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Toronto Fest Adds to Sprawling Program: Highlights

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 12, 2014 at 4:14PM

The Toronto International Film Festival is adding scads of movies to its sprawling 11-day program of 300-plus selections which launches September 4 with the world premiere of David Dobkin’s “The Judge," starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. It's a lot to absorb: we list the individual Wavelengths, Cinematheque and director Cameron Bailey's Spotlight on Seoul programs below; Indiewire breaks down the full seven-part program here; and we highlight a few titles that pop out.
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Mia Wasikowska as 'Madame Bovary'
Mia Wasikowska as 'Madame Bovary'
The Toronto International Film Festival is adding scads of movies to its sprawling 11-day program of 300-plus selections which launches September 4 with the world premiere of David Dobkin’s “The Judge," starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Robert Duvall. It's a lot to absorb: we list the individual Wavelengths, Cinematheque, Gala adds and TIFF director Cameron Bailey's Spotlight on Seoul programs below; Indiewire breaks down the full seven-part program here; and we highlight a few titles that pop out:


“Beyond the Lights” (world premiere) writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood ("Love and Basketball") ditched studio controls to go indie in order to hang onto her casting of British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw as a rising musician who has a relationship with a policeman. Mbatha-Raw subsequently starred in Fox Searchlight's summer hit "Belle" ($10.6 million domestic). Relativity Media is releasing November 14.

“Boychoir" (world premiere), from musically-inclined Montreal director Francois Girard ("The Red Violin"), stars Dustin Hoffman as a demanding teacher who drills his musical prodigy (comparisons will be made to Sundance sensation “Whiplash"). 

“The Cobbler” (world premiere) from writer-director Tom McCarthy ("Win Win," "The Visitor") is an Israel-funded acquisition title with a strong ensemble cast that could mark a comeback of sorts for Adam Sandler. He goes indie as a shoe repairman who figures out that he can actually step into his customers' shoes. Sandler is also seeking to escape from actors' jail via a second TIFF title, Jason Reitman's already-announced "Men, Women & Children."

'Beyond the Lights'
'Beyond the Lights'

"The Forger" (world premiere), directed by British TV helmer Philip Martin ("Prime Suspect 7") is about a thief (John Travolta) who gets out of prison and works for his father (Christopher Plummer) in order to be with his son. Foreign-financed acquisition title. 

"Jauja" broke out at Cannes; directed by Argentinian Lisandro Alonso and financed by multiple territories, the gorgeous road movie stars fluent Spanish-speaker Viggo Mortensen as a 19th century Danish general chasing his runaway daughter into the wilds of Patagonia; it opens in October in Argentina but is still available in North America. 

"Madame Bovary" (world premiere) is an indie directed by Sophie Barthes ("Cold Souls"), stars Mia Wasikowska (who shined as Jane Eyre) as one of literature and cinema's most infamous adulterers. Was Bovary a feminist? It's available for North America.

"Maggie"
 marks an unusual indie horror turn for Arnold Schwarzenegger, who sticks by his daughter (Abigail Breslin) even after she turns into a zombie. (Shades of "Life After Beth"?) Many rights are available to this Henry Hobson film. 


Sergei Loznitsa's Kiev Doc 'Maidan'
Sergei Loznitsa's Kiev Doc 'Maidan'
"Maidan," a must-see front lines documentary from veteran Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa ("In the Fog"), made a splash at Cannes. "Maidan," referring to the central square in Kiev where thousands of ordinary Ukraine citizens encamped to protest the government, deploys the camera as an impersonal, trustworthy and objective observer, Loznitsa locks it down on a tripod for long static stretches in various locations--he chooses them as events unfold, sometimes in order to run to safe, higher ground--and edits the results. We see the logistics of this initially peaceful protest operation as it escalates into a violent revolution with multiple casualties on both sides. You've never seen a movie like this. 


"Welcome to Me" (world premiere), from theater writer-director Shira Piven (older sister of Jeremy and wife of the film's producer Adam McKay) is a comedy drama starring Kristen Wiig as a woman with borderline personality disorder who wins millions in the lottery and throws away her meds. Tim Robbins co-stars. North American rights are for sale.

Full programs below:

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto, Festivals, Festivals


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