Toronto: Timothee Chalamet Starrer 'Beautiful Boy,' Dan Fogelman's 'Life Itself' Among Festival Lineup
The feature film selections for this year's edition include star turns by Lady Gaga, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Steve Carell, Robert Pattinson, Viola Davis, Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Samuel L. Jackson and Antonio Banderas.
The Toronto Film Festival on Tuesday unveiled the first titles for its 43rd edition, with Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell starrer Beautiful Boy and This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman's Life Itself among the most high-profile world premieres.
Beautiful Boy marks the English-language debut of Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen, with Call Me by Your Name's Chalamet playing the son and Carell his father.
Life Itself, written and directed by Fogelman, is toplined by Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Samuel L. Jackson and Antonio Banderas.
Also hitting Toronto before opening the London Film Festival is a world bow for Steve McQueen's Widows, a crime drama starring Viola Davis and based on a U.K. TV series. The film is co-written by McQueen and screenwriter Gillian Flynn, and also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Robert Duvall and Liam Neeson.
Galas set to land in Toronto after Venice bows include Damien Chazelle’s First Man and Bradley Cooper's highly anticipated directorial debut, A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga; both have already been set to get their world premieres in Venice. Venice's full lineup will be announced Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Claire Denis' first English-language feature, High Life, wasn't ready for Cannes and is headed to Toronto for a gala world premiere, with Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche toplining the spacey drama about a group of criminals sent on a mission into a black hole.
Festival organizers canceled a Tuesday morning press conference in Toronto to unveil their first film titles after a mass shooting in the city Sunday night. The first gala and special presentations titles from Toronto, announced via a press release, put a spotlight on this year's likely award season contenders, many likely to screen at TIFF after a Lido or Telluride landing.
Also booked into Roy Thomson Hall this September is Melanie Laurent's Galveston, the Ben Foster and Elle Fanning-starrer that debuted at SXSW and will likely screen first in Telluride; Sara Colangelo's Sundance title The Kindergarten Teacher, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and already picked up by Netflix; Elizabeth Chomko's family drama What They Had, another Sundance title getting an international premiere at TIFF; the Cannes opener Everybody Knows, starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz and directed by Asghar Farhadi; the 20th Century Fox YA book adaptation The Hate U Give, starring Amandla Stenberg and Issa Rae and directed by George Tillman Jr.; and Emilio Estevez's The Public, which stars Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater.
Roy Thomson Hall will also give red-carpet treatment to Nicole Holofcener's The Land of Steady Habits, starring Ben Mendelsohn and Connie Britton; Chinese actor-director Jiang Wen's period action movie Hidden Man; Indian director Anurag Kashyap's Husband Material; Judy Dench's Red Joan, directed by Trevor Nunn; and Chinese director Zhang Yimou's Shadow.
Elsewhere, in the special presentations sidebar, TIFF programmers booked world bows for Moonlight director Barry Jenkins' James Baldwin adaptation If Beale Street Could Talk and Michael Winterbottom's The Wedding Guest, starring Dev Patel.
The high profile sidebar will also screen Olivier Assayas' Non-Fiction drama, which stars Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet; Laszlo Nemes' Sunset, the follow-up to the Hungarian director's Oscar-winning debut Son of Saul; Jacques Audiard's The Sisters Brothers, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly; Belle and A United Kingdom director Amma Asante's next film, the WWII drama Where Hands Touch; the Julia Roberts-starrer Ben Is Back, from director Peter Hedges; and Jason Reitman's Gary Hart biopic, The Front Runner, starring Hugh Jackman as the disgraced presidential candidate, and Vera Farmiga and J.K. Simmons co-starring.
Toronto, as in previous years, battled for world premieres with Venice and Telluride for award season bragging rights, and two of its biggest galas this year, Cooper's A Star is Born and Chazelle's First Man, are set to land first on the Lido before arriving in Toronto.
TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey at the same time pointed to the latest films by Felix van Groeningen, Barry Jenkins, Claire Denis, Steve McQueen and Michael Winterbottom touted as world premieres in Tuesday's lineup, even if some may play first in Telluride, to take advantage of his festival's public audiences.
"It's no surprise that ambitious films end up at the three festivals, in combinations. The difference in Toronto is we have the combination of the media and the industry that attends the other festivals, and a massive and very enthusiastic public audience," Bailey told The Hollywood Reporter.
"No other festival has that. And some films are attracted to all of those three things together -- the media, industry and a public," Bailey added.
Other titles set for special presentations screenings include Anthony Maras' Hotel Mumbai, starring Armie Hammer; Kim Nguyen's thriller The Hummingbird Project, featuring Salma Hayek, Alexander Skarsgard and Jesse Eisenberg; David Lowery's The Old Man & the Gun, top-lined by Elisabeth Moss and Robert Redford; and Wash Westmoreland's Colette, featuring Keira Knightley and Dominic West.
The high-profile Toronto sidebar will also screen Mia Hansen-Love's Maya, starring Juliet Binoche; writer-director Reinaldo Marcus Green's first feature, Monsters and Men, and Paul Dano's Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Wildlife, both of which debuted in Sundance; Alfonso Cuaron’s ROMA, from the Oscar-winning director of Gravity; and the Stella Meghie comedy The Weekend.
Other special presentations titles include Yann Demange's White Boy Rick; Don McKellar's Through Black Spruce; Hirokazu Kore-ada's Shoplifters; Marielle Heller's Can You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Melissa McCarthy; Nadine Labaki's Capernaum; Matteo Garrone's Dogman; Patricia Rozema's Mouthpiece; and Keith Behrman's Giant Little Ones, which stars Maria Bello and Kyle MacLachlan.
Toronto rounds out the sidebar with John Butler's Papi Chulo; Eva Husson's Girls of the Sun; Pawel Pawlikowski's Cold War and Lee Chang-dong's Burning.
The Toronto Film Festival, which will make additional lineup announcements in the coming weeks, is set to run Sept. 6-16.
July 24, 12:00 p.m. Updated with comments by Toronto festival artistic director Cameron Bailey.