The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its first wave of titles, including 3 major LGBT-related films: Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” Peter Sollett’s “Freeheld” and Roland Emmerich’s “Stonewall.”
Each at least loosely based on true stories of pioneering LGBT individuals, “Freeheld” and “Stonewall” will both be world premieres, while “The Danish Girl” will be North American. They were among 43 announced titles, which also included openly LGBT filmmakers Terence Davies and Nicholas Hytner’s latest films and new work from the likes of Charlie Kaufman, Julie Delpy, Cary Fukunaga, Stephen Frears, Rebecca Miller, Ridley Scott and Jean-Marc Vallee. Indiewire has the full list, but you can check out the gists regarding the “big 3” LGBT titles below:
The Danish Girl
Who made it?
Tom Hooper is following up “Les Miserables” with the film, which is being released by Focus Features on November 28th.
Who’s in it? Eddie Redmayne is aiming for back-to-back Oscars in a juicy lead role here, with Alicia Vikander (having quite the year), Amber Heard, Mattias Schoenaerts and Ben Whishaw rounding out the cast.
What’s it about? Based on the novel by David Ebershoff, “The Danish Girl” is a fictionalized account of the life of Lili Elbe (Redmayne), one of the first people to undergo sex reassignment surgery. Set in early 1920s Copenhagen, the genesis of Elbe’s transition comes when illustrator and artist Gerda Wegener (Vikander) asked Elbe — her husband, then male-identified and known as Einar Wegener — to stand in for a female model. The popularity of the portraits led to Gerda painting her husband in further pictures as a woman. Einer develops an attraction for a female physical appearance and begins living as woman, and Gerda supports her decision — although their marriage becomes strained when Gerda comes to the realization that Lili is no longer the person she married (it all sounds very “Laurence Anyways” to us).
Who made it?
Peter Sollett (“Raising Victor Vargas”), from a script by “Philadelphia” writer Ron Nyswaner. Lionsgate is releasing the film on October 2nd.
Who’s in it? Another recent Oscar winner, Julianne Moore stars along with Ellen Page, Steve Carell, Luke Grimes and Michael Shannon.
What’s it about? The film is based on the true story of Laurel Hester (Moore), a police officer in Ocean County, New Jersey. Following her diagnosis with terminal lung cancer in 2005, Hester repeatedly appealed to the county’s board of chosen freeholders in an attempt to ensure her pension benefits could be passed on to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree (Page). A short documentary about the same story won an Oscar back in 2007.
Who made it?
Roland Emmerich — yes, the man that made “The Day After Tomorrow” and “White House Down” — is taking on the story of the Stonewall Riots. Roadside Attractions will release the film at some point this year.
Who’s in it? A very white male ensemble cast including Jeremy Irvine, Ron Perlman, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Joey King, Caleb Landry Jones, Matt Craven, Atticus Mitchell and Mark Camacho.
What’s it about? Official synopsis: “Kicked out of his own home, young Danny Winters (Jeremy Irvine) flees to New York, leaving behind his beloved sister (Joey King). Homeless and destitute, he befriends a group of street kids who soon introduce him to the watering hole of the local drag queens, gays, lesbians, and everything in between: The Stonewall Inn. However, this shady, mafia-run club is far from a safe-haven. At the bar, Danny meets the suave Trevor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) before catching the eye of Ed Murphy (Ron Perlman), Stonewall’s repulsive manager who colludes with corrupt police, exploits homeless youth for financial gain, and is even suspected to have had a hand in some of their “disappearances.” It spirals out of control when the police unexpectedly raid Stonewall. In a storm of anger and with the toss of a single brick, a riot ensues and a crusade for equality is born.” Sounds like a Lifetime movie to us, but our fingers are crossed.
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