The programmers of the Toronto International Film Festival have announced the first wave of titles that will screen this September—and as usual, it’s an overwhelming grab bag of splashy premieres, potential masterpieces, and possible follies. The films unveiled so far have been filed under “Galas” and “Special Presentations,” which essentially means that they’re the most high-profile and star-studded of the couple hundred features that will run. Starfuckers looking to gape and shout at celebrities from behind barricades should book their flights now, as this year’s festival will draw Denzel Washington (for Antoine Fuqua’s The Equalizer), Robert Downey Jr. (for David Dobkin’s The Judge), and Jennifer Garner (opposite Adam Sandler, in Jason Reitman’s Men, Women And Children). And pulling double duty are Reese Witherspoon (for Wild and The Good Lie) and Al Pacino, who stars in Barry Levinson’s adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Humbling, as well as in comeback kid David Gordon Green’s latest, Manglehorn.
A few hotly anticipated directorial debuts have been scheduled, including Jon Stewart’s Rosewater, about imprisoned Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari (played by Gael García Bernal), and Before We Go, by Chris Evans. (Between this, Captain America, and Snowpiercer, Evans is having a good year.) A.V. Club favorite Noah Baumbach will premiere his Frances Ha follow-up While We’re Young, which pairs Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, while Hal Hartley will head to the fest with the Kickstarter-funded third chapter of his Henry Fool trilogy, Ned Rifle. And continuing a long tradition of closing the fest with a movie nobody is particularly excited about, TIFF will wrap things up with A Little Chaos, a costume drama starring Kate Winslet and directed by Alan Rickman.
One of the perks of attending Toronto is the opportunity to see some of the most talked-about titles that screened at Cannes. This year, those who didn’t make the French fest can catch up with Mike Leigh’s Mr. Turner, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, hometown hero David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars, Zhang Yimou’s Coming Home, Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure, the Argentine anthology Wild Tales, and the excellent Whiplash (which opened—and took top honors at—Sundance). Winter Sleep, the Palme D’Or winner, will also likely join the lineup later.
As if all that weren’t enough, TIFF will boast new films from Mia Hansen-Løve, Andrew Niccol, Oren Moverman, Abel Ferrara, Ramin Bahrani, Christian Petzold, Chris Rock, Laurent Cantet, and François Ozon. And that’s just a sampling of the cinematic smorgasbord that will screen in Toronto, from September 4 to 14. Expect more titles to be announced soon.