Big, big Toronto: too many films, a lot of mediocrity and dreck to sift through, but there are always a few diamonds in the swamp. What world premieres should we look forward to in this year’s selection? Here’s some educated guesses (descriptions are from festival and PR reps):
“Treeless Mountain” – New York filmmaker So Yong Kim’s Korea-set follow-up to her Sundance award-winning “In Between Days” tells the intimate story of two little girls abandoned by their mother.
“Goodbye Solo” – Ramin Bahrani (“Man Push Cart,” “Chop Shop”) follows the relationship between a Senagelese taxi driver and an older suicidal man in North Carolina. Also at Venice.
“The Dungeon Master” – Keven McAlester’s latest doc focuses on three adults deeply involved with Dungeons & Dragons and explores how the game affects their lives and relationships, with cinematography by Lee Daniel (known for his work with Richard Linklater) and a score by Blonde Redhead.
“Me and Orson Welles” – Richard Linklater’s latest stars Zac Efron, Claire Danes, and Christian Mckay as Orson Welles.
“Lovely Still” – 24-year-old wunderkind Nik Fackler directs this unconventional love story starring Ellen Burstyn, Martin Landau and Elizabeth Banks, from producers of “Old Joy” and “Wild Tigers I Have Known.”
“Genova” – I’ll see anything directed by Michael Winterbottom, set in Italy, stars Colin Firth, Catherine Keener and Hope Davis, sounds like a psychological portrait of loss about a widower and his two daughters.
“Two Legged Horse” – Samira Makhmalbaf’s latest about a boy who carries a disabled boy on his back every day to and fro school.
“A Time to Stir” – British doc director Paul Cronin’s epic four-hour work looks at the tumultuous events of the Columbia University student strike in 1968 that ended in police violence and signaled a dramatic political shift between old left and new left.
“Uncertainty” — You have to wonder what Scott McGehee and David Siegel are up to with this bifurcated narrative about the same young couple in love who find out that they are pregnant and are not sure what to do. The man flips a coin and there follows two versions of what happens next. Stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lynn Collins.
“The Wrestler – Word on the street is that Darren Aronofsky’s professional wrestler portrait, starring Mickey Rourke, is a low-budget comeback of sorts following the director’s “Fountain” setback. It actually premieres in Venice two days earlier, but you can bet most of the press corps will catch it in Canada.