So with TIFF unveiling its final batch of flicks, here come the first looks at the films that will be throwing elbows for attention in Ontario.
You can’t escape Rachel Weisz, and already in town with “360” and “The Deep Blue Sea,” she will close out the festival with “Page Eight.” David Hare, best known in the film world for his Oscar-nominated screenplays for “The Reader” and “The Hours,” started filming the spy thriller back in January and it seems he got finished up fast. Rachel Weisz toplines the film as political activist Nancy Pierpan, with Bill Nighy as an MI5 operative threatened by Weisz’s character and Michael Gambon as the head of the security services. Judy Davis and Ralph Fiennes round out the solid cast. The title refers to the page number of a top secret document around which the plot revolves. If you can’t make it to Toronto don’t worry, because PBS will air the BBC production as part of their “Masterpiece” series this fall. Synopsis, pics and the first trailer below — kind of feels like “Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy” lite, doesn’t it?
Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is a long-serving MI5 officer. His boss and best friend Benedict Baron (Michael Gambon) dies suddenly, leaving behind him an inexplicable file, threatening the stability of the organization. Meanwhile, a seemingly chance encounter with Johnny’s striking next-door neighbour and political activist Nancy Pierpan (Rachel Weisz) seems too good to be true. Set in London and Cambridge, Page Eight is a contemporary spy film which addresses intelligence issues and moral dilemmas peculiar to the new century. Also stars Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.
One film we’ve been keeping a curious eye on is Geoffrey Fletcher‘s “Violet & Daisy.” The Oscar-winning writer of “Precious” finds himself in very different territory for his directorial debut, with Saoirse Ronan, Alexis Bledel, James Gandolfini, Danny Trejo and Marianne Jean-Baptiste starring in a story about a pair of teenage assassins (Ronan, Bledel) who are lured into what is supposed to be just another quick and easy job, only to find complications as the man they’re supposed to kill is not what they expected. Or to use the TIFF logline: “Two girls. Some guns. A dress. A guy. A mess.” And don’t get it twisted, this is not “Hanna” redux, but instead will be a black comedy of sorts. We’re intrigued.