Film News: First Wave Of TIFF Films Announced


The first announcement from the prestigious Toronto Film Festival has just dropped, and there are some huge names and hotly-anticipated films on the list. The festival is one of the largest in terms of attendance, attracting half a million people each year, and its publicly-voted People’s Choice Award is often an early signifier for what will win the Academy Award for Best Film. By the looks of things, 2019’s incarnation is set to be the biggest yet.

The lineup, still incomplete, is already jam-packed. A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, directed by Marielle Heller, will star Tom Hanks as TV personality Fred Rogers. Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska will star in family drama Blackbird. The extremely hyped The Goldfinch will screen at the festival, treating audiences to John Crowley’s take on Donna Tart’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about art theft. Furthermore, the Scarlett Johannson and Adam Driver-starring Marriage Story, directed by Noah Baumbach, will get its audience on Canadian soil. One of the films causing the most excitement seems to be Todd Phillip’s Joker, which will see Joaquin Phoenix  take on the role of the iconic villain.

Some films that are also standing out are The Two Popes, where Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce will star as Pope Benedict  and Pope Francis in a film directed by the Oscar-nominated Fernando Meirelles; Adam Driver will star as an investigator probing CIA torture tactics in The Report; Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, starring Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson and Alfie Allen, will also screen, in a intriguing-if-bizarre plot where Adolf Hitler becomes an imaginary best friend. Steven Sonderbergh’s The Laundromat will star Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas navigating financial crime; audiences will be treated to the much-awaited adaptation of Caitlin Moran’s How To Build A Girl, staring Beanie Feldstein; James Mangold directs Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford vs Ferrari, a high-speed biographical drama about American automotive engineers. Directors also screening their latest works include Pablo Larraín and Drake Doremus.

The biopics are also back with a vengeance. Rosamund Pike will star as Marie Curie in biopic Radioactive, whilst Renée Zellweger will portray the legendary Judy Garland in Rupert Goold’s Judy. Also, rising star Cynthia Erivo will star in Kasi Lemmons’ inspiring biopic about renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Harriet. We’re not sure if this counts as a biopic, but in Honey Boy Shia LaBeouf will be playing… himself.

Critically acclaimed films that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, including The Lighthouse by Robert Eggers, Portrait of A Lady On Fire by Céline Sciamma, Parasite by Bong Joon-ho, Pain and Glory by Pedro Almodóvar and Frankie by Ira Sachs, will also make an appearance.

The full, current list:

Gala presentations

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood dir. Marielle Heller
Western Stars dir. Bruce Springsteen, Thom Zimmy
True History of the Kelly Gang dir. Justin Kurzel
The Song of Names dir. François Girard
The Sky Is Pink dir. Shonali Bose
The Goldfinch dir. John Crowley
Radioactive dir. Marjane Satrapi
Ordinary Love dir. Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band dir. by Daniel Roher
Just Mercy dir. Destin Daniel Cretton
Joker dir. Todd Phillips
Hustlers dir. Lorene Scafaria
Harriet dir. Kasi Lemmons
Ford v Ferrari dir. James Mangold
Clemency dir. Chinonye Chukwu
Blackbird dir. Roger Michell
American Woman dir. Semi Chellas
Abominable dir. Jill Culton

Special Presentations

A Herdade dir. Tiago Guedes
Bad Education dir. Cory Finley
Coming Home Again dir. Wayne Wang
Dolemite Is My Name dir. Craig Brewer
Ema dir. Pablo Larraín
Endings, Beginnings dir. Drake Doremus
Frankie dir. Ira Sachs
Greed dir. Michael Winterbottom
Guest of Honour dir. Atom Egoyan
Heroic Losers dir. Sebastian Borensztein
Honey Boy dir. Alma Har’el
Hope Gap dir. William Nicholson
How to Build a Girl dir. Coky Giedroyc
I Am Woman dir. Unjoo Moon
Jojo Rabbit dir. Taika Waititi
Judy dir. Rupert Goold
Knives Out dir. Rian Johnson
La Belle Époque dir. Nicolas Bedos
Marriage Story dir. Noah Baumbach
Military Wives dir. Peter Cattaneo
Motherless Brooklyn dir. Edward Norton
No.7 Cherry Lane dir. Yonfan
Pain and Glory dir. Pedro Almodóvar
Parasite dir. Bong Joon-ho
Pelican Blood dir. Katrin Gebbe
Portrait of a Lady on Fire dir. Céline Sciamma
Saturday Fiction dir. Lou Ye
The Friend dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite
The Laundromat dir. Steven Soderbergh
The Lighthouse dir. Robert Eggers
The Other Lamb dir. Malgorzata Szumowska
The Painted Bird dir. Václav Marhoul
The Personal History of David Copperfield dir. Armando Iannucci
The Report dir. Scott Z. Burns
The Two Popes dir. Fernando Meirelles
Uncut Gems dir. Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie
Weathering With You dir. Makoto Shinkai
While at War dir. Alejandro Amenábar

Words by Steph Green


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