Hollywood has come to Canada this week for the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The annual festival kicked off September 10th and will run until September 20th, and features films from around the world. While the festival is a great opportunity to see some of the smaller films as well as Canadian films, TIFF is also considered by many to be the kick-off to the film industry’s award season. Some of the films that are premiering at the festival are considered front runners for this years Academy Awards. So for all you film buffs who want to stay in the know about the seasons biggest films, here’s a few that are screening at TIFF that you’ll want to keep your eye out for.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Uzodinma Iweala, the film follows a young boy and native of an unnamed African country, whose life is turned into hell as his country falls into a violent civil war. His family lost, the boy is taken in by a rebel faction, led by a brutal commander (Idris Elba). This film represents a change in cinema as it is being released on Netflix at the same time it hits theatres. The subject material may be too harsh for some, but the growing popularity of Elba, along with the acclaimed source material, could mean an unexpected hit.
The true story of mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, who worked as an FBI informant for decades, while using that protected status to become one of the most ruthless leaders of the Irish-American mob. Superstar Johnny Depp stars as Bulger, and is backed up by an all-star cast. Bulger has been an intriguing character for years, and many are eager to see his story on the big screen, along with Depp’s performance.
The story of Lili Elbe, a 1920s Danish artist and one of the first recipients of sexual reassignment surgery. The film’s team are no strangers to award winning fare. The director, Tom Hooper, helmed the Oscar-winning The Kings Speech, and Eddie Redmayne, who plays Elbe, won last year’s Best Actor Oscar for Theory of Everything. As today’s society slowly makes progress with its view on homosexuality and transgendered individuals, this film could spark quite a bit of discussion.
A musical biopic on legendary country singer, Hank Williams, played by Tom Hiddleston. The story of a talented young man with a career that ended far too soon. Musical biopics have frequently been a hit at awards season, with Ray and Walk the Line being notable examples, and Williams’ life seems perfect for just such a film.
The story of a mission to Mars gone wrong and the astronaut who is left behind, played by Matt Damon. As he struggles to survive alone on the strange planet, his team at NASA desperately try to mount a rescue. With mixes of Apollo 13 and Gravity, this space survival movie is sure to be a hit. The always reliable, Matt Damon is backed up by a stellar cast, including Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, and Sean Bean.
The story of journalist David Walsh who struggled for years to expose Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong for a fraud. This is without a doubt one of the greatest public downfalls in recent memory. Armstrong’s transition from worldwide hero to public enemy number one is ripe for a cinematic interpretation. And I’m sure many will want to see Ben Foster’s portrayal of the very well-known cyclists.
This crime thriller follows a young FBI agent who, after making a grisly discovery at a crime scene, becomes involved with a government operation to take down a Mexican drug lord. This is one of the most buzzed about films of the season, with many calling it an enthralling yet disturbing action thriller set in the murky world of the drug trade. Emily Blunt, Benico Del Toro, and Josh Brolin star in the film, which is directed by Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.
Another true story one of the biggest scandals of our time. Spotlight tells the story of the team of Boston Globe journalists who are responsible for uncovering the child abuse scandal in the Boston Catholic Church. Sure to stir up a lot of controversy, the film looks poised to be a modern day All the President’s Men. Its all-star cast includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams.
Dalton Trumbo was one of the most famous screenwriters in the Golden Age of Hollywood until he was blacklisted for identifying as a communist, along with several other Hollywood screenwriters. Looking at an oft-forgotten time in Hollywood, the film follows Trumbo’s struggles to stay in an industry that was trying to push him out because of his beliefs. Bryan Cranston, who won many fans as Walter White on Breaking Bad, plays Trumbo in a performance that’s sure to get a lot of attention.