Music docs on U2 and Pearl Jam and the latest offerings from David Cronenberg, Alexander Payne and Francis Ford Coppola are among titles set for the Toronto Film Festival, which will announce still more premieres next week.
“An Inconvenient Truth” helmer Davis Guggenheim’s U2 docu “From the Sky Down” opens the fest Sept. 8, the first time in 36 years that a doc opens Toronto.
Fest, which runs Sept. 8-18, unveiled 11 Gala and 43 Special Presentation titles Tuesday morning, including the Gala world preems of Luc Besson’s based-on-a-true-story “The Lady,” starring Michelle Yeoh as pro-democracy
activist Aung San Suu Kyi and David Thewlis as writer Michael Aris; Bennett Miller’s baseball underdog drama “Moneyball” (Sony), starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill; and Bruce Beresford’s multigenerational family comedy “Peace, Love and Misunderstanding,” starring Jane Fonda and rising stars Chace Crawford and Elizabeth Olsen.
Popular on Variety
World preeming as Galas are Toronto thesp-turned-director Sarah Polley’s relationship comedy “Take This Waltz” (Mongrel Media in Canada), starring Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams; Jim Field Smith’s Capraesque comedy “Butter,” starring Jennifer Garner as a champion butter carver (TWC); Rodrigo Garcia’s Irish period drama “Albert Nobbs” (Roadside/Liddell); and Remi Bezancon’s pregnancy tragicomedy “A Happy Event.”
Venice-bound pics receiving Gala North American preems include George Clooney-helmed presidential primary suspenser “The Ides of March” (Sony); Toronto helmer Cronenberg’s Freud-vs.-Jung psychological thriller “A Dangerous Method” (Sony Pictures Classics); and Madonna’s romance-driven “W.E.” (TWC).
It’s the second time in two years that Clooney has two pics in the fest, as he also stars in Payne’s Hawaii-set family drama “The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight), which will world preem in Special Presentations, as will Jonathan Levine’s cancer comedy “50/50” (Summit); Jay and Mark Duplass’ meaning-of-life comic odyssey “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” (Paramount); and Jennifer Westfeldt’s ensemble comedy “Friends With Kids,” starring Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm.
The program also includes world preems of Roland Emmerich’s Shakespearean-era thriller “Anonymous” (Sony), Derick Martini’s coming-of-age road pic “Hick” and Cameron Crowe’s “Pearl Jam Twenty,” a rare-footage portrait of the Seattle band.
Other U.S. pics world preeming in Toronto include Francis Ford Coppola’s small-town murder mystery “Twixt”; Marc Forster’s “Machine Gun Preacher,” starring Gerard Butler as a reformed criminal who rescues troubled kids (Relativity); Julian Farino’s neighborhood comedy “The Oranges,” starring Hugh Laurie; Oren Moverman’s “Rampart,” starring Woody Harrelson as an LAPD cop facing work and family scandals; and Jamie Linden’s reunion-set friendship saga “Ten Year.”
International titles world premiering in Special Presentations include Pawel Pawlikowski’s Paris-set intrigue “Woman in the Fifth” (ATO), starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas; “Americano,” the directorial debut of Mathieu Demy, who also stars alongside Salma Hayek; Wang Xiaoshuai’s murder-tinged child-driven mystery “11 Flowers”; and Malgorzata Szumowska’s “Elles,” starring Juliette Binoche as a journo investigating university student prostitution.
Program also includes world preems of “Trishna,” Michael Winterbottom’s modern India-set adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”; Huh Jong-ho’s “Countdown,” starring Korean actress Jeon Do-yeon; Fernando Meirelles’ around-the-world romance “360,” starring Jude Law and Rachel Weisz; Lasse Hallstrom’s self-discovery romance “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” starring Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt; Cedric Kahn’s immigrant family drama “A Better Life”; Jonathan Teplitzky’s father-son story “Burning Man”; Terence Davies’ 1950s London-set romance “The Deep Blue Sea”; and Daniel Nettheim’s Tasmania-set psychological drama “The Hunter.”
The program’s international preems include Drake Doremus’ first-love drama “Like Crazy” (Paramount), starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones; Nadine Labaki’s woman-powered war-torn drama “Where Do We Go Now?”; and Fred Schepisi’s “The Eye of the Storm.”
William Friedkin’s crime thriller “Killer Joe” will receive its North American preem in Special Presentations, as will Ralph Fiennes’ “Coriolanus” (TWC), Todd Solondz’s “Dark Horse,” Lars von Trier’s “Melancholia” (Magnolia), Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In” (Sony Pictures Classics), Nanni Moretti’s “Habemus Papam” (Sundance Selects), Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s “Chicken With Plums,” Morten Tyldum’s “Headhunters” and Ann Hui’s “A Simple Life.”
Festival faves receiving a Canadian preem in Toronto include Sean Durkin’s psychological thriller “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (Fox Searchlight) and Lynne Ramsay’s parent-child drama “We Need to Talk About Kevin” (Oscilloscope). Other Canadian preems include Nicolas Winding Refn’s “Drive” (FilmDistrict), Jeff Nichols’ “Take Shelter” (Sony Pictures Classics) and Paddy Considine’s “Tyrannosaur” (Strand). Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” (TWC) will also get a North American preem.
2011 TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL:
- ” Albert Nobbs” – (Ireland, World Premiere) Directed by Rodrigo Garcia. A witty Irish-set period drama about the lives of staff at Dublin?s most luxurious hotel: the illegitimate child of a maid, a beautiful couple?s impossible love, and Albert…a woman who pretends to be a man to survive. Stars Glenn Close.
- “Butter” – (USA, World Premiere) Directed by Jim Field. Set in the highly competitive world of championship butter carving, Butter blends social commentary, outrageous comedy and heartfelt drama in telling the story of the ambitious Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the self-anointed First Lady of Butter Carving.
- “From the Sky Down” – (World Premiere, Documentary) Twenty years after the release of U2’s Achtung Baby (1991), Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman, An Inconvenient Truth, It Might Get Loud) charts this groundbreaking album with new interviews, stories and unseen footage from Berlin and Dublin.
- “A Happy Event” – (France, World Premiere) Directed by Rémi Bezancon. A Happy Event breaks the taboo of pregnancy through the tragicomic diary of a young woman who becomes a mother. Stars Louise Bourgoin.
- “The Ides of March” – (USA, North American Premiere) Directed by George Clooney. Pic takes place during the frantic last days before a heavily contested Ohio presidential primary, when an up-and- coming campaign press secretary finds himself involved in a political scandal that threatens to upend his candidate’s shot at the presidency. Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney and Evan Rachel Wood.
- “The Lady” – (France/United Kingdom World Premiere) Directed by Luc Besson. The true story of political activist Aung San Suu Kyi and her husband, Michael Aris. Starring Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis.
- “Moneyball” – (USA, World Premiere) Directed by Bennett Miller. Based on a true story, Moneyball tells the story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s and the guy who assembles the team, who has an epiphany: all of baseball’s conventional wisdom is wrong. Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright.
- “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding” – Directed by Bruce Beresford, (USA, World Premiere) A comedy about an uptight New York City lawyer who takes her two spirited teenagers to her hippie mother’s farmhouse in the countryside for a family vacation. Starring Chace Crawford, Catherine Keener, and Jane Fonda.
- “Take this Waltz” – (Canada, World Premiere) Directed by Sarah Polley. Swelteringly hot, bright and colourful like a bowl of fruit, Take this Waltz leads us laughing through the familiar, but uncharted question of what long-term relationships do to love, sex, and our images of ourselves. Starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen
and Luke Kirby.
- “W.E.” – (United Kingdom North American Premiere) Directed by Madonna.A romantic exploration of the mysterious connection across decades between two women confronting the consequences of desire. Starring Abbie Cornish, Andrea Riseborough, James D?Arcy
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds, namely: who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare? Starring David Thewlis and Vanessa Redgrave.
The newly elected Pope suffers a panic attack just as he is due to appear on St Peter?s balcony to greet the faithful, who have been patiently awaiting the conclave’s decision.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home stars Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon. Story of one man searching for the meaning of life while running to the store to buy wood glue. Starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon.
ld Premiere) Directed by Julian Farino.
Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After twelve years,he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. Stars Antonio Banderas.
A suspenseful and psychologically gripping exploration into a parent dealing with her child doing the unthinkable. Starring Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly.