TIFF has just dropped the final batch of films slated to hit Toronto next month, and you might want to pack some Red Bull before heading up north. The number of additions is staggering, so let's get right to it shall we?
If you have any doubt this is Rachel Weisz's year, she will be now be starring in three films set to unspool at TIFF. The lastest is "Page Eight," a spy thriller directed by David Hare (the Oscar-nominated writer behind "The Reader" and "The Hours") which finds the actress playing a “beguiling woman of mystery,” with Bill Nighy as an MI5 operative threatened by Weisz’s character and Michael Gambon as the head of the security services. Judy Davis and Ralph Fiennes round out the solid cast. The title refers to the page number of a top secret document which presumably sets the plot in motion. The film will make its international premiere as the Closing Night film.
Long expected to part of the lineup, Marc Forster's "Machine Gun Preacher" is now confirmed to be headed to TIFF for its world premiere. Gerard Butler is vying for Best Actor contention in the biopic of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing Hell’s Angel who found God, set up an orphanage in Sudan in the 1990s, and then formed a militia to prevent the children from being turned into child soldiers. Michelle Monaghan, Michael Shannon, Kathy Baker and Souleymane Sy Savane round out the cast.
Whit Stillman is back and he's bringing "Damsels In Distress" to town after closing out Venice. The picture, which stars Greta Gerwig, Analeigh Tipton and Adam Brody, is a college-set tale about “a group of style-obsessed college girls who take in a new student and teach her their misguided ways of helping people.”
Also making its world premiere is "Precious" writer Geoffrey Fletcher's directorial debut "Violet & Daisy." The story finds Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel playing a pair of young assassins who are lured into what is supposed to be just another quick and easy job, only to find complications as the man they’re supposed to kill (presumably Gandolfini) is not what they expected. No this is not like "Hanna," but is instead a black comedy. Should be...interesting.
Good Lord, Rachel Weisz can't do it all. Initially set to star in Lynn Shelton's next effort, her busy schedule forced her out with Rosemarie DeWitt stepping in and now the film is in the can and ready to play. Titled "Your Sister's Sister" the semi-improvised piece revolves around a man (played by Mark Duplass) who comes between two sisters, played by DeWitt and Emily Blunt.
Sexing things up a bit is period-based vibrator comedy (seriously) "Hysteria." Directed by Tanya Wexler and starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce and Rupert Everett the film features Dancy and Pryce as doctors in Victorian-era London treating cases of hysteria who experiment with a new electrical device for the treatment for the ailment. Gyllenhaal portrays the daughter of Pryce’s character.
Andrea Arnold will also hit down with her "Fish Tank" followup, her version of "Wuthering Heights." The film might have a virtually unknown cast (newcomer James Howson plays Heathcliff, while “Skins” star Kaya Scodelario is Cathy), but considering the source material and the woman behind the camera, this will likely go to unexpected places.
Foreign film fans, get ready to line up, because TIFF is bringing it all: "Alps" the latest from "Dogtooth" director Giorgos Lanthimos; "Sleeping Beauty" with Emily Browning; the excellent "Miss Bala," a highlight of Cannes; the sweet Chilean po-mo romantic comedy "Bonsai" are among the highlights.
Ready for star-driven trash? TIFF gets Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage to appear by showing off "Trespass" and Robert De Niro likely won't say much when he stumps for "The Killer Elite." Check out the full line-up at TIFF.