TIFF 2012: Galas and Special Presentations Preview

Galas and Special Presentations for TIFF got announced today, and... wow. I can't remember the last time I got excited by the Gala lineup. Either my tastes are getting tamer or TIFF is getting incrementally riskier with their prestige picks. Or it's just one of those years.

Anyway, here's what caught my eye on the first pass:

- Zhang Ziyi is back as the good girl in a Chinese Dangerous Liaisons adaptation, alongside Cecilia Cheung as the naughty girl.

- there's an Angela Davis doc? As a Gala??? Holy crap.

- Bill Murray plays FDR in Hyde Park on Hudson. Sure, it's by the guy who directed Notting Hill so I have no expectations that it'll be great, but seriously - Murray's playing FDR. It could be a Ron Howard cure for insomnia/film and I'd still see it.

- oh, and by the way, Looper of all things is the Opening Night Gala. The world's crush on Joseph Gordon-Levitt will continue unabated.

- Deepa Mehta adapts Rushdie's Midnight's Children. This could be a sodden mess, but I'll probably give it a try anyway.

- David O Russell returns to slightly more comedic territory with Silver Linings Playbook, which is good news enough, but the cast includes Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro (?), Jacki Weaver (!!) and, umm, Chris Tucker (?!?!?!!????)

- someone tell me how I can not go see Thermae Romae, a movie with this write-up: Ancient Roman architect Lucius is too serious. His inability to keep up with the fast-moving times costs him his job. When a friend takes the dejected Lucius to the public bathhouse to cheer him up, Lucius accidentally slips through time and resurfaces in a modern-day public bath in Japan. There, he meets aspiring young manga artist Mami, along with others of the “flat-faced clan.” Shocked by the many inventive aspects of Japan’s bathing culture, Lucius returns to ancient Rome and garners tremendous attention when he implements these novel ideas back in Rome. As he time-slips back and forth between ancient Rome and modernday Japan, Lucius’ reputation as the ingenious, new bath architect begins to grow.

- Joe Wright directs a Tom Stoppard adaptation of Anna Karenina with Keira Knightly and Jude Law. I'm sure it will be perfectly lovely.

- Neil Jordan's Byzantium seems to be some sort of Irish vampire story. Sold!


- Viggo Mortensen stars in an Argentinian twin-swapping thriller, Everybody Has a Plan. Twice the Viggo! Twice the fun!

- top of my list of movies I will never subject myself to, no matter what the buzz is: L'emploi du temps (a film I loathed) director Laurent Cantat does another adaptation of Foxfire, which seems utterly pointless since the last adaptation starred a young force of nature named Angelina Jolie. You won't top that, Laurent. Don't even try.

- Mads Mikklesen stars in Thomas Vinterberg's latest, The Hunt. Sold!

- there's some kind of Graham Chapman doc, or animated doc, or autobiography (???) or something. I don't know how that works, and don't care. I'm there.

- Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing. 'Nuff said.

- Takeshi Kitano did a sequel to Outrage, called Outrage Beyond. Guess I better see Outrage then in the next couple of months...

- I guess I'll probably see Parks of Being a Wallflower, because why not.

That's a hell of a start to the lineup.

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