I’m going to Toronto, and I couldn’t be more excited! A friend and I are sightseeing in Montreal and then heading to Toronto of the first four days of TIFF. I have never been there so this should be a great experience. I already got our ticket package and booked my flight. Do we have a place to stay yet? Nope, but we will. It’ll be my third film festival of 2012 (check out some coverage of these festivals here). Except some reviews, pictures, and other info to come your way during and directly following my time there.
This week, the first crop of movies were announced. I have to say that I’m so impressed with the line-up. There are so many great ones I’ve been looking forward to that I may have to get more tickets. I think I picked a great year to go. Here are my top picks from the ones already announced:
Directed by Ben Affleck
Synopsis: Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck directs and stars in this based-on-fact thriller about a CIA “exfiltration” expert who concocts an outlandish plan to get six stranded Americans out of Tehran after the 1979 invasion of the American embassy — by having them masquerade as a Hollywood film crew. Why I want to see it: I am more impressed with Ben Affleck, the director (The Town was especially great) so I’m really excited about Affleck’s third time behind the camera. The movie boosts a great supporting cast (Chris Messina! John Goodman! Kerry Bishe! Tate Donovan!), an very interesting true story, and the potential to be a black comedy, drama, and political film all in one. Check out the trailer and another movie still from the film here.
The Company You Keep
Directed by Robert Redford
Synopsis: Robert Redford directs and stars in this gripping political thriller about a young journalist (Shia LaBeouf) who stumbles upon the story of his career when he uncovers the identity of a wanted ex-radical activist (Redford) who has been underground for five decades. Why I want to see this: Honestly, I’m just hoping to see a great performance from Shia as I think he’s really great when he really takes hold of great indie roles. Also, here’s hoping that Anna Kendrick does not annoy me as she has been lately. Recently, I just posted another picture from the film; check it out here.
Directed byRobert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman
Synopsis: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening and Matt Dillon headline this hilarious comedy about a washed-up playwright who, after faking her own suicide as a ploy to get her ex-boyfriend’s attention, winds up remanded to the custody of her wackily dysfunctional family. Why I want to see this: Well, just like with alot of people, Kristen Wiig has become my current favorite female comedian-actress. Apparently 2012 has become the year to explore older woman-younger man relationships (see Hello, I Must Be Going) so I’m going with the trend. Okay, yeah, and I also and I want to see Darren Criss as I think he is adorable. I have high hopes for this one so I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Looper (Opening Night Selection)
Directed and written by Rian Johnson
Synopsis: A mob hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is assigned to kill his own future self (Bruce Willis) in this mind-bending futuristic thriller. Why I want to see this: I am so itching to see this isn’t not funny. To know me is to know that I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It bodes well for the quality of the film that it was choosen for opening night. I have been continuously covering covering this film (trailer, photos) in anticipation of the release so read more on my thoughts there.
The Place Beyond the Pines
Directed byDerek Cianfrance
Synopsis: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes star in this multi-generational crime drama from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), about a motorcycle stunt rider whose moonlighting a bank robber brings him into conflict with an ambitious young cop. Why I want to see it: Ryan Gosling can’t go wrong in my eyes. When in doubt, always go with one of his films.
To The Wonder
Directed byTerrance Malick
Synopsis: Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck and Javier Bardem star in the new film from Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life), about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage to a European woman falls apart. Why I want to see it: Uhh, why do I want to see it? Especially when I hated The Tree of Life, the only Malick film I’ve ever seen? Well, it all boils down to the fact that he peaks my curiousity. You never know what weird, off the wall thing he’s going to do next. It may also be because all his films are so shrouded in mystery, that you just have to see what he comes up with. Read more about his upcoming film projects he’re doing simultaneously here.
Directed bySergio Castellitto
Synopsis: Actor-director Sergio Castellitto (Don’t Move) directs Penélope Cruz and Emile Hirsch in this vivid, full-throttle melodrama about an ill-starred romance set against the backdrop of the siege of Sarajevo. Why I want to see it: The romantic pairing of Hirsch and Cruz seems like it would be so great, I’m not sure why it wasn’t thought of before. I’m also interested in learning the history of Sarajevo through the eyes of the director. Read more about the film and see another movie still here.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Directed and written byStephen Chbosky
Synopsis: In this witty and affecting coming-of-age story (adapted by writer-director Stephen Chbosky from his own novel), a shy teenager (Logan Lerman) with a dark family secret is coaxed out of his shell by a sympathetic teacher (Paul Rudd) and two wild, carefree new friends (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller). Why I want to see it: How great is it that one of my favorite books is being turned into a film written and directed by the author of that book? The book was so sweet and so touch and so wonderful and so sad that this movie is going to be great. See a photo of the cast which includes the great Mae Whitman here.
So many I want to see and it’s just the beginning of the being announced! If you’re interested, head over to the festival’s film programming for a complete listing.