The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off tomorrow and we've got our final installment of our preview series TIFF 11 for '11 today! We've already taken you on a tour through the big launches, the genre goodness, the Asian offerings, a few documentaries, and some lower-pro indies. Now it's time to spend a bit of time talking about some of the films playing at TIFF that have already proven themselves at fests from earlier in the year. These films have got to be good bets since the TIFF programmers simply couldn't say no.
Well this is simple enough. GO SEE IT!! Nicolas Refn has shown up on the Hollywood scene in a big big way after shocking European audiences with The Pusher Trilogy and Bronson. Drive is a love letter to 70s heist cinema through the lens of someone whose vision of Los Angeles was obviously formed on 80s depictions of a crime filled metropolis. But Refn has his own style in abundance and it never feels dated even for a second. It's a bit of a slow burn - but when the action pops off... oh boy, watch out. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Albert Brooks, Oscar Isaac, Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman. It comes out in the states next Friday September 16th.
Now this is just starting to read like my likely 2011 Top 10 list. Drake Doremus's long distance romancer was just about everyone's favorite film of Sundance 2011, winning the top dramatic prize and scoring an acting award for Felicity Jones who is truly the film's big revelation in her role opposite Anton Yelchin. Jennifer Lawrence co-stars. I just dare you not to fall in love.
OSLO, AUGUST 31ST
Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier returns at long last with his follow up to 2006's Reprise. Again starring Anders Danielsen Lie, this drama has a 'brilliant but heavy' buzz after premiering at Cannes.
The nets have been buzz buzz buzzin after Steve McQueen's Hunger follow-up left audiences extremely impressed at both Venice and Telluride. The film, centered around sex addiction, stars Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.
The immigration dramedy from Finnish master Aki Kaurismaki was a front runner for Cannes's Palme d'Or - but lost out in the end to The Tree of Life.
MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE
Sean Durkin's psychological identity thriller about a girl trying to get a grip on reality after escaping a cult has made the rounds, playing to grand applause at Sundance, Cannes, Melbourne and Sydney. Up and coming Superstar Lizzie Olsen stars alongside impressive performances from John Hawkes and Sarah Paulson. Fox Searchlight rolls the film out October 21st.
Trailer | Teasers
Lars von Trier's latest about the apocalypse gets another run out after a controversial premiere at Cannes. Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Alexander Skarsgaard and Kiefer Sutherland star in this film that launches stateside November 11th.
Review | US Trailer | UK Trailer | Teaser
It's been nothing but good buzz for Michael Hazanavicius silent b&w comedy about the early days of cinema. French star Jean Dujardin lit up audiences at Cannes and Telluride. John Goodman, Malcolm McDowell, Missi Pyle and James Cromwell fill out the cast. The Weinsteins are rolling the dice on this one, releasing it slowly starting Thanksgiving.
Review | Trailer
THE KID WITH A BIKE
Belgian auteur brothers Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne have long impressed art house audiences with their honest and touching portrayals of modern life. Their latest, which premiered at Cannes, is the story of a young boy struggling to understand his abandonment by his parents.
Gus Van Sant's latest delicate love story revolves around death obsessed pair Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper navigating the travails of young adult doldrums by crashing strangers' funerals. The film opened the Cannes Un Certain Regard section and Sony Classics is rolling it out September 16th.
WHERE DO WE GO NOW?
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki impressed audiences with her 2007 hair salon debut Caramel. Her latest might be a bit more serious as it is set against the backdrop of sectarian violence where a village of women must come together to answer the film's titular question.
Other films making a second (or third) splash on the festival circuit at TIFF this year include Julia Leigh's controversial Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) starring sex drama SLEEPING BEAUTY, the continually impressive Michael Shannon tour de force psychological drama TAKE SHELTER directed by Jeff Nichols, Paddy Considine's directorial debut Sundance hit TYRANNOSAUR starring Peter Mullan, and Lynne Ramsay's Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly starring family drama WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.
That wraps things up for our Toronto preview series TIFF 11 for '11. Of course we couldn't cover everything so be sure to check out the festival website for more, keep your eyes glued to SCREENANARCHY for news and reviews, and follow us on twitter @ScreenAnarhcy and @RylandAldrich for up to the minute updates and quick reviews. Let us know what you'd like to see!
Entries in the series thus far:
TIFF 11 for '11 Part 1: The Big Launches
TIFF 11 for '11 Part 2: The Fantastic Side of Things
TIFF 11 for '11 Part 3: Pacific Rim Offerings
TIFF 11 for '11 Part 4: Big Screen Reality
TIFF 11 for '11 Part 5: The Films That Could