Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal in a scene from "Hysteria."
The Toronto International Film Festival is known as part of the early September kick-off of awards season, but it also serves as one of the busiest and more commercial acquisition markets in the world. Some of the noteworthy pictures to be picked up out of Toronto over the past few years include Oscar winners "Crash" and "The Hurt Locker," "Insidious," "Everything Must Go," "Submarine," "Thank You For Smoking" and ( ). While there are numerous awards season titles screening at the festival next month, TIFF also has some major premieres that could soon find their way to your local multiplex. One romantic comedy that seems like true commercial fodder is "Hysteria."
Starring Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal (throwing out a Victorian Brit accent), Jonathan Pryce and don't look now Rupert Everett, the indie appears to be a cheeky look at the origins of the modern, um, electric "stimulator" for women. The festival posted a production created trailer for the film and while the cut of the preview has pacing issues the film looks like it could easily be sold as a commercial art house hit (or as the Brits would say, "It's cheeky!"). Take a sneak peek yourself
A more serious and moody drama recently added to the Festival's line up is "Think of Me." Written and directed by Bryan Wizemann, the picture stars Lauren Ambrose ("Six Feet Under") as a single mother struggling to get by in Las Vegas. Facing pressure to give up her child, Ambrose's character must decide how far she'll go to survive and keep her tough life intact. The film immediately conjures up allegories to 2006's "Sherrybaby," but Wizemann appears to be using the Vegas backdrop to make this seemingly familiar tale stand on its own. "Think of Me" may be more appropriate for Sundance, but it's non-commercial feel will be welcome north of the border.
"Union Square," on the other hand, looks like a potential Sundance pitch that didn't make the cut. Featuring Tammy Blanchard and Mira Sorvino as estranged sisters (one's class, the other is crass), the drama was written and directed by Nancy Savoca who is best known for 1991's acclaimed indie "Dogfight" with River Phoenix and Lili Taylor. We're not so convinced Savoca has returned to those heights with "Union Square," but we're hoping to be proved wrong. Check out the trailer below and judge for yourself.
The Toronto International Film Festival revealed a number of new galas and premieres for the upcoming September festival today including some long awaited features, some curious acquisition titles and a number of just plain surprises. Most notably is "Winnie" starring Jennifer Hudson as the controversial freedom fighter Winnie Mandela and Geoffrey Fletcher's thriller "Violet & Daisy." Here's a complete rundown with some thoughts for added measure.
Billy Crystal stops by the 83rd Academy Awards earlier this year.
Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
After the startling news that the Academy was bringing back last year's Oscar co-producer Don Misher and teaming him with, um, Brett Ratner (lord, it's gonna be a long season) it appears one of the award show's most famous faces has seen an opening.
Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar Hoover in Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar"
Credit: Warner Bros.
The fall movie season is less than a month away and with the shorter days and chillier nights Hollywood enters it's "serious" season. The prestige picture extravaganza will begin with the triple threat of festivals in less than three weeks, Venice, Telluride and Toronto. However, there are a few films currently skipping those early showcases in hopes of awards season glory later one. One is the increasingly curious biopic "J. Edgar."
Caesar (emoted by Andy Serkis, CG by WETA) hugs John Lithgow in Rupert Wyatt's "Rise of the Planet of the Apes."
Credit: 20th Century Fox
Sometimes it's best to wait through the pre-release hype to see a movie. That's a rare occurrence for this pundit, but every once in awhile it happens with a big movie. In this case, travel and business schedules dictated viewing Rupert Wyatt's acclaimed "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" six days after its debut. The early buzz had been iffy on "Apes" and Fox certainly wasn't screening it early, but a funny thing happened on the way to opening day - some very strong reviews.
Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close."
Credit: Warner Bros.
A strong resume can be both a blessing and a curse. For director Stephen Daldry it's been just the latter. Unless, of course, he lives under the pressure of having every two of his three films nominated for the Academy Award for best picture and personally being nominated in the best director category for all of them. Something tells us that with the constant stream of good source material at his hands, he doesn't.
Carey Mulligan discuss her new thriller "Drive" at San Diego's Comic-Con 2012.
SAN DIEGO - Comic-Con is not necessarily the first "festival" that springs to mind when thinking of British ingenue Carey Mulligan. An Oscar nominee for her sparkling turn in "An Education," Mulligan career has seemed more suited for the red carpets of Cannes, Toronto, Venice and Park City. And yet, last month, Mulligan and a few of her co-horts found their way to Comic-Con's massive Hall H where they pitched the new thriller "Drive" to the pop culture festival's more genre-friendly audience.
Anna Paquin in an unapproved image from "Margaret." Or maybe it was. It's been awhile.
Fox Searchlight announced today that Kenneth Lonergan ensemble drama "Margaret" will be released in theaters Sept. 30. Normally, this would be intriguing, but not major news in the movie industry except that "Margaret" is Lonergan's follow up to his critically acclaimed directorial debut "You Can Count on Me." That film was released in 2000, almost 11 years ago.
Michelle Williams as the legendary Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn."
Credit: The Weinstein Company
There were a number of expected awards season players missing from the Venice, Telluride and Toronto Film Festival lineup announcements last week including Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" and "The Iron Lady." Now we know why as one of those titles, "My Week with Marilyn," has been selected as the centerpiece gala for the 2011 New York Film Festival.