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Women Centric Films in Toronto International Film Festival 2013 Gala & Special Presentation Line Up

Women and Hollywood By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood July 25, 2013 at 11:15AM

After taking a look at the women directed films in the galas and special presentations, we also wanted to take a look at the women centric films that will be receiving lots of attention in Toronto. We are guessing that there will be big stars in attendance like Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.
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After taking a look at the women directed films in the galas and special presentations, we also wanted to take a look at the women centric films that will be receiving lots of attention in Toronto.  We are guessing that there will be big stars in attendance like Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts.  One thing to note is that there are 71 total galas and special presentations and only 18 of the films are about women. But there is no denying that there will be many intriguing films about women that will be on display in September.  

(All film descriptions courtesy of TIFF)

Galas:

August: Osage County - John Wells, USA (World Premiere)

August: Osage County tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. Based on Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning 2007 play of the same name. Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Sam Shepard and Chris Cooper.

The Lunchbox - Ritesh Batra, India/France/Germany (North American Premiere)

Middle class housewife Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. Unbeknownst to her, the special lunchbox she prepared is mistakenly delivered to miserable office worker Saajan, a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day's lunchbox which sparks a series of exchanged notes between Saajan and Ila. Evolving into an unexpected friendship between anonymous strangers, they become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both of their realities.

Special Presentations:

Belle - Amma Asante, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate bi-racial daughter of an aristocratic Royal Navy Admiral. Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet also prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Against the ridged boundaries of proper society, Belle finds both her true self and true romance — and influences her uncle to take a role in bringing an end to slavery. Starring Gugu Mbatha Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Tom Felton, James Norton, Matthew Goode and Emily Watson.

Blue Is the Warmest Color Adele: Chapters 1 & 2  - Abdellatif Kechiche, France (North American Premiere)

At 15, Adele doesn't question it: girls go out with boys. Her life is changed forever when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and finds herself. Starring Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.

Can a Song Save Your Life? - John Carney, (USA World Premiere)

Can a Song Save Your Life? finds Gretta (Keira Knightley) alone in New York City after being heartbroken by her musician boyfriend (Adam Levine). She finds laughter and rejuvenation with a down-on-his-luck record producer (Mark Ruffalo) who recognizes her musical talent and opens up an entire city of possibility for both of them.

Enough Said - Nicole Holofcener, USA (World Premiere)

Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced soon-to-be empty-nester wondering about her next act. Then she meets Marianne (Catherine Keener), the embodiment of her perfect self. Armed with a restored outlook on being middle-aged and single, Eva decides to take a chance on her new love interest Albert (James Gandolfini) — a sweet, funny and like-minded man. Things get complicated when Eva discovers that Albert is in fact the dreaded ex–husband of Marianne. This sharp insightful comedy follows Eva as she humorously tries to secretly juggle both relationships and wonders whether her new favourite friend's disastrous ex can be her cue for happiness. Also stars Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson and Tavi Gevinson.

For Those Who Can Tell No Tales - Jasmila Žbanić, Bosnia and Herzegovina (World Premiere)

Kym, an Australian tourist, decides to travel to Bosnia. Her guidebook leads her to Višegrad, a small town steeped in history, on the border of Bosnia and Serbia. After a night of insomnia in the 'romantic' Hotel Vilina Vlas, Kym discovers what happened there during the war. She can no longer be an ordinary tourist and her life will never be the same again.

Gloria - Sebastian Lelio, Chile/Spain (North American Premiere)

Gloria is 58 years old and still feels young. Making a party out of her loneliness, she fills her nights seeking love in ballrooms for singles. This fragile happiness changes the day she meets Rodolfo. Their intense passion — to which Gloria gives everything, as she feels it may well be her last — leaves her dancing between hope and despair. Gloria will have to pull herself together and find a new strength to realize that in the last act of her life, she could burn brighter than ever.

Half of a Yellow Sun - Biyi Bandele, Nigeria/United Kingdom (World Premiere)

An epic love story: Olanna and Kainene are glamorous twins, living a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria. The two women make very different choices of lovers, but rivalry and betrayal must be set aside as their lives are swept up in the turbulence of war.

Hateship Loveship - Liza Johnson, USA (World Premiere)

Johanna Parry moves to a new town to work for Mr. McCauley and his granddaughter, Sabitha. Sabitha and her friend trick Johanna into a one-way epistolary romance with Sabitha's father Ken. Johanna lights on fire, and commits a criminal act to get to her lover, who barely knows she exists. Starring Kristen Wiig, Guy Pearce, Christine Lahti, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sami Gayle.

Ida - Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland (World Premiere)

Poland, 1962. Anna is a novice, an orphan brought up by nuns in a convent. Before she takes her vows, she is determined to see Wanda, her only living relative. Wanda tells Anna that Anna is Jewish. Both women embark on a journey not only to discover their tragic family story, but who they really are and where they belong, questioning their religions and beliefs.

The Invisible Woman - Ralph Fiennes, United Kingdom (World Premiere)

Nelly (Felicity Jones), a happily-married mother and schoolteacher, is haunted by her past. Her memories, provoked by remorse and guilt, go back in time to follow the story of her relationship with Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes), with whom she discovered an exciting but fragile complicity. Dickens — famous, controlling and emotionally isolated within his success — falls for Nelly, who comes from a family of actors. The theatre is a vital arena for Dickens, a brilliant amateur actor and a man more emotionally coherent on the page and on stage than in life. As Nelly becomes Dickens' muse and the focus of his passion, for both of them secrecy is the price — and for Nelly a life of "invisibility". Also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, Joanna Scanlan, Perdita Weeks, Amanda Hale, Tom Burke, John Kavanagh and Michael Marcus.

Mary Queen of Scots - Thomas Imbach, France/Switzerland (North American Premiere)

A queen who lost three kingdoms. A wife who lost three husbands. A woman who lost her head.

Philomena - Stephen Frears, United Kingdom (North American Premiere)

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, this film focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock — something Philomena's Irish-Catholic community didn't have the highest opinion of — and given away for adoption in the United States. Following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn't allow for any sort of inquiry into her son's whereabouts. After starting a family years later in England and, for the most part, moving on with her life, Philomena meets Sixsmith (Steve Coogan), a BBC reporter with whom she decides to track down her long-lost son.

Tracks - John Curran, United Kingdom/Australia (North American Premiere)

Tracks is the true story of Robyn Davidson who trekked from Alice Springs in Central Australia through almost 2,000 miles of sprawling desert to the Indian Ocean, accompanied only by her loyal dog and four unpredictable camels. This epic and remarkable journey into Australia's last great frontier was captured by charismatic National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan. These challenging and emotional nine months in the desert marked a new beginning for Robyn that would change the rest of her life. Starring Mia Wasikowska and Adam Driver.

Violette - Martin Provost, France/Belgium (World Premiere)

Born out of wedlock early in the last century, Violette Leduc meets Simone de Beauvoir in postwar Saint-Germain-des-Près. An intense lifelong relationship develops between the two women authors, based on Violette's quest for freedom through writing and on Simone's conviction that she holds in her hands the destiny of an extraordinary writer.

We are the Best! (Vi är bäst!) - Lukas Moodysson, Sweden (North American Premiere)

Stockholm 1982. Bobo, Klara and Hedvig are three 13-year-old girls who roam the streets. Girls who are brave and tough and strong and weak and confused and weird. Girls who have to take care of themselves way too early. Girls who heat fish fingers in the toaster when mom is at the pub. Girls who start a punk band without any instruments, even though everybody says that punk is dead.

Young and Beautiful (Jeune & jolie)  - François Ozon, France/Belgium (North American Premiere)

A coming-of-age portrait of a 17-year-old French girl over four seasons and four songs — from her sexual awakening to her first time; from her exploration of love to her search for her identity.

This article is related to: Toronto Film Festival, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Mia Wasikowska, Judi Dench, Felicity Jones, Liza Johnson, Nicole Holofcener, Keira Knightley