Toronto Film Festival: Which of these movies will become Oscar contenders?

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts to open Toronto festival with Demolition.

This year’s Venice Film Festival will include Kristen Stewart in a sci-fi romance, Idris Elba at war and a thriller starring Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson, as well as potentially awards-worthy performances from Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp and Jake Gyllenhaal.The star of Looking For Grace, Odessa Young, also stars in Simon Stone’s drama, The Daughter, which. will screen at the coming Venice and Toronto Film Festivals.The blockbuster summer movie season is still going strong, but the Toronto International Film Festival provided a peek Tuesday at some of the movies and performances that could help set the tone for the upcoming awards season.

The drama about grief, from Wild director Jean-Marc Vallee, will receive a gala premiere at Roy Thomson Hall on September 10 at the start of the star-studded festival. Organizers announced a 21-strong competition lineup Wednesday for the festival, which takes over the Italian maritime city’s Lido island for 11 days in September.

One of the fall’s most hyped films, Ridley Scott’s space epic ”The Martian,” starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, will have its world premiere at the festival in advance of its Oct. 2 release. It includes Drake Doremus’ futuristic “Equals,” with Stewart and Nicholas Hoult; Luca Guadagnino’s “A Bigger Splash,” with Swinton, Johnson and Ralph Fiennes; and Cary Fukunaga’s African child-soldier story “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Elba. It is only the second Australian film to be selected for the official competition at Venice in the past decade — the other being John Curran’s Tracks in 2013 — and is one of only four to be selected in competition for the prestigious Golden Lion in the past two decades. Other premieres in the biopic heavy schedule include ”The Program,” Stephen Frears’ film on Lance Armstrong starring Ben Foster as the disgraced athlete; Jay Roach’s ”Trumbo,” with Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted screenwriter; and Peter Sollett’s fact-based, marriage rights drama ”Freeheld,” with last year’s best actress winner Julianne Moore and Ellen Page. ”Demolition,” from ”Dallas Buyers Club” director Jean-Marc Vallu00e9e, is not set for release until April and will not be among award contenders later this year.

Brooks, who directed Road To Nhill and Japanese Story, wrote and directed the film about a runaway teen (played by Young) followed to Western Australia’s wheat belt by her parents (Roxburgh and Radha Mitchell). Also among the contenders: “Rabin, The Last Day,” Amos Gitai’s depiction of the 1995 assassination of Israeli leader Yitzakh Rabin; South African director Oliver Hermanus’ crime drama “The Endless River”; Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski’s “11 Minutes,” which follows several characters over the titular timeframe; and Argentine director Pablo Trapero’s family crime drama “The Clan.” There are also new films from Canada’s Atom Egoyan (“Remember,” a Nazi-hunting thriller starring Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau), Russia’s Aleksandr Sokurov (the Paris-set “Francofonia”) and Italy’s Marco Bellocchio (vampire-themed “Blood of My Blood”). Out-of-competition entries — which are not in the running for festival prizes but could be Academy Awards contenders — include Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass,” starring Depp as Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, and Thomas McCarthy’s “Spotlight,” which features Michael Keaton as the editor of a Boston Globe team investigating clerical sex abuse.

Breaking Bad actor Bryan Cranston will likely walk the red carpet at the premiere of Trumbo, about the blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, while Nicolas Hytner will bring The Lady In The Van starring Downton Abbey dowager Dame Maggie Smith to Canada for the 40th year of the film festival. Piers Handling, chief executive and director of TIFF, said: “We are celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2015 and this first round of films offers a taste of the incredible line-up at this year’s festival.

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