A number of the big films that will be at Toronto (Mother!, Downsizing) are opening a little earlier in Venice and are on my Top 13 Films I'm Excited to See at Venice list. I've also seen a number of the films that I'd recommend you see at Cannes and elsewhere (In the Fade, for the performance of Diane Kruger alone). Thus those titles aren't appearing on this one. But, even though Toronto scaled back the number of films they programmed, it's still a packed two weeks of movies in Ontario. Here's some that I want to catch.
An extended clip of this film was shown at Cinema-Con. You could almost hear the "Best Actor Nominee #1" slot rotate closed. Also hopeful that this sets Joe Wright back on course after the painful experience of Pan.
Director Betts won the Sundance Breakthrough prize this last January and this trailer gives some indication as to why. Powerhouse actresses in this cast including Leo and yet to break-through-but-totally-deserve-tos Margaret Qualley and Liana Liberato
This could really go a number of ways and director Gillespie has proved with Lars and the Real Girl that he can handle a quirky tale and find the humanity in even the oddest of situations. With the topic it would by easy (and boring) to make much of the white-trash, middle-America stereotypes, a la Butter, which will doom this picture. Let's hope it hews more to To Die For.
I am not one for independent films that feature characters stricken by arrested development but this one stars and is directed by Brie Larson. Normally that hyphenate "stars-directs" give me caution and, yes, I saw Kong: Skull Island, but Larson continues to use her powers for good (see noble, if unsuccessful Glass Castle as Exhibit #22]). Support the good ones.
Scott Cooper's last two films, Black Mass and Out of the Furnace, had a distance to them, an unapproachable macho reserve that made them sterile. Can he imbue this film with the heart of Crazy Heart, for which Jeff Bridges won his Oscar? Hard to say. It seems unlikely that this film would be any nearer to the Western genre than Dead Man or Slow West so they'll be no firm footholds. The cast is stellar including Bale (who was with Cooper on Furnace) and three personal favorites of mine, Ben Foster (robbed of a Best Spprt nom last year), Jesse Plemmons, and Q'orianka Kilcher.
Wenders has been spending his time of late collecting Best Documentary nominations, including the stunning Salt of the Earth and Pina (oddly, he's only been Oscar-nominated for documentaries). Both McAvoy and Vikander are at the top of their game.
After Manglehorn I swore I was done with David Gordon Green. I moved back to my mother's, I changed my phone number and ditched him on social. But...ughh...I can't seem to quit him. Plus, Gyllenhaal has proven on several occasions (Nightcrawler, End of Watch) that he is one of our finest and fiercest actors today. So, once more into the Green I go.
Ben Lewin directed The Sessions, a Sundance hit which was correctly recognized by Film Independent's Spirit Awards for the lead performances by John Hawkes and Helen Hunt. Plus the cast is like a "Who's Who" of actors I love.
It's a helluva trailer with almost comical typecasting of LaBeouf as the original televised jerk (now elder statesman) John McEnroe. It looks like it has the teeth to be something more than a sports film as well.
Olsen continues to impress as an actress who holds her own in mega-movies like Captain America: Civil War and indies, like Wind River. I have to admit the plot line may suggest that this is just the Sudekis/Harris show, and that would be okay, but I'm going because of Olsen.