After revealing the film as part of its official lineup of premieres on Tuesday, the Toronto Film Festival has waited until today to announce that “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, will serve as the event's opening night presentation on Sept. 4.
If the language of the original announcement didn't make it clear enough, this certainly seals the deal on the film not being Telluride-bound, which is significant only in that it appears Warner Bros. will be skipping the Colorado fest altogether this year after having great luck with “Argo” and “Gravity” in recent years. The studio's major play, “Inherent Vice,” will premiere at the New York Film Festival in October.
Downey stars in “The Judge” as a Chicago lawyer who returns to his hometown roots to defend his hostile father (Duvall), a local judge wrapped up in a murder case. It sounds like a particularly juicy opportunity for Duvall, who plays a bit of a town tyrant (both in the courtroom and at home).
Here is what Downey had to say about it recently:
“Against his own instincts and desire, he ends up staying to defend his dad from what may or may not be an intentional vehicular manslaughter case. His father is a pillar of the community. Everybody knows a dad like the judge. Every community has one, and every family has either heard of or been under that kind of patriarchy. It”s this very American story. But it”s also a story about family, and reconciliation, and law, and justice.”
Oscars? Maybe. Or it could just be a nice commercial play at the end of the day.
The 2014 Toronto Film Festival runs Sept. 4 – 14.