The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival kicks off today, running from September 4-14th. It's one of the top film festivals in the world and one's cinephiles are particularly keen on attending as it always becomes a proving ground for Award Season fodder. After perusing the line-up and keeping an eye and an ear out for buzz, these are the five films I'd most want to see if I were attending this year:
5. The Drop
"Gritty crime dramas" are a dime a dozen, but what sets The Drop apart is the accumulated talent involved. It's directed by Michaël R. Roskam (his anticipated follow-up to Bullhead), written by Dennis Lehane (known for The Wire and Shutter Island) and stars Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts It's also the final film in the late, great James Gandolfini's incomparable career. Those not able to attend the festival need only wait a couple weeks before The Drop gets a theatrical release in select theaters.
"As former detective Akikazu searches for his missing daughter, Kanako, he soon learns she has a mysterious secret life."The World of Kanako is the latest film by Tetsuya Nakashima, director behind Kamikaze Girls, Memories of Matsuko and 2010's Confessions. It's adapted from a novel that many thought would be too shocking to make into a movie. Thankfully, Japanese filmmakers are always willing to challenge that notion. Don't plan on this one getting a theatrical release in the States, we'll have to keep an eye out for it online.
Adapted from the Chad Kultgen novel of the same name, Men, Women & Children provides "a look at the sexual frustrations that young teenagers and adults face in today's world." The film's melancholy trailer is replete with depictions of our technology-saturated lives and recalled last year's criminally under-seen film Disconnect. With modern classics like Thank You For Smoking and Juno under his belt, we're ready to see what writer/director Jason Reitman has to say about our lifestyles this time around. Men, Women & Children flocks to theaters on October 17th. Trailer Review
2. Miss Julie
"Over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890, an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy encourages her father's valet to seduce her." This marks the fourth film adaptation of the August Strindberg play, this time around it is being directed by Liv Ullmann. With a cast of just three characters and almost entirely set in an Irish manor, we look forward to sparks flying between two renowned thespians: Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain. No word yet on a U.S. release date.
Nightcrawler crept up on us in July with an ingenious marketing campaign putting star Jake Gyllenhaal front and center as Lou Bloom, "a young man who stumbles upon the underground world of freelance crime journalism in Los Angeles." Gyllenhaal has been skating from one fascinating project to another practically his entire career. Fresh off the heels of a double-punch for Denis Villeneuve we're pumped to see what he brings to first time director but established screenwriter Dan Gilroy. Nightcrawler slithers into select theaters on Halloween. Trailer Review
Plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.
Those are just five and the incredible line-up awaiting festival goers at Toronto over the next two weeks. What films are you most looking forward to? Chat it out in the comments below.