Roos, Garcia films premiering at Toronto

'The Road,' 'Men Who Stare at Goats' also on tap

TORONTO -- The Natalie Portman-starring "Love and Other Impossible Pursuits," from writer-director Don Roos, and Rodrigo Garcia's "Mother and Child," a dramatic tale starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington, are to receive red carpet treatment as world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

Garcia's drama, executive produced by Alejandro Gonzalez, also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jimmy Smits and Shareeka Epps, and will unspool at the Roy Thomson Hall in a gala slot.

The Don Roos feature from Incentive Filmed Entertainment sees Portman, who replaced Jennifer Lopez in the lead, saving her marriage with the help of her precocious stepson.

Also getting high profile North American premieres in Toronto at Roy Thomson Hall are Grant Heslov's "The Men Who Stare at Goats," a thriller that stars George Clooney and Ewan McGregor, Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora," which stars Rachel Weisz, and French director Jan Kounen's "Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky."

There's also a gala world premiere for Carlos Saura's "I, Don Giovanni," a period drama about the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and an international premiere for "Phantom Pain," from German director Matthias Emcke and starring Til Schweiger.

Festival programmers also added to the Special Presentations sidebar an international premiere for Giuseppe Tornatore's "Baaria," which will jump to Toronto after opening Venice, a world premiere for French director Christian Carion's Cold War thriller "L'Affaire Farewell," and U.S. director Derrick Borte's "The Joneses," a comedic drama starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny as a picture-perfect American couple found wanting by their neighbors.

Also Toronto-bound is Jean-Marie Larrieu's "Les Derniers Jours du Monde" for a North American premiere, Werner Herzog's "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done," for a Canadian premiere, and John Hillcoat's "The Road," a post-apocalyptic survival tale starring Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall and Guy Pearce.

There's also a world bow for Indian director Dev Benegal's "Road, Movie," and a North American bow for Tom Ford's "A Single Man," which features Colin Firth as a British professor in 1962 Los Angeles finding meaning in a friend's death. The picture also stars Julianne Moore and Matthew Goode.

Other titles announced Thursday include Egyptian director Ahmed Maher's "The Traveller," Australian director Claire McCarthy's "The Waiting City," "Wheat," from Chinese director He Ping, and Miguel Arteta's 'Youth in Revolt," which features Michael Cera as a young man in a quest to win the heart of a young girl, played by Portia Doubleday, and hopefully to lose his virginity along the way. The ensemble cast also includes Steve Buscemi, Ray Liotta, Justin Long, Jean Smart, Ari Graynor, Fred Willard, Zach Galifianakis and Mary Kay Place.

The Toronto International Film Festival is set to run Sept. 10-19.