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The Fall Festival 50: Our Wishlist For The Venice, Telluride And Toronto Film Festivals

by The Playlist Staff
June 30, 2014 3:48 PM
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The Drop
“The Drop” (Michael Roskam)
Cast: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts, John Ortiz
An ex-con turned bartender is drawn back into the criminal life after a robbery at his workplace, which serves as a money drop for local mobsters, and after finding an abandoned puppy.
Last We Heard: This tough-looking crime-thriller, the English-language debut of “Bullhead” helmer Michael Roskam, has been in the can for a while, but is finally heading to U.S. theaters on September 12th. That would seem to give it a pretty decent chance for a bow early in TIFF (perhaps even as the opening gala?), which seems like a more natural home for it than Venice. Unless Fox Searchlight think that the movie is a purely commercial play (and we’ve heard that it’s really strong), this should pop up in Toronto somewhere.

“The Duke Of Burgundy” (Peter Strickland)

Cast: Sidse Babbett Knudsen, Chiara D’Anna, Eugenia Caruso, Monica Swinn
Synopsis: An amateur butterfly expert’s relationship with her lover begins to suffer due to her obsession with the insects.
Last We Heard: Peter Strickland had a major festival hit with arty giallo homage “Berberian Sound Studio,” and two years on, he’s pretty much done with his new film, a quieter tale that’s drawn comparisons, in advance, with “Persona.” Backed by the BFI and Film4, with Ben Wheatley producing and “Borgen” star Sidse Babbett Knudsen in the lead, this is likely a dead cert for TIFF, but don’t rule out a Venice appearance, even if it would be Strickland’s first appearance there.

Manglehorn” (David Gordon Green)
Cast: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina and Harmony Korine
Synopsis: An ex-con trying to start over as a locksmith in a small town, finds that despite attempts to lie low, his dark past is constantly in danger of being exposed.
Last We Heard: Getting a first glimpse back in February at a very Edward James Olmos-ian Pacino, we are wondering if Green might do for the great man what he recently did for Nicolas Cage with “Joe,” i.e. given him a decent, low key character role in which he can remind us all how great he is. “Joe” premiered in Venice last year, and with “Manglehorn” wrapped by last December, it’s not a big leap to suggest that it might be ready and primed to pop up on the Lido this year too.

“99 Homes” (Ramin Bahrani)
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern, Tim Guinee
Synopsis: After losing his home, a young father seeks revenge on the real estate broker who caused his ruin.
Last We Heard: Clearly not put off by the (unfairly) tepid reaction to “At Any Price,” Ramin Bahrani is back, and working with bigger names than ever: “99 Homes” marks Andrew Garfield’s first appearance on screen as anyone other than Peter Parker since “The Social Network” in 2010. That alone should make it a hot festival ticket, but given Bahrani’s record at Venice, where almost all of his films premiered, they’ll likely grab the premiere, though it should pop up at Telluride and TIFF as well.

The Cobbler Adam Sandler

The Cobbler” (Tom McCarthy)
Cast: Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman, Method Man, Melonie Diaz, Ellen Barkin, Dan Stevens and Steve Buscemi
Synopsis: A fourth-generation shoemaker discovers a magical sewing machine in his father’s basement which allows him to transform into other people by wearing their shoes.
Last We Heard: Honestly, that logline with Sandler as star would ordinarily have us running for the hills, so “Click”-like does it sound, so it just goes to show you how highly we think of director Tom McCarthy (“The Station Agent,” “The Visitor,” “Win/Win”) that we’re anticipating this at all. But along with a “serious” role in Jason Reitman’s “Men Women and Children,” perhaps this is the Adam Sandler season of redemption, and “The Cobbler” could well put in an appearance at one of the North American festivals to boot (yes, we went there).

“Eden” (Mia Hansen-Love)
Cast: Felix De Givry, Brady Corbet, Greta Gerwig, Golshifteh Farahani
Synopsis: The rise and fall of a DJ in the French electronic dance scene of the 1990s.
Last We Heard: Mia Hansen-Love proved herself one of the most exciting young filmmakers around with “Goodbye First Love” and “The Father Of My Children,” and the news that she has a new film on her way is promising on its own. That it sees her delve into the dance music scene that spawned the likes of Daft Punk, subject matter that’s relatively untouched on screen, makes it doubly so. The film wasn’t ready for Cannes, but it should comfortably be done in time for Venice and TIFF, unless she returns to Locarno, where “Goodbye First Love” had its first screening.

“True Story” (Rupert Goold)
Cast: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones, Gretchen Mol
Synopsis: A journalist discovers his identity has been stolen, by a suspected murderer
Last We Heard: This true-life drama has been somewhat under the radar by now, but with a cast like this, and the New Regency/Plan B alliance behind “12 Years A Slave” producing, don’t expect it to stay that way for long. The directorial debut of theater director Rupert Goold, who’s hoping to pull a Sam Mendes, it’s dark but star-driven stuff, which makes it perfect for a bow at Telluride or TIFF, ahead of a potential awards run.

Slow West

“Slow West” (John Maclean)
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Mendelsohn, Caren Pistorius
Synopsis: A 17-year-old kid travels from Scotland to the American West looking for his lost love, paying a mysterious stranger to protect him.
Last We Heard: Last time Michael Fassbender and director John Maclean (a former member of the Beta Band) teamed up, they won a BAFTA, for short film “Pitch Black Heist.” This Western, Fassbender’s feature debut as a producer, shot down under late last year, and the arrival of the first image of the film earlier today suggests that this is done and ready to be unveiled. TIFF again should be a good bet.

Serena Jennifer Lawrence Bradley Cooper

Serena” (Susanne Bier)
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, David Dencik and Sam Reid
Synopsis: Based on the novel by Ron Rash, the film details the travails of a young couple in North Carolina during the great depression, as they attempt to set up a timber empire at any cost, only to discover that the wife, Serena cannot have children.
Last We Heard: Bier’s film wrapped forever ago, before “American Hustle” even began, and that film has since shot, released and netted four hundred acting Oscar nominations, including two for the lead pair here. We’re told all is well, and it’s simply Bier’s exacting editing process which is the cause for the delays, but if this doesn’t rock up at Venice, we’ll start to get very worried for it indeed.

Jake Gyllenhaal

“Nightcrawler” (Dan Gilroy)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed
Synopsis: A young man enters the dark underground world of the freelance crime journalists in Los Angeles.
Last We Heard: After “Michael Clayton,” we’re very interested in the directorial debuts of anyone in the Gilroy family, and Tony’s younger brother Dan becomes a helmer with this dark thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The film elicited a bidding war in Cannes, with Open Road beating out Focus, The Weinstein Company and others for the project, so this seems like a hot prospect. Maybe it’s mainly a commercial project, but we reckon it’ll turn up at TIFF regardless.

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  • Hush hush | July 21, 2014 4:40 PMReply

    You should place some of your bets on San Sebastian who may rob some of your predictions to Venice....

  • benutty | July 7, 2014 1:39 PMReply

    "Isaac (widely felt to have been snubbed last year for an Oscar nomination for “Inside Llewyn Davis”)"

    not true; give it up, Playlist

  • Grapevine | July 5, 2014 9:37 AMReply

    Gone Girl will be the opener to the NYFF - it can't be the centerpiece or closing with an Oct 3rd release.

  • The Fanciful Norwegian | July 5, 2014 9:14 AMReply

    A few possibilities from Greater China: Wang Xiaoshuai's THE INTRUDER (finished shooting in late '13), Johnnie To's DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART 2 and DESIGN FOR LIVING (the former is done, the latter started shooting in late April and should be either finished or close to it), Gu Changwei's LOVE IN THE CLOUD (due out in October), Alex Law and Mabel Cheung's A TALE OF THREE CITIES, Jiang Wen's GONE WITH THE BULLETS, part one of John Woo's THE CROSSING, Tsui Hark's TRACKS IN THE SNOWY FOREST. The last four are all December releases—for now, anyway—but should be ready in time for Venice/Toronto if they decide to take them there; I expect some will be held for Berlin or possibly Rome.

  • a m | July 4, 2014 1:43 PMReply

    Wow, so many of these sound really intriguing. That Herzog film, damn.

  • Miss Anon | July 3, 2014 1:36 PMReply

    Great list but how have you missed MAPS TO THE STARS (Moore, Pattinson, Cusack) or STILL ALICE (again, Moore, Baldwin and Stewart/Killer Films). Killer is known for producing festival darlings and Cronenberg is from Canada - I would hedge he even gets a gala opening night at TIFF (plus Moore won a Palm D'Or for her work in MAPS at Cannes). Seems like a glaring oversight.

  • Miss Anon | July 3, 2014 1:36 PMReply

    Great list but how have you missed MAPS TO THE STARS (Moore, Pattinson, Cusack) or STILL ALICE (again, Moore, Baldwin and Stewart/Killer Films). Killer is known for producing festival darlings and Cronenberg is from Canada - I would hedge he even gets a gala opening night at TIFF (plus Moore won a Palm D'Or for her work in MAPS at Cannes). Seems like a glaring oversight.

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:56 AMReply

    best supporting actress 2015 predictions

    Julie Estelle the raid 2
    watts birdman
    thierry the zero theorem
    rapace the drop
    farmiga the judge
    winstead kill the messenger
    green sin city dame kill for
    chastain interstellar
    rudolph inherent vice
    poots knight cups
    hoss a most wanted man
    streep into the woods
    Lorelei Linklater boyhood

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:50 AMReply

    best supporting actor 2015 predictions

    brolin inherent vice
    hopkins noah
    winstone the gunman
    oldman child 44
    bale knight cups
    thewlis the zero theorem
    brooks a most violent year
    shannon 99 homes
    kilmer untitled terrence malick project
    odowd calvary
    dafoe a most wanted man
    duvall the judge
    gandolfini the drop
    mendelsohn starred up
    shia fury
    hawke boyhood
    hoffman armstrong
    dehaan life
    farrell solace
    considine macbeth
    liotta kill the messenger
    norton birdman

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:44 AMReply

    best actress 2015 predictions

    chastain a most violent year
    witherspoon wild
    cotillard macbeth
    adams big eyes
    mara carol
    pike gone girl
    bissett welcome to new york
    woodley fault in stars
    rapace child 44
    mulligan far from madding crowd
    stone untitled Cameron crowe project
    hathaway interstellar
    johnson fifty shades grey
    portman jane got gun
    chastain miss julie
    cotillard two days one night
    bejo the search
    williams suite francaise
    mcadams a most wanted man

  • Gerard Kennelly | July 2, 2014 5:37 AMReply

    best actor 2015 predictions

    fassbender Macbeth
    fiennes grand Budapest
    crowe noah
    carrel foxcatcher
    boseman get on up
    hardy the drop
    depardieu welcome to new york
    affleck gone girl
    renner kill the messenger
    downey jr the judge
    keaton birdman
    penn the gunman
    oconnell unbroken
    phoenix inherent vice
    mcconaughey interstellar
    pitt fury
    cooper untitled cameron crowe project
    hoffman most wanted man
    depp black mass
    foster armstrong
    hopkins solace
    gyllenhaal enemy
    bale knight cups
    farrell miss julie
    sandler the cobbler
    hanks hologram for the king
    clarke everest
    garfield 99 homes
    isaac a most violent year
    hardy krays biopic
    waltz zero theorem
    pacino manglehorn
    oconnell starred up

  • colton | July 1, 2014 2:11 PMReply

    You mean KGB not MGB for Child 44

  • colton | July 1, 2014 6:32 PM

    Oh, sorry. Thanks for the correction.

  • kpkwrtr | July 1, 2014 3:14 PM

    No, Colton, MGB is correct given the period in which the author set the story. Officially known as the Ministry For State Security, the MGB existed from sometime in the mid-1930's to the early 1950's when the organization was folded into the newly-formed KGB.

  • tiana | July 1, 2014 8:23 AMReply

    I think still alice(based on best selling novel by Lisa genova) directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer could screen at one of these festivals and starring julianne moore, Kristen stewart,kate Bosworth,hunter parrish and alec Baldwin.

  • Sanker from India | June 30, 2014 11:02 PMReply

    Sorry for the nitpicking. I absolutely love this list after the superherocentric articles of recent times. It's actually trainspotting screenwriter john hodge, not author. Trainspotting the book has Irvine welsh as it's author.
    I love you guys! Will be referring to this list many times over the next few months!!

  • Jess | July 1, 2014 10:22 AM

    You're right, of course Sanker. We've corrected the slip in the text, and thanks!

  • BEF | June 30, 2014 8:55 PMReply

    Great list! I hope Michael Mann's film stays as "Black Hat" or anything else ... "Cyber" is so bad, the only ones that could be potentially worse would be "The Internet" or "World Wide Web"

  • ger heard ken L E | July 2, 2014 5:26 AM

    hemsworth in a techno thriller ??????

    PARANOiA was a disaster

  • mark | June 30, 2014 6:55 PMReply

    I really hope Inherent Vice is better than The Master. That was just a bad film. I heard mixed things about the script on deadline

  • Franka | June 30, 2014 6:43 PMReply

    Great list. So many potential films coming soon!

  • DG | June 30, 2014 4:41 PMReply

    Also I wonder if Inherent Vice will play surprise screenings before Venice the way that The Master did in 2011. I think it plaed after midnight shows of The Shining?

  • DG | June 30, 2014 4:38 PMReply

    Wtf is that pic next to the Inherent Vice synopsis?

  • brad pitt 54321 | July 2, 2014 5:28 AM

    online so far there are on set pics of

    joaquin phoenix

    pregnant nurse maya rudolph

    and an actor that looks so like river phoenix it is scary

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