By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire July 28, 2009 at 2:22AM
The Toronto International Film Festival has set ten more films for its 34th edition, including new work from Michael Moore, Werner Herzog, the Coen brothers, and Drew Barrymore. The Coens' "A Serious Man" and Barrymore's directorial debut "Whip It!" will both have world premieres at the festival, as will Oliver Parker's "Dorian Gray," an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde novel starring Ben Barnes and Colin Firth. Suggestive of the Venice lineup, Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" and Herzog's "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" will both have North American Premieres, as will Rebecca Miller's "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee," which premiered earlier this year in Berlin.
Below are the synopses of all of the added films, provided by the festival. You can check out the full list of announced Toronto titles here.
Oliver Parker, United Kingdom World Premiere
In Victorian London, the handsome Dorian Gray (Ben Barnes) is swept into a social whirlwind by the charismatic and cunning Lord Wotton (Colin Firth). Immersed in the hedonistic pleasures of the city, Dorian vows he would give anything to keep his youth and beauty - even his soul. Based on the Oscar Wilde novel, "Dorian Gray" examines the destructive power of beauty, the blind pursuit of pleasure and the darkness that can result from both.
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee
Rebecca Miller, USA North American Premiere
From all outward appearances, Pippa Lee (Robin Wright Penn) leads a charmed existence. An anchor of feminine serenity, she is the devoted wife of an accomplished publisher (Alan Arkin) 30 years her senior, the proud mother of two grown children, a trusted friend and confidant. But as Pippa dutifully follows her husband to a new life in a staid Connecticut retirement community, her idyllic world and the persona she has built over the course of her marriage will be put to the ultimate test. Adapted from writer-director Rebecca Miller's novel of the same name, "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" presents the complex portrait of the many lives behind a single name.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Werner Herzog, USA North American Premiere
Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), a homicide detective with the New Orleans Police Department, is promoted to Lieutenant after he saves a prisoner from drowning in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, during his heroic act, he severely injures his back and is put on prescription pain medication. A year later, Terence - struggling with his addictions to sex, Vicodin and cocaine - finds himself in the battle to bring down drug dealer Big Fate, who is suspected of massacring an entire family of African immigrants.
Capitalism: A Love Story
Michael Moore, USA North American Premiere
On the 20-year anniversary of his groundbreaking masterpiece "Roger & Me", Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" comes home to the issue he's been examining throughout his career: the disastrous impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan. From Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan, Michael Moore will once again take film-goers into uncharted territory.
Daniel Barber, United Kingdom World Premiere
"Harry Brown" is a provocative and thought-provoking modern urban western featuring a tour-de-force lead performance from two-time Academy Award(R)-winner Michael Caine. Harry Brown has lived to see his community descend into crime and violence, and ruled over by a gang of teenage thugs. After his best friend is brutally murdered and the gang leader responsible walks free, Harry reaches a breaking point and revenge becomes his only aim.
Ian Fitzgibbon, Ireland/United Kingdom World Premiere
When Michael's (Cillian Murphy) debt to Dublin kingpin Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) is called in and one of Perrier's goons accidentally ends up dead, Michael escapes to the mountains with his father Jim (Jim Broadbent) and best friend, Brenda. Flat broke, on the run and with only 24 hours to pay up, Michael is forced to confront his true feelings for Brenda and make amends with his father. However, with Perrier and his gang in hot pursuit, time is running out for Michael and only fate, a bit of luck and possibly a gang of savage dogs will save him, in this cracking gangster comedy.
A Serious Man
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, USA World Premiere
Imaginatively exploring questions of faith, familial responsibility, delinquent behaviour, dental phenomena, academia, mortality and Judaism - and intersections thereof - "A Serious Man" is the new film from Academy Award(R)-winning writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen.
Danis Tanovic, Ireland/Spain World Premiere
Mark (Colin Farrell), a war photographer, returns home from Kurdistan without his friend and colleague David (Jamie Sives). As time goes on, it becomes clear that Mark holds the key to the truth of David's disappearance.
Drew Barrymore, USA World Premiere
Drew Barrymore's directorial debut stars Ellen Page ("Juno") as Bliss, a rebellious Texas teen who throws in her small-town beauty pageant crown for the rowdy world of roller-derby. Marcia Gay Harden ("Mystic River", "Pollock") plays Bliss's disapproving mother, while Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live") and Juliette Lewis ("Old School") play roller-derby stars. Whip It also stars Eve, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern, Alia Shawkat, Ari Graynor, Andrew Wilson, Zoe Bell and singer-songwriter Landon Pigg.
Women Without Men
Shirin Neshat, Germany/France/Austria North American Premiere
Shirin Neshat's first feature-length film is based on a magic-realist novel written by Iranian author Sharnush Parsipur. The narrative interweaves the lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953, a pivotal moment in Iranian history when an American led coup d'etat brought down the democratically elected prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah to power. The film chronicles each woman's quest for change and their mysterious encounter in a magical orch