The Toronto International Film Festival tends to predict everything from Oscar winners to horror hits. Just released, this year’s schedule has plenty to be interested in. Here’s what stands out the most, among the movies coming to the fest.
Arrival, Denis Villeneuve
Villeneuve, best known as the director of Prisoners and Sicario, takes on the alien invasion thriller, which is not a remake of the movie where Charlie Sheen insists he resembles a can of smashed a-holes. This movie features Amy Adams as a linguist trying to figure out if mysterious alien crafts are a peaceful arrival or a declaration of war.
Deepwater Horizon, Peter Berg
Peter Berg’s action drama, starring Mark Wahlberg, about the oil rig collapse that flooded the Gulf of Mexico with millions of gallons of oil in 2010 has had a trailer on every movie this summer, but this will be our first full look at it.
JT and The Tennessee Kids, Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme has directed no shortage of classic films, from Melvin and Howard to The Silence of the Lambs and beyond. He’s also an undisputed master of the concert film, with classics like Storefront Hitchcock and Stop Making Sense on his resumé. So his tackling a “space age concert film” starring Justin Timberlake promises to be a fascinating watch.
Loving, Jeff Nichols
Nichols’ career to this point has been a collection of subtle, under-the-radar genre movies, most recently the critically acclaimed Midnight Special. Here he’s going straight drama, though, with Ruth Negga (Preacher) and Joel Edgerton playing Mildred and Richard Loving, who challenged Virginia’s laws against interracial marriage in the Supreme Court and got them struck down. It may sound like a typical awards-season drama, but Nichols doesn’t do “typical,” to say the least.
Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford
Ford, a former fashion designer, follows up his 2009 debut A Single Man with a movie that has a bizarre conceit: A woman (Amy Adams) gets proofs of a slick Gone Girl-esque thriller her ex-husband wrote, and as she reads the book, she realizes it’s based on her relationship. The book will unfold as a movie within the movie and in a witty bit of casting, Isla Fisher will play Adams’ character. Anybody who’s ever gotten the two confused is in for a rough time.
LBJ, Rob Reiner
Woody Harrelson plays the Master of the Senate and architect of some of the greatest policy achievements of the 1960s in Reiner’s biopic. It’ll be interesting to see if Reiner, very much the showman, can offer a more nuanced take on Johnson, especially with memories of Bryan Cranston’s vivid turn in All the Way still lingering.
Snowden, Oliver Stone
The man who infamously revealed the NSA’s surveillance program PRISM gets a biopic from the original Hollywood conspiracy theorist and Pokémon Go hater Oliver Stone. Stone is always good for compelling drama, but Snowden is a tough subject, as his actions are more interesting than the man himself.
The full schedule is on the TIFF website.