TIFF Reveals Mary Harron’s ‘Dalíland’ as Closing Night Film

The film stars Ben Kingsley as the legendary surrealist, with Ezra Miller playing a younger version of him in flashbacks.
Rekha Garton and Marcel Zyskind

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced that “Dalíland,” Mary Harron’s latest film that stars Sir Ben Kingsley as Salvador Dalí, will close out the festival on Saturday, September 17.

“We’re excited to premiere Mary Harron’s ‘Dalíland’ as this year’s Closing Night film,” said TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey. “We couldn’t be prouder that Harron is a Canadian who has taken her singular explorations of iconic eccentrics to the world stage. In portraying the wild relationship between Salvador Dalí and his partner, Gala, Harron continues to keep moviegoing interesting and engaging.”

The film follows the legendary surrealist painter and “Un Chien Andalou” director in the later years of his career, examining the unique power dynamics in his marriage to his wife, Gala Dalí. The story is told through the eyes of an ambitious young assistant, James, who is tasked with helping the aging painter prepare for a major gallery show in New York in 1973.

Marry Harron directed “Dalíland,” working from a script by John Walsh. It is her fifth feature film behind the camera and her first since 2018’s “Charlie Says,” though she is best known for writing and directing “American Psycho.”

In addition to Kingsley, the film stars Barbara Sukowa, Christopher Briney, Rupert Graves, Alexander Beyer, Andreja Pejic, Mark McKenna, Zachary Nachbar-Seckel, Avital Lvova, and Suki Waterhouse. The film may end up courting controversy because the increasingly troubled Ezra Miller plays a younger version of Salvador Dalí in a series of flashbacks.

The film joins a stacked lineup at the Toronto International Film Festival that includes Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans,” Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale,” Florian Zeller’s “The Son,” Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave,” Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees Of Inisherin,” Rian Johnson’s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” and Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or winner “Triangle of Sadness.”

“Dalíland” will serve as a bookend to the festival alongside the previously announced opening night selection, Sally El Hosaini’s “The Swimmers.” That film takes place during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, telling the story of two sisters from war-torn Syria who make their way to the games to compete as swimmers.

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