Films to watch out for at the Toronto film fest
The Toronto International Film Festival, running from September 8-18, has an absolutely mouthwatering line-up this year. Here are the 10 feature films I think may be the most sensational:
A Dangerous Method
Director: David Cronenberg
The fantastically disturbing Cronenberg focuses his attention on pre-War Vienna, where the two most influential psychiatrists of all time are locked in heated debate over a fascinating case involving a beautiful young woman.
Kiera Knightley plays the girl, with Cronenberg-muse Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud and Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung. Wow.
Image: A A Dangerous Method movie poster
The Ides Of March
Director: George Clooney
Press secretaries have been cool ever since The West Wing, and now, as George Clooney casts the terrific Ryan Gosling as one in this pacy drama, and as if that wasn't awesome enough, casts himself as the frontrunner in the US Presidential race.
Paul Giamatti and Philip Seymour Hoffman also star, making this one of the most talent-heavy films in a while.
Image: A The Ides Of March movie poster
Director: Alexander Payne
There is yet more Clooney on the cards as he plays the lead in Alexander Payne's latest film, one about a recently bereaved widower examining his life and relationship with his two young daughters, while dealing with land he has inherited from Hawaiian royalty.
Image: A The Descendants movie poster
Director: Lars von Trier
A 'psychological disaster film', the latest from Dogville director von Trier features Kirsten Dunst and Alexander Skarsgard as a couple celebrating their wedding while a planet called Melancholia is heading straight for Earth.
Charlotte Gainsbourg and Keifer Sutherland also star, as Dunst's sister and brother-in-law.
Image: A Melancholia movie poster
The Skin I Live In
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Antonio Banderas returns to Almodovar country to play a plastic surgeon who, following the death of his wife in a car crash, has been obsessed with creating a 'perfect skin' that would withstand external injury, including fire, which is what killed her.
After a dozen years, he has succeeded, but he needs a human guinea pig. The premise is simple yet, like most of Pedro's films, potentially terrifying.
Image: A The Skin I Live In movie poster
Director: Michael Winterbottom
A retelling of Thomas Hardy's classic novel Tess Of The d'urbervilles, Winterbottom's latest stars Freida Pinto as the daughter of a rickshaw-driver who falls in love with Riz Ahmed, the son of an affluent builder.
The reframing is as unconventional as it gets, and this might just be the big histrionic breakthrough Pinto's been searching for.
Image: A still from Trishna
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola's new horror indie stars Val Kilmer as a trashy horror writer -- modelled apparently on a caricatured version of Stephen King -- who visits a small town and, after being visited by Edgar Allan Poe in a dream, gets caught up in a real-life murder mystery.
It's a gorgeous premise and Coppola, who plans to 'remix' this film and travel with live musicians to enhance the background score, deserves a hit.
Image: A Twixt movie poster
Director: Mathieu Demy
Mathieu Demy directs and stars in this film about a young man living in Paris who, having just lost his mother (played by Geraldine Chaplin) heads to Los Angeles to figure out his inheritance.
Memories of his mother lead him to take a Tijuana trip, to meet a club dancer (played by the one and only Salma Hayek) who used to be his mother's closest friend.
Image: A still from Americano
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Directed by Fernando Meirelles (City Of God, The Constant Gardener) and written by Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen), 360 is a highly ambitious film that moves across the globe -- starting in Vienna and rushing through Paris, London, Bratislava and Phoenix, among others -- as it explores various couples and their sexual dynamics.
Image: A still from 360
Director: Jim Field Smith
An ensemble comedy, Butter stars Jennifer Garner as the 'first lady of butter carving,' eager to keep the family in the buttery spotlight when her husband Ty Burrell (from Modern Family) hangs up his boots after a 15-year reign as the Iowa State Butter Carving Champion.
But there's small town skullduggery afoot, involving her husband's mistress (Olivia Wilde) and her own high-school sweetheart (Hugh Jackman) and it's all out utterly butterly battle. Delicious, hopefully.
Image: A still from Butter