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The Toronto International Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled the first titles for its 42nd edition, set to run Sept. 7-17, with Darren Aronofsky’s Jennifer Lawrence-starrer Mother! and George Clooney’s Suburbicon among the most high-profile selections.
TIFF also set as its closing-night film C’est La Vie! from directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano and starring Gilles Lellouche and Suzanne Clement. The French pic from the helming duo behind The Intouchables and Samba follows the story of a caterer planning a large wedding reception amid a series of mishaps.
Other highly anticipated pics getting TIFF screenings include Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, and Craig Gillespie’s Tonya Harding film, I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie as the titular figure skater.
The gala section at Roy Thomson Hall will include screenings of David Gordon Green’s Boston Marathon bombing drama Stronger, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany; Fox 2000’s Idris Elba and Kate Winslet-starrer The Mountain Between Us, directed by Hany Abu-Assad; and Divergent helmer Neil Burger’s untitled Intouchables remake, starring Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart.
Also getting screenings in Roy Thomson Hall are: Dee Rees’ Mudbound, starring Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke and picked up by Netflix out of Sundance; a world premiere for Susana White’s Woman Walks Ahead, the 19th century period drama in which Jessica Chastain plays a Sitting Bull confidante; and Ben Lewin’s The Catcher Was a Spy, starring Guy Pearce and Paul Rudd.
TIFF organizers were quick to tout the world premieres for their gala titles, given that such awards-season darlings from last year as La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea played in Toronto after receiving Venice and Telluride bows.
The gala lineup so far includes 11 world bows, with Mudbound an international premiere and Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour and Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool being Canadian premieres.
As TIFF cuts its 2017 lineup by 20 percent, or around 60 movies, the fest has had to concede Oscar picture winners increasingly launch in Venice and Telluride, where breakout movies are quickly talked about on social media. The result has TIFF as less of the great award season discoverer and more a public event to check out must-see Hollywood movies and the red carpet.
TIFF has also booked Oscar nominee Deniz Gamze Erguven’s Kings, set against the backdrop of the 1992 Los Angeles riots and starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig. The star-driven British contingent in Toronto will be led by Andy Serkis’ directorial debut Breathe, featuring Andrew Garfield and Claire Foy and headed to TIFF for a world bow, while also opening the London Film Festival; and Wright’s Darkest Hour, which stars Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in the Focus Features release.
Brit films getting gala treatment include the Vanessa Redgrave- and Annette Bening-starrer Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, directed by McGuigan; The Wife, a U.K.-Sweden co-production led by Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce and directed by Berlin Silver Bear winner Bjorn Runge; Saudi filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour’s Mary Shelley, in which Elle Fanning plays the famed author of Frankenstein, with Bel Powley, Douglas Booth, Joanne Froggatt and Tom Sturridge also starring; and Richard Eyre’s The Children Act, toplined by Emma Thompson.
Rounding out the first titles booked into Roy Thomson Hall is Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier’s Tragically Hip documentary Long Time Running.
Elsewhere, the special presentations sidebar will include: Lady Bird, actress Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut that stars Saoirse Ronan; Benedict Cumberbatch playing Thomas Edison in The Weinstein Co.’s The Current War, directed by Alfonso Gomez–Rejon; and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, starring Matt Damon and shot in Toronto, to screen there after opening the Venice Film Festival. The sidebar will also host screenings of Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers; Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner, an animated film executive produced by Jolie; and Sebastian Leilo’s Disobedience, which stars Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz.
The special presentations program typically features world premieres nabbed away from Telluride or Venice that didn’t make it to Roy Thomson Hall and can unspool at the Princess of Wales, Elgin, Ryerson or Winter Garden theaters. The section this year has two Paramount releases: Aronofsky’s horror film Mother! and Clooney’s Suburbicon, starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore.
The high-profile program has also booked Battle of the Sexes; Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War film The Shape of Water, set for release by Fox Searchlight; Scott Cooper’s Western drama Hostiles, which reteams the Black Mass director and Christian Bale; and the Sundance critics’ darling Call Me by Your Name, a gay love story directed by Italy’s Luca Guadagnino and starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet.
The fest will also host Maggie Betts’ Novitiate, which stars Melissa Leo, Margaret Qualley and Dianna Agron and debuted at Sundance; Angela Robinson’s Professor Marston & the Wonder Women, starring Luke Evans and Rebecca Hall; and Chinese-American director Chloe Zhao’s second feature The Rider, a Cannes prizewinner.
Also headed to TIFF are Woody Harrelson, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell in Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Judi Dench playing Queen Victoria in Stephen Frears’ Victoria and Abdul; Sebastian Leilo’s A Fantastic Woman; Wim Wenders’ Submergence, led by Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy; and Norwegian helmer Joachim Trier’s supernatural thriller Thelma.
More TIFF lineup announcements will be made over the coming weeks.
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