It's still summer, but having just seen a live-action Gargamel, I quit. Not a minute too soon, either. The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its lineup, and it's legitimately exciting. People will scan the list for next year's best picture winner -- it looks like "The Ides of March," George Clooney's presidential primary drama that has Ryan Gosling and a Britishy title.
But even if you remove your Oscar goggles -- and please do -- there's a lot here and most of it appears to involve sex. Juliette Binoche interviews young prostitutes. David Cronenberg does Freud (explicitly, this time), with Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, and Keira Knightley (lounging above). Jude Law and Rachel Weisz star in some sort of marital thriller for Fernando Meirelles. Weisz then, for Terence Davies, plays a housewife, in 1950s London, who moves in with a younger man. The split-narrative romantic drama "W.E." tackles what, for me, was the most interesting part of "The King's Speech," King Edward's controversial American mistress, Wallis Simpson; it stars Abbie Cornish, and the director is Madonna, so my apologies for the spit take you just did. Todd Solondz has a new comedy (about two adolescent adults in love), as does Jennifer Westfield called "Friends with Kids," which has Kristen Wiig, Megan Fox, Maya Rudolph, and Jon Hamm -- and I didn't think I'd ever type "Todd Solondz" and "Megan Fox" within 10 seconds of each other, either.
There's another less obviously sexy-seeming Alexander Payne film starring Clooney; Catherine Keener and Jane Fonda as a daughter and her hippie mother in a comedy directed by Bruce Beresford; Francis Ford Coppola doing modern-day Edgar Allen Poe; a super-British dramatic thriller by Roland Emmerich, of all directors, about whether Shakespeare had a ghost writer; Jennifer Garner as a world-class butter carver (yes, I just typed that, too); and a period drama by the pitifully underrated Rodrigo Garcia, with Glenn Close passing as a man. That last one also smells like Oscar. And with Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher scheduled for the winter, the distinct odor of that Oscar smell is 1988.
The festival begins September 8th and runs until the 18th. Here's the official schedule, which includes a ton of promising movies I don't mention.
About Movie Nation
ContributorsTy Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.
Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.
Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.
Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Glenn Yoder is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.
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