greengrass, which focuses on the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. The film will debut at the New York Film Festival.
"Machete Kills" (Oct. 11)
The best cast of the year? "Machete Kills" stars Danny Trejo, Sofia Vergara, Michelle Rodriguez, Cuba Gooding Jr., Demian Bichir, Amber Heard, Lady Gaga, Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen (as the President of the United States), because of course it does.
"Romeo And Juliet" (Oct. 11)
"Downton Abbey" creator Julian Fellowes adapted this version of Shakespeare's tragic romance.
"CBGB" (Oct. 11)
"Harry Potter" pals Alan Rickman and Rupert Grint reunite for this rock drama.
"Kill Your Darlings" (Oct. 16)
Daniel Radcliffe grows up. The erstwhile Harry Potter plays Allen Ginsberg in this Sundance Film Festival fave.
"The Fifth Estate" (Oct. 18)
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange in this new film from Bill Condon ("The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2," "Dreamgirls").
"Paradise" (Oct. 18)
Diablo Cody's directorial debut look good, honest to blog.
"Carrie" (Oct. 18)
No one is going to laugh at Chloe Moretz after this remake of Brian DePalma's horror classic debuts.
"Escape Plan" (Oct. 18)
Stallone. Schwarzenegger. Prison break. See you at the theater.
"All Is Lost" (Oct. 18)
Robert Redford stars as a man struggling to survive after a hole is torn into the hull of his ship. J.C. Chandor ("Margin Call") directs the film, which is expected to give the 76-year-old actor a good chance at an Oscar nomination in 2014.
"Twelve Years A Slave" (Oct. 18)
Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, a New York man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson and Alfre Woodard star in this new drama from "Shame" director Steve McQueen. The film is based on Northup's acclaimed memoir.
"The Counselor" (Oct. 25)
Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz go bad in Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," based on an original script by Cormac McCarthy. Yes, please.
"Jackass: Bad Grandpa" (Oct. 25)
"Ender's Game" (Nov. 1)
An adaptation of the beloved young adult novel (from non-beloved author Orson Scott Card) stars Hailee Steinfeld, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford.
"Free Birds" (Nov. 1)
An animated movie about turkeys, "from the Academy Award-winning producer of 'Shrek.'"
"Last Vegas" (Nov. 1)
Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline star in this comedy, which looks like a mix of "The Hangover" and "Grumpy Old Men." Turtle from "Entourage" co-stars, at least for one scene.
"About Time" (Nov. 1)
Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson star in this romantic comedy-cum-time travel drama from "Love Actually" director Richard Curtis. The trailer will make you cry. (The film opens nationwide on Nov. 8.)
"Diana" (Nov. 1)
Naomi Watts stars as Princess Diana in this new biopic.
"How I Live Now" (Nov. 8)
Think "Children of Men" mixed with "The Host." Kevin Macdonald, of "The Last King of Scotland" fame, directs.
"Thor: The Dark World" (Nov. 8)
The sequel to "Thor" looks better than its predecessor in lots of ways, not the least of which being that Tom Hiddleston's Loki is fully unhinged. Petition for Loki spinoff starts here.
"The Best Man Holiday" (Nov. 15)
A sequel to the 1999 film "The Best Man," which serves as further proof that the statute of limitations on part twos is infinite.
"The Book Thief" (Nov. 15)
Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson star in this adaptation of Markus Zusak's acclaimed best-selling novel.
"The Wolf Of Wall Street" (Nov. 15)
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey star in Martin Scorsese's new film, which looks to do for bankers what "Goodfellas" did for mobsters. Expect Oscars and endlessly quotable dialogue.
"Delivery Man" (Nov. 22)
Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders star in this comedy about a man who fathered 533 children after making donations to a sperm bank.
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (Nov. 22)
"Nebraska" (Nov. 22)
Alexander Payne's latest film casts Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son on a road trip. Expect to read a lot about this between now and the Academy Awards on March 2.
"Black Nativity" (Nov. 27)
Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige star in this new drama, directed by Kasi Lemmons.
"Oldboy" (Nov. 27)
Spike Lee's reinterpretation of Chan-wook Park's classic film stars Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley and Elizabeth Olsen.