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Author Topic: Screen gold: 15 must-see films at TIFF 2008  (Read 963 times)
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« on: September 01, 2008, 11:11:09 PM »

 Screen gold: 15 must-see films at TIFF 2008

Mob secrets, 18th-century infidelity, wedding-day drama and an uproarious take on God and religion make these 15 films the top draws of the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.

From screen legends Catherine Deneuve and Ben Kingsley, to Hollywood heavyweights such Pitt, Clooney, Swinton and Zellweger, Hollywood North lights up as the world's biggest stars and their hot new flicks role into town.
Even bad boy Mickey Rourke is back for another round.


 Gomorrah

    
  Gomorra, l'apocalisse ai
  tempi della camorra

 
Matteo Garrone, special presentation
Power, money, blood and the Sicilian Mafia make this Grand Prix winner at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival a riveting screen experience. Based on Roberto Saviano's bestselling expose of contemporary Neapolitan crime, five interwoven storylines revolve around the ruthless Camorra family. Controlling lives and entire economies in Italy and throughout the world, this powerful clan's violence and vast wealth ($233 billion per year) is documented with mesmerizing style.
Star watch: Matteo Garrone

--------------

 Burn After Reading

   
  George Clooney and Frances
  McDormand in dark spy comedy
 
   
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, gala
Madcap larceny and strong performances from George Clooney and Brad Pitt stoke this black spy-comedy from the Oscar-winning Coen brothers ('No Country for Old Men'). The mischief begins when a computer disc containing the memoirs of an ousted CIA agent falls into the hands of two D.C. fitness club employees. Intent on exploiting their opportune find the unscrupulous duo hatch a scheme to sell its incriminating contents to the highest bidder.
Star watch: Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton 

--------------

 The Duchess

 
  Ralph Fiennes as 'Duke of
  Devonshire' with Keira Knightley

 
Saul Dibb, gala
Eighteen-century infidelity and political intrigue spice up this ode to England's original 'It Girl.' Based on the award-winning biography 'Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire' by Amanda Foreman, Keira Knightley shines as the ravishing socialite celebrated for her affairs, gambling and unhappy marriage to the Duke of Devonshire (Ralph Fiennes). With women's suffrage more than a century away this trailblazing ancestor of Princess Diana seduces England itself on her rise to power. The only person she couldn't seduce was her husband.
Star watch: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes

--------------

 Rachel Getting Married

   
  Anne Hathaway brings some dark
  humour to her sister's wedding
 
   
Jonathan Demme, gala
Years of repressed family conflict erupt when a young woman (Anne Hathaway) returns home for her sister's wedding. In and out of rehab for 10 years, this drama queen's black humour quickly snuffs the 'Martha Stewart' magic out of these nuptials. Hurling one bombshell after another at her eccentric clan, Hathaway's badass heroine and director Jonathan Demme paints a compelling family portrait filled with wry affection and, ultimately, generous spirit.
Star Watch: Anne Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jonathan Demme, Debra Winger
 
--------------

 Religulous

   
  Bill Maher merged 'religion' with
  'ridiculous' for the title of his new doc
 
   
Larry Charles, special presentation
God, faith and religion send political humourist Bill Maher on an unusual spiritual journey. The host of 'Real Time with Bill Maher' and 'Politically Incorrect' travels the world interviewing people about these hot-button topics and churns out an unapologetic flick filled with sacrilegious wit. 'Religulous' marks director Larry Charles' first feature project since 2006's smash 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.'
Star Watch: Bill Maher, Larry Charles
 
--------------

 Secret Life of Bees

   
  Lily (Dakota Fanning) finds solace in
  the world of beekeeping

 
Gina Prince-Bythewood, gala
Based on the bestselling novel 'The Secret Life of Bees,' Dakota Fanning stars as 14-year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. Set in South Carolina, she flees with her caregiver (Jennifer Hudson) to a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keys), the lonely girl finds solace in their magical world of beekeeping and the Black Madonna.
Star watch: Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Paul Bettany

--------------

 Miracle at St. Anna

   
  Buffalo soldiers in Italy: Omar
  Benson and Miller Matteo Sciabordi
 
   
Spike Lee, special presentation
The triumph of human goodness over tragedy drives this moving Second World War drama. Based on the novel by James McBride, this film chronicles four soldiers in the U.S. Army's all-black 92nd 'Buffalo Soldier' Division stationed in Tuscany. Trapped behind enemy lines the men are separated from the unit after one soldier risks his life to save an Italian boy. The inspirational journey that follows transcends national boundaries, race and class.
Star watch: Spike Lee, Derek Luke
 
--------------

 Fifty Dead Men Walking

   
  Jim Sturgess and Ben Kingsley in
  the underground life

 
Kari Skogland, gala
Based on a shocking real-life story, 22-year-old Martin McGartland (Jim Sturgess) is recruited by the British police to spy on the Irish Republican Army in the late 1980s. Keeping his secret double life from his family, McGartland works his way up through the IRA ranks while feeding information to the Brits. When his cover is blown McGartland is captured and tortured yet still manages a daring escape. To this day McGartland is still on the run.
Star watch: Sir Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess, Kari Skogland
 
--------------

 Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

   
  Michael Cera and Kat Denning step
  out on their first date

   
Peter Sollett, special presentation
The hilarious magic of mismatched love shines in this new romantic comedy. Two Indie music lovers (Michael Cera, Kat Dennings) are fatefully thrust together on an all-night quest to find a legendary band's secret show. Nick's a broken-hearted nerd who sucks at playing bass. Norah questions the meaning of life. With nothing in common by their musical tastes, they set out on an unexpected first date that changes their lives.
Star watch: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Peter Sollett
 
--------------

 RocknRolla

   
  Toby Kebbell is one of London's
  scrappiest tough guys

 
Guy Ritchie, special presentation
A dangerous crime lord, a sexy accountant and a corrupt politician want in on the action when a Russian mobster orchestrates a land deal worth millions. Getting rich quick isn't so easy, however, once London's entire criminal underworld conspires to get their cut. Fans of 1998's 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' should love this new caper. 'RocknRolla' returns to that slick, face-paced grit that made Ritchie famous.
Star watch: Guy Ritchie, Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Jeremy Piven
 
--------------

 Appaloosa

 
  Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris are
   hired to police a small town

   
Ed Harris, special presentation
Old West outlaws and ranchers tangle in this sweeping adaptation of Robert B. Parker's novel. Set in New Mexico, two hired guns (Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris) clean up a dangerous town run by a ruthless rancher (Jeremy Irons) and his band of crooks. A provocative stranger (Renée Zellweger) arrives on the scene as the two lawmen bring new order to the town. Soon the unconventional newcomer threatens to destroy their decade-old bond.
Star watch: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renée Zellweger and Jeremy Irons 

--------------

Un conte de Noël

  
  'A Christmas Tale' is a tragically
  comic tale of love


Arnaud Desplechin, special presentation
Torn apart by illness, death and loss, a dysfunctional family reunites for Christmas in the North of France. Years of suppressed emotions quickly surface as these disparate relatives open up to acceptance, forgiveness and understanding. Starring screen legend Catherine Deneuve and 'Quantum of Solace's' Mathieu Amalric, this gem by director Arnaud Desplechin nabbed a Special Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival.
Star watch: Arnaud Desplechin

--------------

Easy Virtue

 
  Kimberley Nixon, Kristin Scott
  Thomas and Katherine Parkinson

 
Stephan Elliott, special presentation
Noel Coward's poison pen juices up this witty TIFF treat. Based on Coward's 1924 play, a sexy American divorcee (Jessica Biel) travels to the South of France and impulsively weds a hot young Englishman (Ben Barnes). When she arrives at her husband's English home the glam bride enters a minefield laid by her new, disapproving mother-in-law (Kristin Scott Thomas). Sparks fly as the women battle wits. The American gal's new father-in-law (Colin Firth) becomes her unlikely ally.
Star watch: Colin Firth, Jessica Biel, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Barnes, Stephan Elliott
 
--------------

Che: Part One

 
  Benicio del Toro stars in this
  innovative, two-part bio pic

   
Steven Soderbergh, special presentation
A marathon ode to Cuba's famed revolutionary, Steven Soderbergh's epic narrative begins on November 26, 1956 as Fidel Castro sails to Cuba with 80 rebels. One companion is Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (Benicio Del Toro), an Argentine doctor who shares a common goal with Fidel Castro -- to overthrow the corrupt dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. 'Che' masters the art of guerrilla warfare quickly and rises in the Cuban Revolution from doctor to revolutionary hero.
Star watch: Benicio Del Toro, Steven Soderbergh
 

------------

Che: Part Two

 
  The latter section relates to the
  events of the Cuban Revolution

   
Steven Soderbergh, special presentation
The second half of Soderbergh's 'Che' saga chronicles the Cuban leader's fight against Bolivia's oppressive regime. Filled with one guerrilla skirmish after another, 'Che' ultimately fails despite his tenacity and sacrifice. 'Che: Part Two' also reveals into why this revolutionary leader remains an international symbol of idealism and heroism around the world.
Star watch: Benicio Del Toro, Steven Soderbergh  
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008, 01:48:43 AM »

amazing, I haven't even heard of a single one!
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 10:35:40 PM »

amazing, I haven't even heard of a single one!

First they play at Film Festivals, where they are viewed by distributors who then decide which films they are going to distribute throughout the world. Alot of the studio releases already have distribution deals prior to the first day of shooting, ...but many of the lesser known films don't, and put their films into festivals in order to get distribution.  The film festival is their opportunity to wow audiences and inspire distributors to carry them.

Sometimes, ...some of the best films never make it into our theatres because they can't get distribution,
that why film buffs just LOVE the Toronto Film Festival because it allows them to see films from all over the world, that normally do not get distributed in North America.

I'm surprised you haven't heard about Bill Maher's fim 'Religulous' tho. People have been talking about that one for months. I think there's even a thread about it on the Religion board.
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smaul
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 11:38:07 PM »

First they play at Film Festivals, where they are viewed by distributors who then decide which films they are going to distribute throughout the world. Alot of the studio releases already have distribution deals prior to the first day of shooting, ...but many of the lesser known films don't, and put their films into festivals in order to get distribution.  The film festival is their opportunity to wow audiences and inspire distributors to carry them.

Sometimes, ...some of the best films never make it into our theatres because they can't get distribution,
that why film buffs just LOVE the Toronto Film Festival because it allows them to see films from all over the world, that normally do not get distributed in North America.

I'm surprised you haven't heard about Bill Maher's fim 'Religulous' tho. People have been talking about that one for months. I think there's even a thread about it on the Religion board.
Embarrassed
I thought I kept myself well informed.  I tend to enjoy smaller films/lower budget films (and not just the commercial small/low budget films, eg Juno, Napoleon Dynamite etc.)

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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2008, 04:59:14 PM »

Embarrassed
I thought I kept myself well informed.  I tend to enjoy smaller films/lower budget films (and not just the commercial small/low budget films, eg Juno, Napoleon Dynamite etc.)



Smaul, There's no reason to beat yourself up. None of these films have even been released to the public yet.
Prior to a film festival, ...only a tiny small handful of people have even been able to screen them,
...and of those who have, many don't even realize they have because film titles change so frequently
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