TIFF 11 for '11: The Films That Could
Only a couple days until things kick off at the Toronto International Film Festival and our TIFF 11 for '11 continues with a look at a few of the indies with a bit lower profiles (some much lower than others) looking to break out at this year's fest.
I'm a pretty enormous fan of anything the prolific Michael Winterbottom does from his immigration epic In This World to this summer's English countryside laugher The Trip. His latest sets Thomas Hardy's tragic love story Tess of the D'Urbervilles in contemporary Jaipur with Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed as the lovers.
Oren Moverman scored a hit with his 2009 directorial debut The Messenger which was nominated for both Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor for Woody Harrelson. Both Woody and Ben Foster are back in Moverman's latest which centers around the LAPD's infamous corruption scandal of the same name. Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, Ned Beatty and Ice Cube co-star.
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME
Jay & Mark Duplass (The Puffy Chair, Cyrus) are back with this wacky family comedy starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer and Susan Sarandon.
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS
Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody star in American indie director Whit Stillman's (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco) hiatus-breaker about a group of privileged undergrads at a liberal arts university.
Michelle Yeoh stars as Burmese leader and political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi in Luc Besson's sweeping epic.
Director Nathan Morlando marks his feature debut with this Scott Speedman and Brian Cox starring story of the Canadian Butch Cassidy who cut a swath across Canadian banks after the Second World War.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
Comedian-turned-director Bobcat Goldthwait has established himself as one of the most interesting indie directors after impressive outings Windy City Heat and Sleeping Dogs Lie. His latest is this bloody black comedy about a teenage girl and middle aged man who cross the country on a Badlands-esque killing spree. Character actor Joel Murray whose long resume includes playing Rumsen on Mad Men and Tara Lynne Barr star.
Chloe Moretz plays a teenage runaway with a .45 who teams up with Blake Lively in the road trip sophomore effort from Derick Martini (Lymelife). The impressive list of co-stars includes Juliette Lewis, Alec Baldwin, Rory Culkin and Eddie Redmayne.
PEACE, LOVE, & MISUNDERSTANDING
Martha Marcy May Marlene's rising star Lizzie Olsen plays alongside Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener in this family drama about a girl meeting her hippie grandmother for the first time. Longtime pro Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Driving Miss Daisy, Black Robe) directs an all-star cast that also includes Kyle MacLachlan, Rosanna Arquette, Chace Crawford and Nat Wolff.
TAKE THIS WALTZ
Sarah Polley's follow-up to 2006's critically acclaimed Away from Her is this bittersweet drama that stars Michelle Williams as a woman caught between her husband Seth Rogen and new man Luke Kirby. Sarah Silverman co-stars.
YOUR SISTER'S SISTER
Lynne Shelton's Humpday impressed many with its quirky and honest look at male friendship. Star Mark Duplass is back in Shelton's latest that casts that same gaze on a maybe-not-so-platonic relationship between a man and his dead brother's ex and her sister. Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt fill out the cast.
This section could go on to describe pretty much every other film at the loaded festival. Just a few more worth a mention are Todd Solondz's (Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness) latest quirkfest DARK HORSE which stars Justin Bartha, Selma Blair, Mia Farrow and Christopher Walken, the directorial debut from Oscar-winning Precious writer Geoffrey Fletcher about a pair of teenage assassins played by Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel and co-sarring James Gandolfini and Danny Trejo called VIOLET & DAISY, Glenn Close's Oscar bait cross dressing period drama from director Rodrigo Garcia ALBERT NOBBS which co-stars Mia Wasikowska and Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Gerardo Naranjo's (Drama/Mex) Mexican beauty pageant/drug war drama MISS BALA
TIFF 11 for '11 concludes tomorrow with a look at some of the faves from this year's previous festivals also playing at Toronto.
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