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« Cinema Swimwear: Planet of the Apes | Main | Goodbye, Bunheads »
Tuesday
Jul232013

TIFF13 Lineup Announced

Amir here, with a sore throat after a few hours of screaming in excitement. Like Oscar nomination morning, 'TIFF lineup announcement day' (what a mouthful)  is marked on my calendar in prominent colours every year. It's a day that brings a combination of excitement, endless 'what-to-watch?'  dilemmas, and the dread of having to plan a 40 film a week schedule while still attending to unwanted obstacles like eating and sleeping and day jobs. If you followed this morning's press conference by the festival's directors, you know that only about a quarter of the films that will eventually grace the screens were named and the actual schedule isn't even out yet, but such is the nature of festival going. It gets you going long before the curtains are raised.

TIFF's opening night film: Bill Condon's The Fifth Estate

Naturally, for a festival that screens nearly 300 films every year, the list is an eclectic mix of hotly anticipated Oscar players, critically acclaimed titles from other festivals earlier in the year and auteur titles that have slipped under the radar so far. It is among this latter bunch, for instance, where my most anticipated film of the year, Sylvain Chomet's live action debut Attila Marcel, showed up in the announcement this morning, greeted by a shriek that had my poor co-workers jumping in their seats.

One mild surprise came in the words "World Premiere" that preceded the not-so surprising inclusion of 12 Years a Slave. [more...

Oscar Starts in Toronto!

Steve McQueen's latest was always going to follow in Shame's footsteps to Toronto. That it's skipping the Venice festival a week earlier is the eyebrow-raiser. Whether the film will use the fall festival platform to launch an awards campaign is left to be seen, though the strategy failed in the case of his divisive previous film. 

That doesn't mean TIFF is at all short on Oscar players. Chief among the big titles is Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity, which will come to Canada straight from the opening slot of the Venice festival - where it plays out of competition. John Wells's August: Osage County is bringing its star-studded cast to town, too,  though my policy of dedicating my time entirely to curious discoveries and foreign fare that won't be released for months (if at all) means this film is nowhere near the top of my wish list. That said the chance to reunite with Ewan McGregor might be too tempting to resist. The festival's opening night film, Bill Condon's tale of Wikileaks in The Fifth Estate, could also be part of the conversation later in the year, particularly for its leading man Benedict Cumberbatch. Another best actor hopeful, Colin Firth, has The Railway Man in the festival, while Ron Howard's much anticipated Rush will also be unveiled. Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin and perennial Toronto favourite Jason Reitman's Labor Day both make a stop here as well.

Meanwhile, TIFF has a beautifully curated list of films from previous festivals. Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'or winner, Blue is the Warmest Colour, will screen here, as will its fellow Cannes hit, Asghar Farhadi's The Past. Gloria, the Chilean Berlin prize-winner will also be here, but the Romanian winner of the Golden Bear, Child's Pose, is curiously missing. TIFF does have a habit of saving some bigger titles for later announcements though, so I'm hoping to see its name pop up on the final list.

You can see the full list of announced titles at TIFF's website. Meanwhile, here at The Film Experience, we will cover the festival for you as with the past couple of years, though the real news is that it won't be me, but Nathaniel himself who will bring you the goodies. (I may still pop in here with a post or two, and you can always follow my reactions to the films and celebrity sightings on twitter.)

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Reader Comments (6)

The first wave of titles is already kind of overwhelming! I always go up for the second week of the fest, so I'll miss a lot of these anyway, but even so - wow! It's true every year, but I really can't wait for TIFF!!!

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I was lucky enough to see GLORIA, CHILD'S POSE and THE PAST at the Sydney Film Festival last month and I can recommend them all.

Sure, they all deserve and will probably get a cinema release, but you often have to wait on average a year for prize-winning foreign language films to get Australian cinema releases so seeing it at a festival is the way to go.

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

If even half these stars show up to TIFF, people's heads will explode. Film marketing is so competitive now that awareness has to be created rapidly and also sustain. The days are gone where you could open a movie at the end of the year and hope for the best. Several of these movies are as good as it gets.

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

Wait just a minute! Jonathan Glazer's 'Under The Skin' is both finished and coming soon!? When did this happen!?

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKermit The Frog

Amazing lineup. A bit excessive for my taste. Why can't we get a rational release schedule? We go crazy for a few months and then there's this huge void.

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Must-Sees:
Gravity in 3D(!!!!!!!!!!)
Blue is the Warmest Color
The Past
Under The Skin
12 Years A Slave
Only Lovers Left Alive
Young & Beautiful

Keen Interest:
Attilla Marcel
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her
Enough Said (Holofcener, JLD, and the late Gandolfini)
Joe
Kill Your Darlings
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (The trailer showing Mandela's actual radical ties pushed this up from original skepticism. You bet he was a radical leftist!)
Prisoners
The Great Beauty
You Are Here
Dom Heminway

Skepticism:
Dallas Buyer's Club (The McConnaughssance must have the bait-y part, I guess)
August: Osage County
The Fifth Estate (Condon's always had huge, impressive casts so that is not my draw. The trailer had a weird tone and politics going on which makes me wonder if Condon & co. have a clue on their subject.)
Don Jon (ScarJo's part still hooks me but JGL comes off a little try-hard)
Rush
Walesa (On one hand, it's Wajda! We should be happy a man his age is still making movies. On the other hand, oh dear lord, can there just be a polish historical film NOT done by Wajda or Wajda do a movie on the Poland of today?)

July 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

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