I'll eventually be compiling these into one big omnibus preview piece for Ain't It Cool News, but in the meantime here's the day-by-day preview of the hell that is trying to narrow a list of 101 picks into a workable, non-life-threatening 11-day schedule. Yes, I said 101 picks... this year's TIFF program is flat out ridiculous. I've never had a more laughably named 'short list'.
Thursday Sept 6th preview
Friday Sept 7th preview
Saturday Sept 8th preview
Sunday Sept 9th:
- Ken Burns returns to Toronto with a doc about a more contemporary subject, The Central Park Five, about the Central Park Jogger case in New York.
- Pixar takes their first crack at a 3D film with the Finding Nemo re-release.
- Free Angela and All Political Prisoners examines the life and work of scholar, activist, firebrand and (depending on who you talk to) terrorist and traitor Angela Davis.
- Hugh Laurie stars as a schoolteacher with a love for Dickens' Great Expectations caught on the fringes of a civil war in Mr. Pip.
- Documentary maestro Alex Gibney is back with Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In the House of God, a scathing look at the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic church.
- One of my hunch picks, The Lesser Blessed is a First Nations coming-of-age story set in the Northwest Territories.
- Greetings From Tim Buckley recounts the period in Jeff Buckley's life just before he became, well, Jeff Buckley, leading up to a tribute concert for his father.
- One of the biggest movers and shakers behind modern pop culture gets the biodoc treatment in American Masters: Inventing David Geffen.
- Deepa Mehta adapts Salman Rushdie's acclaimed Midnight's Children, which I'm sure will be all lush and magic realist and whatnot.
- Orphanage director Juan Antonio Bayona tackles The Impossible, a ground-level drama about a family caught in the 2004 southeast Asian tsunami starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts.
- The Deflowering of Eva van End looks kind of like a Dutch Welcome To the Dollhouse, which would be just fine with me.
- Neil Jordan gets back to doing weird, Neil Jordan-y stuff with Byzantium, a sexy vampire romp starring Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan.
- Robert Redford gets back to doing righteous, political, Robert Redford-y stuff with The Company You Keep, about a fugitive former Weather Underground member gone straight who has to go on the run when Shia LeBeouf threatens to expose him. Stupid Shia.
- Quartet sees Dustin Hoffman stepping behind a camera for the first time, directing a story of four opera singers reuniting in a retirement home for musicians.
- And JT Petty returns to Midnight for the third time with Hellbenders, about a group of badass rogue exorcists led by Clancy Brown.
- Also repeat screenings of How To Make Money Selling Drugs, Something In the Air, Silver Livings Playbook, Cloud Atlas, Pusher, Ginger and Rosa, In the Name of Love, Thermae Romae, Much Ado About Nothing, Call Girl, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Janeane From Des Moines, The Brass Teapot, Painless, and Yellow.