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.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news, follow Gregory Ellwood @HitFixGregory.