TIFF sounded fun when it grabbed Guy Maddin and Atom Egoyan for short film magic, and then decided to kick off this year's lineup with a hockey musical. It sounded downright great when names like Robert Redford, Darren Aronofsky, Mark Romanek, and Ben Affleck were added to the list. Now, well, the fest is tip-toeing into irresistible territory with some added drama from the likes of John Sayles, Clint Eastwood, Matt Reeves, and Missy Tadjedin, and some Midnight Madness that includes John Carpenter and James Gunn.
We've got less than a month to go until the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off on September 9th, and the lineup is heating up. Check it out below.
Closing Night Film: Last Night, Missy Tadjedin
Starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, and Guillaume Canet, the film focuses on a married couple apart for the night. While he takes a business trip with a colleague he's interested in, she runs into an old flame.
Amigo, John Sayles
After getting musical with Honeydripper, Sayles heads to international waters to detail a fictional story taking place during the Philippine-American War at the beginning of the 20th century. The cast includes Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt, and DJ Qualls.
Let Me In, Matt Reeves
A US adaptation of the popular Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In, we'll see Chloe Moretz playing a blood-hungry young girl who strikes up a friendship with Kodi Smit-McPhee.
127 Hours, Danny Boyle
James Franco stars in the true story of the rock climber whose arm is trapped by a fallen boulder in an isolated Utah canyon. You should be familiar with what the man had to do to escape. Clemence Poesy, Amber Tamblyn, and Kate Mara co-star.
Hereafter, Clint Eastwood
Eastwood's morality tale follows Matt Damon as a blue-collar American with a "special connection to the afterlife," Cecile de France as a French journalist who faces a near-death experience, and Frankie/George McLaren, a London schoolboy who loses his closest friend. Each searches for truth as their lives intersect.
What's Wrong with Virginia?, Dustin Lance Black
Jennifer Connelly stars as a mentally ill mom protected by her illegitimate son, whose dad might be a married Mormon sheriff (Ed Harris). When the kid starts a relationship with the sheriff's daughter (Emma Roberts), the "town's peculiar secrets are threatened." This sends mom and son "on a mad dash to seize their own brand of the American Dream – guns blazing."
I'm Still Here, Casey Affleck
Affleck's directorial debut follows Joaquin Phoenix through his cinematic retirement and reinvention as a hip hope musician. Check out the trailer here.
Everything Must Go, Dan Rush
Will Ferrell stars in this story of a motivational speaker who is abruptly fired. That's only the start of things as his wife has left him, thrown his things on the lawn, and locked him out of the house. So he sets up a garage sale "that becomes a unique strategy for survival."
Passion, John Turturro
A journey not through love, but music, as songs in one of the biggest jukeboxes in the world "conjures distant stories and myths that speak of love, sex, jealousy, crime, poverty, irony, superstition, and social protest."
Passion Play, Mitch Glazer
The romance that pits Mickey Rourke as a struggling jazz trumpet player against Megan Fox's woman who has wings and works as a carnival sideshow attraction. They get romantic while trying to avoid a gangster named Happy (Bill Murray).
Rio Sex Comedy, Jonathan Nossiter
Expats in Rio search "for both personal pleasures and social justice." The cast includes Charlotte Rampling as a plastic surgeon who doesn't want people to go under the knife, and Bill Pullman as an American ambassador who "flees from his responsibilities."
Plus: Deep in the Woods, Gorbaciof -- The Cahier who Liked Gambling, Julia's Eyes, The Last Circus, The House by the Medlar Tree, Mothers, The Poll Diaries, Special Treatment
Last Night -- announced above
Sarah's Key, Gilles Paquet Brenner
Based on Tatiana de Rosnay's novel, the film focuses on an American journalist dealing with personal issues and a secret discovery whilst researching the Vel'd'Hiv Roundup in 1942. It stars Kristin Scott Thomas.
SUPER, James Gunn
Rainn Wilson plays a dude left by his wife (Liv Tyler) for a drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), who decides that he must become a superhero called Crimson Bolt to win her back. Ellen Page plays a comic geek who wants to be his sidekick.
The Ward, John Carpenter
Carpenter returns with the story of a woman (Amber Heard) terrorized while staying in a 1960s mental institution.
The Vanishing on 7th Street, Brad Anderson
A blackout causes most people to vanish, a group of survivors hole up in a tavern trying to fight off the impending darkness. Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo star.
Insidious, James Wan
Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, and Patrick Wilson fight off vengeful spirits after parents take possession of an old house, and one of their sons suffers an accident and falls into a coma.
Bunraku, Guy Moshe
An action movie with no guns, Josh Hartnett is a drifter who teams up with a samurai and a bartender (Woody Harrelson) to get revenge against a leading baddie (Ron Perlman) and his army of bad dudes. Demi Moore also stars.
Plus: Fubar 2, Stake Land, Red Nights, Fire of Conscience, The Butcher, the Chef, and the Swordsman
The City-to-City series on Istanbul was also released, which you can read about here.
[via TIFF press releases here and here]