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‘Stain,’ ‘Guerin’ go to Toronto

Fest will also unspool 'Lost,' 'Love'

MONTREAL — Robert Benton’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s “The Human Stain,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, and Joel Schumacher’s Irish-set thriller “Veronica Guerin,” toplining Cate Blanchett, will have their North American preems at next month’s Toronto Intl. Film Festival.

The fest also announced Thursday that writer-helmer Richard Curtis will bring his latest pic, “Love Actually,” to the fest as a work in progress. The film stars Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson and Colin Firth.

Sofia Coppola’s second feature, “Lost in Translation,” with Bill Murray, will have its Canadian premiere at the festival, which runs Sept. 4 to 13.

Shot in Montreal

Shot in Montreal last year, “Human Stain” stars Hopkins, Kidman, Gary Sinise and Ed Harris and is based on the novel by Roth about a professor who has a scandalous affair.

Pic is produced by Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi, and is a Lakeshore Entertainment/Stone Village production. Miramax Films is distributing in the U.S.

Based on a true story, “Veronica Guerin” stars Blanchett as an Irish journalist who risked everything in search of the truth about the druglords who control Dublin.

The Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films production is produced by Bruckheimer, with a script by Carol Doyle and Mary Agnes Donoghue. Cast includes Gerard McSorley, Ciaran Hinds and Brenda Fricker.

Special presentations

The Toronto fest also unveiled five special presentations, including Curtis’ “Love Actually.” The romantic comedy is produced by Duncan Kenworthy and Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.

Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” tells the story of an actor (Murray) who comes to Tokyo to shoot whiskey ads and meets a philosophy grad from Yale (Scarlett Johansson) in town with her photographer husband (Giovanni Ribisi).

“21 Grams” is the English-language debut from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Amores Perros”). It’s about a grieving mother (Naomi Watts), a terminally ill professor (Sean Penn) and a spiritual ex-convict (Benicio Del Toro), who come together because of a freak accident.

Jim Jarmusch’s “Coffee and Cigarettes” is a feature that evolved from earlier shorts, and each sequence focuses on people sitting around, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and talking about everything from caffeine Popsicles to Abbott and Costello to Elvis conspiracy theories. Pic features Roberto Benigni, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, Iggy Pop and Blanchett.

“The Gospel of John,” which will have its North American premiere in Toronto, is helmer Philip Saville’s three-hour adaptation of the biblical text. Christopher Plummer narrates, Henry Ian Cusick plays Jesus, and pic is produced by controversial Canuck legit impresario Garth Drabinsky.

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