By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 22, 2014 at 10:46AM
Update 07/25: Robert Downey Jr. has announced on Facebook that "The Judge" will be the Opening Night Gala at TIFF.
So, the question was whether or not the Toronto International Film Festival's new rules about premieres—telling distributors that any movie playing the festival in the first four days couldn't screen anywhere else (sorry Telluride)—would hurt their ability to curate an attractive lineup. Well, put those fears aside as the fest has unveiled a pretty solid first wave of titles. So what's coming? Where do we start?
Right at the top of the list of awards contender "The Imitation Game" starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Noah Baumbach's anticipated "While We're Young," "Nightcrawler" with Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children," the Tom Hardy starrer "The Drop," a Reese Witherspoon double bill with "Wild" and "The Good Lie," Susanne Bier's "A Second Chance" and many more.
Anyway, check out the full list of titles below. TIFF runs from September 4th to 14th.
TORONTO — Piers Handling, CEO and Director of TIFF, and Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, announced the first round of titles premiering in the Galas and Special Presentations programmes of the 39th Toronto International Film Festival®.
Of the 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations announced, this initial lineup includes 37 world premieres from directors including Noah Baumbach, Susanne Bier, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, David Dobkin, Philippe Falardeau, Mia Hansen-Løve, Ning Hao, François Ozon, Christian Petzold, Lone Scherfig and Chris Rock.
“Toronto can anticipate another remarkable lineup of films,” said Handling. “Cinema’s collective and transformative experience lives at the heart of our Festival — a sentiment that inspires the global dialogue rippling throughout the selections revealed today.”
“We can't wait to present the new films from some of cinema's brightest talents,” said Bailey. “This year we'll welcome filmmakers from France, Germany, China, the UK, the US and more to red carpets in Toronto.”
The 39th Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 4 to 14, 2014.
Black and White Mike Binder, USA, World Premiere
Black and White is the story of a widowed grandfather who is left to raise his bi-racial granddaughter. When the little girl’s paternal grandmother seeks custody, a bitter legal battle ensues that forces the uneasy family members to have an honest conversation about life, death, anger and America’s racial divide. Starring Academy Award-winners Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, as well as Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Ehle, Gillian Jacobs, Bill Burr, Andre Holland and Jillian Estell.
The Equalizer Antoine Fuqua, USA, World Premiere
In this big-screen adaptation of the cult ‘80s TV show, McCall believes he has put his past behind him and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when he meets Teri, a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by –— he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to extract vengeance upon anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo.
Foxcatcher Bennett Miller, USA, Canadian Premiere
Based on true events, this film tells the dark and fascinating story of the unlikely and ultimately tragic relationship between an eccentric multi-millionaire and two champion wrestlers. Starring Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave, Mark Ruffalo and Sienna Miller.
Haemoo Shim Sung-bo, South Korea, International Premiere
The ragtag crew of a fishing boat takes on a dangerous commission to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants from China to Korea, in this tense high-seas adventure co-scripted by South Korean genre-movie guru Bong Joon-ho. Starring Kim Yoon-seok and Park Yoo- chun.
The Judge David Dobkin, USA, World Premiere
Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth, and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.
Closing Night Film.
A Little Chaos Alan Rickman, United Kingdom, World Premiere
A landscape gardener with a taste for the unconventional is invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles. As she battles with the weather, the perilous rivalries at the court of Louis XIV and her own private demons, she finds herself drawn closer to the formality and enigma of the architect who hired her. Starring Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Alan Rickman and Matthias Schoenaerts.
Maps to the Stars David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, North American Premiere
David Cronenberg forges both a wicked social satire and a very human ghost story from today's celebrity-obsessed culture. Starring Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, Olivia Williams, Sarah Gadon, John Cusack and Robert Pattinson.
The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie) FranÁois Ozon, France, World Premiere
When her best friend Lea dies, Claire falls into a deep depression. However, after making a surprising discovery about her late friend's husband, she's given a new lease on life. Starring Romain Duris, AnaÔs Demoustier and RaphaÎl Personnaz.
Pawn Sacrifice Ed Zwick, USA, World Premiere
In this remarkable true story set in the height of the Cold War, chess legend Bobby Fischer is locked in a gripping championship clash with the Soviets as he struggles against his own psychological demons while the whole world anxiously awaits the outcome. Starring Tobey Maguire, Peter Sarsgaard and Liev Schreiber.
The Riot Club Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom, World Premiere
A privileged young man is inducted into the exclusive, debaucherous company of Oxford's elite "Riot Club," in this scathing dissection of the British class system. Based on the hit play Posh, the film stars Natalie Dormer, Max Irons, Sam Clafin, Jessica Brown Findlay and Douglas Booth.
Samba Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France, World Premiere
Samba migrated to France 10 years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives - Samba's willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track - until fate draws them together. Balancing light-hearted moments with heavier emotion, Samba is a story about two strangers on a new path to happiness. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Omar Sy and Tamar Rahim.
This is Where I Leave You Shawn Levy, USA, World Premiere
Shawn Levy's dramatic comedy follows four adult siblings who return home after their father's death to spend a week with their over- sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and frayed relationships among those who know and love them best, they reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways. Starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll and Kathryn Hahn.
Wild Jean-Marc VallÈe, USA, International Premiere
After years of reckless behaviour, a heroin addiction and the destruction of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed makes a rash decision. Haunted by memories of her mother Bobbi and with absolutely no experience, she sets out to hike more than a thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own. Wild powerfully reveals Cheryl's terrors and pleasures as she forges ahead on a journey that maddens, strengthens and ultimately heals her. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann and Kevin Rankin.
99 Homes Ramin Bahrani, USA, Canadian Premiere
After his family is evicted from their home, proud and desperate construction worker Dennis Nash tries to win his home back by striking a deal with the devil and working for Rick Carver, the corrupt real estate broker who evicted him. Starring Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern and Michael Shannon.
American Heist Sarik Andreasyan, USA, World Premiere
Two brothers with troubled pasts become embroiled in a high-stakes bank robbery, in this indie action thriller. Starring Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster and Akon.