Toronto 2017: First Wave Led By Women, the Sporting Life, and Favourite Filmmakers

Managing Editor; Dallas, Texas (@peteramartin)
Toronto 2017: First Wave Led By Women, the Sporting Life, and Favourite Filmmakers

The annual cavalcade of cinematic joy, otherwise known as the Toronto International Film Festival (or simply "Toronto 2017," in our headline parlance) has released its first wave of programming.

The gala titles (14) and special presentations (33) lead the way. Here are excerpts from the official verbiage:

"Kings by Deniz Gamze Ergüven, whose 2015 Festival feature Mustang earned an Oscar nod for Best Foreign Film; Mary Shelley by Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female Saudi director; Dee Rees' Mudbound, an adaptation of Hillary Jordan's novel about racial tensions in the Jim Crow South; Susanna White's Woman Walks Ahead, starring forever-favourite Jessica Chastain; and a big must-watch for every Canadian: Long Time Running, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier's documentary on The Tragically Hip's emotional and powerful 2016 final tour."

More ...

"The sporting life also takes centre stage at TIFF this year, as Steve Carell meets his match with (honourary Canadian) Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes; Margot Robbie chases Olympic gold in I, Tonya; Paul Rudd goes from MLB to OSS in The Catcher was a Spy; and Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany navigate the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in David Gordon Green's Stronger."

And even more ...

"All of your favourite filmmakers' new films are playing at TIFF this year, including Darren Aronofsky's mother!; Alexander Payne's Downsizing; Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird; Mahamat Saleh-Haroun's A Season in France; George Clooney's Surburbicon; Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father; Anurag Kashyap's The Brawler; Andy Serkis' Breathe; Joe Wright's Darkest Hour; Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Wim Wenders' Submergence; and -- yes, don't worry, we got it -- Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water."

Speaking as someone who has never attended, and won't be this year, all I can do is smile, grit my teeth, seethe with envy of everyone who is attending -- including our usual intrepid and hardworking crew of local Toronto residents and visitors -- and wish y'all the most wonderful time of the year.

Oh, and point you again to that URL, so you can sink into your tub of pleasure: Toronto International Film Festival Unveils First Slate.

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