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TORONTO – Still seeking its opening night film, the Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled a host of star-driven movie titles, including the latest movies by Bennett Miller, Mike Binder, Shawn Levy and Francois Ozon.
Alan Rickman‘s A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet and Stanley Tucci, will close the festival on Sept. 14.
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Festival toppers Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey said they had yet to nail down an opener for their 2014 edition, and will do so shortly.
Also booked into Roy Thomson Hall as the awards season kicks into gear is Miller’s Foxcatcher from Sony Pictures Classics, which bowed in Cannes and stars Channing Tatum and Steve Carell; a world bow for Black and White, which reunites Kevin Costner with his Upside of Anger writer-director Binder; and the Antoine Fuqua-directed drama The Equalizer, an adaptation of the 1980s TV series that stars Denzel Washington as a retired intelligence officer who is drawn back into a violent mafia-related world.
In all, Toronto gave a slew of star-driven gala titles Roy Thomson Hall slots on Tuesday, including Jean-Marc Vallee‘s Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon, and Levy’s comedy This is Where I Leave You, which stars Jason Bateman as a man whose father dies and tasks his dysfunctional family of four grown siblings with one last request: to spend seven days following the funeral together under the same roof for the first time in a decade. The adaptation of Jonathan Tropper‘s book is set to hit theaters on Sept. 12, and also stars Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Kathryn Hahn, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll.
There’s also a high-profile world bow at Roy Thomson Hall for Danish director Lone Sherfig‘s The Riot Club, formerly known as Posh and based on the British West End hit play by Laura Wade. The British drama stars Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Natalie Dormer (Rush), Max Irons and Douglas Booth in a film about elite Oxford University students determined to join the infamous Riot Club.
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Toronto also booked a gala world premiere for Edward Zwick‘s Bobby Fischer drama Pawn Sacrifice, which stars Tobey Maguire as the American chess phenom, and a North American premiere at Roy Thomson Hall for Canadian director David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, which bowed in Cannes and earned Julianne Moore a best actress prize.
Also at Roy Thomson Hall in September, there are gala bows for two French films: Samba, the fifth feature by directing duo Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (The Untouchables), which stars Omar Sy and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Francois Ozon‘s The New Girlfriend, starring Romain Duris and Anais Demoustier.
Programmers also unveiled a host of high-profile titles for its Special Presentations sidebar: Jon Stewart‘s Rosewater, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, is billed as a Canadian premiere, suggesting that it could touch down in Venice or Telluride before hitting Toronto. Jason Reitman has traditionally debuted his films like Thank You for Not Smoking, Juno and last year’s Labor Day in Telluride, before shifting to Toronto. The son of Ivan Reitman, whose family helped build the Toronto Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox year-round facility, Reitman is declaring his loyalty to his hometown by reserving his new film, Men, Women and Children, which stars Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner and Rosemarie DeWitt, for a Toronto debut.
There are also world bows for the Jake Gyllenhaal-starring crime drama Nightcrawler, the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy, Hal Hartley‘s Ned Rifle, the final installment in the indie director’s tragicomic trilogy that stars Aubrey Plaza and Parker Posey; Bill Pohlad‘s unconventional Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy, starring The Hunger Games‘ Elizabeth Banks; and Richard LaGravenese‘s The Last Five Years, the Anna Kendrick-starring film adaptation of the Broadway musical.
Warner Bros. has three titles in Toronto this September, including The Judge, about a man played by Robert Downey Jr. who returns to his hometown when his father (Robert Duvall) is accused of murder. The film will hit the multiplex on October 10.
Other world premieres in Toronto: Daniel Barnz‘s Cake, starring Jennifer Aniston, Kendrick and Sam Worthington; Philippe Falardeau‘s The Good Lie, starring Witherspoon and due in theaters on Oct. 3; Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland‘s Still Alice, starring Kristen Stewart and Moore; and Daniel Barber‘s Civil War drama about three Southern women, The Keeping Room.
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Toronto also booked world bows for Salma Hayek‘s passion project Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet, Noah Baumbach‘s While We’re Young, starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts; Chris Rock‘s Top Five, starring Rosario Dawson; Oren Moverman‘s Time Out of Mind, the Richard Gere starrer shot in spring 2014 and finished in time for the film fest; Chris Evans‘ Before We Go; and Sarik Andreasyan‘s American Heist, a remake of the 1959 Steve McQueen movie The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery that stars Adrien Brody, Jordana Brewster and Hayden Christensen.
Foreign titles to feature with world premieres in the Special Presentations sidebar include Ning Hao‘s Breakup Buddies; German director Christian Petzold‘s Phoenix; Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier‘s A Second Chance, which stars Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; and Liv Ullmann‘s English-lanugage Miss Julie, an adaptation of the August Strindberg play that stars Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain.
And Toronto, which always features a strong French contingent eyeing U.S. sales, is giving world bows to Mia Hansen-Love‘s Eden and Regis Wargnier‘s The Gate, and North American debuts to Laurent Cantet‘s Return to Ithaca and Abel Ferrara‘s Pasolini, a France-Belgium-Italy co-production.
There are also international premieres for South Korean director Shim Sung-Bo‘s Haemoo, and Italian director Saverio Costanzo‘s Hungry Hearts.
The Special Presentations section also booked North American bows for two films that star Al Pacino: Barry Levinson‘s The Humbling, based on the Philip Roth novel, and David Gordon Green‘s Manglehorn, where the Oscar winner plays a locksmith starting over in a small town, having never gotten over the love of his life.
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There are also North American bows for Andrew Niccol‘s Good Kill, which stars Ethan Hawke and January Jones; Chinese director Zhang Yimou‘s Coming Home; French director David Oelhoffen‘s Far From Men; and Peter Chelsom‘s Hector and the Search for Happiness, a Canada-Germany co-production that stars Toni Collette and Jean Reno. Mike Leigh‘s Mr. Turner, which bowed in Cannes, will have its Canadian debut, presumably after a stopover in Telluride, which will announce its schedule at the beginning of the Labor Day weekend.
The Toronto International Film Festival, which will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks, is set to run from Sept. 4-14.
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