By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com September 4, 2012 at 9:57AM
Synopsis: An English couple and their children on holiday in the Indian Ocean are torn apart by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and set out on desperate quests to find each other again.
What You Need To Know: "The Impossible" marks the long-awaited return of Juan Antonio Bayona, who made a strong debut with 2007 ghost story "The Orphanage," and this charged, emotional drama (which seems to include some impressive effects) looks like a fine comeback. Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts topline the film, along with three young British actors, which looks to pack an emotional wallop among scenes of horrific devastation. Already considered an Oscar contender, TIFF could mark the starting journey for this film's award season run.
When? Sunday, September 9th. Hits theaters on December 21st.
Synopsis: A frustrated screenwriter finds himself in trouble when two of his friends kidnap a dog belonging to a psychotic mobster
What You Need To Know: Martin McDonagh gives you seven reasons to be very, very excited for his follow-up to "In Bruges": Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Tom Waits, Abbie Cornish, Olga Kurylenko and Woody Harrelson. If that alone doesn't pulse on your radar, we don't know what else to tell you. McDonagh has suggested there may be some connective tissue between "In Bruges," whether it has the same soulful quality that made that film so special remains to be seen, but it looks like an awful lot of fun.
When? Friday, September 7th. Opens in theaters on October 12th.
Synopsis: A high school freshman struggles to get over the suicide of his best friend.
What You Need To Know: If you're going to make an adaptation of one of the most beloved cult novels of the last fifteen years or so, it's always going to reassure fans to know that the project has the backing of the original author. But Stephen Chblosky doesn't just approve of the adaptation of his bildungsroman "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," he's written and directed it as well, thanks to the backing of John Malkovich's Mr. Mudd company (who were also behind "Juno"). And he's managed to attract a solid cast too, with Logan Lerman taking the central role, Emma Watson looking to break out beyond Hermione as female lead Sam, and Ezra Miller, Mae Whitman, Kate Walsh, Paul Rudd, Nina Dobrev and Johnny Simmons also involved. Of course, being an author doesn't help you be a filmmaker, but Chlobsky's got some experience on screen, adapting "Rent" for Chris Columbus and creating and producing the cult post-apocalyptic TV show "Jericho." Plus the trailer was pretty promising, and we've heard some good advance buzz already (Lerman and Miller are meant to be especially good). If nothing else, the soundtrack, which features New Order, The Smiths, Sonic Youth and David Bowie, is pretty kick-ass.
When? Saturday, September 8th. The film opens on September 21st.
Synopsis: A motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) considers committing a crime in order to provide for his ex-girlfriend (Eva Mendes) and their child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a rookie cop (Bradley Cooper).
What You Need To Know: “Brother Tied” put filmmaker Derek Cianfrance square on the indie map in 1998, but another feature would not coalesce for some time (instead he made documentaries). That all changed in 2010 with Cianfrance’s re-breakthrough film, “Blue Valentine,” and ‘Pines’ will see him reunited with that picture’s star, Ryan Gosling. Called a “generational crime flick about fathers and sons” by the director, the film also stars Ray Liotta, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, and up-and-coming Aussie actor (and star of another generational crime film in “Animal Kingdom”) Ben Mendelsohn, to name a few. The director’s thrown some lofty comparisons around (“The Deer Hunter,” “The Godfather”), but hopefully these are simply tone comparisons rather than a suddenly inflated ego talking. Still being kept very close to the chest (still only one image has been released).
When? Friday September 7th. The film doesn't have a distributor yet.
Synopsis: “The Kids Are All Right” writer Stuart Blumberg makes his directorial debut in a film that will follow three people who become unlikely friends while undergoing a 12-step treatment for sex addiction.
What You Need To Know: For all the star power in this film -- Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Patrick Fugit, Carol Kane and Alecia Moore (aka Pink) -- this one is flying remarkably under the radar at the moment. But TIFF audiences can be very generous, and if they like what they see, this one could easily become a surprise hot ticket. Blumberg has already shown he can confidently handle ambitious subject matter both dramatically and comedically, and we'll be very interested to see how he weaves these characters and storylines here.
When: Saturday, September 8th. The film is seeking U.S. distribution.
Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): Nick Cassavetes' "Yellow," "Tabu," Argentinean Viggo Mortensen thriller "Everybody Has A Plan," Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing," Bahman Ghobadi's "Rhino Season," Francois Ozon's "In The House," the Eli Roth-starring earthquake thriller "Aftershock," Indonesian death squad doc "The Act Of Killing," Costa-Gavras' "Capital," Ken Burns' "Central Park Five," Robert Redford's "The Company You Keep," Peter Webber's "Emperor," David Ayer's "End of Watch," Jeff Buckley biopic "Greetings From Tim Buckley," Cate Shortland's "Lore," Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer "A Late Quartet," Dustin Hoffman's "Quartet," Hugh Laurie vehicle "Mr. Pip," Julian Assange biopic "Underground," ensemble indies "What Maisie Knew" and "Writers," "Song For Marion," Laurent Cantet's "Foxfire" and many, many more.....