After highlighting the best films of the year thus far, it’s time to turn our attention to the fall. While Venice and Telluride will get things going, the biggest seasonal event is easily the Toronto International Film Festival. With hundreds of titles from around the globe on its slate, many of our yearly favorites debut there and we’ll be covering in-depth yet again this year. To get a preview of what to expect, they’ve announced their initial line-up of titles.
The slate includes Tom Ford‘s Nocturnal Animals, Denis Villeneuve‘s Arrival, Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land, Kim Ji-woon‘s The Age of Shadows, Ewan McGregor‘s American Pastoral, the Miles Teller-led Bleed for This, Denial starring Rachel Weisz, Christopher Guest‘s Mascots, Werner Herzog‘s Salt and Fire, the Michael Fassbender-led Trespass Against Us, Una starring Rooney Mara, Rob Reiner‘s LBJ, A Monster Calls, the Natalie Portman-led Planetarium, Mira Nair‘s Queen of Katwe, and more.
Aside from opening with Antoine Fuqua‘s The Magnificent Seven remake and closing with the Hailee Steinfeld-led The Edge of Seventeen, they also added some acclaimed previous premieres, including Manchester by the Sea, Loving, American Honey, The Birth of a Nation, Elle, The Handmaiden, Neruda, Paterson, The Salesman, Things to Come, and Toni Erdmann.
Check out the full initial line-up below, along with images as they become available.
Arrival Denis Villeneuve, USA Canadian Premiere
When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team, led by expert linguist Louise Banks, are brought together to investigate. As mankind teeters on the verge of global war, Banks and the team race against time for answers. To find them, she will take a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, and Michael Stuhlbarg.
Deepwater Horizon Peter Berg, USA World Premiere
Inspired by the true story of the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that rocked the globe on April 20, 2010, comes this chronicle of the courage of those who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the extreme moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in history. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson.
Closing Night Film
The Edge of Seventeen Kelly Fremon Craig, USA World Premiere
The directorial debut of writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig follows high school junior Nadine, who is already at peak awkwardness when her all-star older brother Darian starts dating her best friend Krista. All at once, Nadine feels more alone than ever, until the unexpected friendship of a thoughtful boy gives her a glimmer of hope that things just might not be so terrible after all. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, Haley Lu Richardson, Blake Jenner and Hayden Szeto.
The Headhunter’s Calling Mark Williams, Canada World Premiere
A ruthless corporate headhunter in Chicago battles his rival for control of their job placement firm, until a family tragedy brings his personal and professional lives into conflict. Starring Gerard Butler, Alison Brie, Willem Dafoe, Gretchen Mol, Alfred Molina, and Max Jenkins.
The Journey is the Destination Bronwen Hughes, United Kingdom/South Africa World Premiere
The inspiring life story of late photojournalist, artist and activist Dan Eldon, who abandoned a
comfortable life in London to document the struggle, heartbreak and hope of a war-torn and famine-ridden region of Africa. Inspiring and irreverent, the film follows a young man coming of age to realize his purpose, his place in the world, and his belief that we can all create positive change. Starring Ella Purnell, Maria Bello, Sam Hazeldine, Ben Schnetzer, and Kelly Macdonald.
JT + The Tennessee Kids Jonathan Demme, USA World Premiere
In this thrilling concert documentary, Academy Award–winning director Jonathan Demme captures the charismatic and highly acclaimed artistry of Justin Timberlake & The Tennessee Kids’ spectacular closing performances from The 20/20 Experience World Tour at the legendary MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
LBJ Rob Reiner, USA World Premiere
On November 22, 1963, one president’s life was taken while another’s was resurrected. LBJ tells the story of politician Lyndon B. Johnson who was at risk of fading into irrelevancy but, upon John F. Kennedy’s assassination, seized his moment to rescue a nation and claim his place among the most influential US presidents. LBJ is an intimate look into Johnson’s masterful political manoeuvring during one of the most difficult times in America’s history. Starring Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richard Jenkins, Bill Pullman, Jeffrey Donovan, and Michael Stahl-David.
Lion Garth Davis, Australia World Premiere
After a wrong train takes a five-year-old Indian boy thousands of kilometres from home and family, he survives many challenges before being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only the scantest of clues, he learns of a new technology called Google Earth, and sets out to find his lost family. This true story stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, and David Wenham.
Loving Jeff Nichols, USA North American Premiere
This film celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of Richard and Mildred Loving, who waged a decade-long legal battle that led to the overturning of the state of Virginia’s law prohibiting interracial marriage. Their civil rights case went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry. Starring Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Marton Csokas, Nick Kroll, and Michael Shannon.
Opening Night Film
The Magnificent Seven, Antoine Fuqua, USA World Premiere
Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a 1960 western classic. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue, the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen, employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns. As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money. Starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett and Peter Sarsgaard.
A Monster Calls J.A. Bayona, USA/Spain World Premiere
This visually spectacular drama follows a lonely 12-year-old boy struggling with his mother’s illness, until an ancient, wild, and relentless monster appears, guiding him on a journey of courage, faith, and truth. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Lewis MacDougall, and Liam Neeson.
Planetarium Rebecca Zlotowski, France/Belgium North American Premiere
Kate and Laura Barlow, two young American spiritualists in 1930s Paris, finish their world tour. Fascinated by their gift, a powerful French film producer hires them to shoot a highly ambitious film. In the vortex of cinema, experiments, and feelings, this new family doesn’t yet see what Europe will soon go through. Stars Natalie Portman, Lily-Rose Depp, Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori and Louis Garrel.
Queen of Katwe Mira Nair, South Africa/Uganda World Premiere
This vibrant true story follows a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. The support from her family and community instills her with confidence and determination, as she sets out to pursue her dream of becoming an international champion. Starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, and Madina Nalwanga.
The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! : A Trip Across Latin America Paul Dugdale, United Kingdom World Premiere
This documentary film follows The Rolling Stones on a cultural adventure across Latin America, as the band heads towards their historic tour finale — being the first ever rock band to play to a crowd of 1.2 million in Havana, Cuba.
The Secret Scripture Jim Sheridan, Ireland World Premiere
A once vibrant and lively beauty in her youth, Roseanne McNulty has spent the majority of her adult life confined to a mental hospital in rural Ireland. She has been institutionalized for so long, no one seems to remember why she was hospitalized in the first place. When a new chief psychiatrist takes a keen interest in her, he finds a hidden memoir she has written over the course of decades. It unravels the mystery of her incarceration, telling the tale of her passionate, yet tortured, life. Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Rooney Mara, Theo James, Eric Bana, and Jack Reynor.
Snowden Oliver Stone, Germany/USA World Premiere
Academy Award–winning director Oliver Stone tackles one of the most important and fascinating true stories of the 21st century. This politically charged, pulse-pounding thriller reveals the incredible untold personal story of Edward Snowden, the polarizing figure who exposed shocking illegal surveillance activities by the NSA and became one of the most wanted men in the world — considered a hero by some, and a traitor by others. Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans, and Nicolas Cage.
Strange Weather Katherine Dieckmann, USA World Premiere
A lyrical, emotionally rich drama tracking Darcy as she travels the Deep South with her friend in an effort to process her grief over the loss of her son. A story about forgiveness, redemption, grace, and how to be fully alive when facing death. Starring Holly Hunter, Carrie Coon, and Kim Coates.
Their Finest Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom World Premiere
Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig’s period comedy-drama follows a group of filmmakers struggling to make an inspirational film to boost morale — and inspire America to join the war — during the London Blitz in World War II. A witty, romantic and moving portrayal of a young woman finding her way, and her voice, in the mayhem of war…and movies. Starring Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachel Stirling, and Richard E. Grant.
A United Kingdom Amma Asante, United Kingdom World Premiere
This biopic tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments. Starring David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike.
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