Monday, August 27, 2012

My TIFF 2012 lineup...

The Toronto International Film Festival begins on September 6th and the world's biggest public film fest will screen over 300 films this year from more than 60 countries. The 37th edition of the festival finally stepped into the 21st century and went to an online system for advance ticket sales, dropping the previous method that was extremely inconvenient for those of us living outside of Toronto. That outdated system had customers with ticket packages having to submit their film picks in person at the festival box office, sweat it out as a lottery drawing was then used to determine how high you were in the pecking order in terms of getting the films you picked, and then having to endure long lineups at the box office to choose alternates if any of your original screening picks were sold out. The online method appears to be working smoothly, despite worries that the new system would have glitches and be unable to handle the high demand (my brother was convinced it would crap out).
Here's what's on my festival lineup (descriptions taken from TIFF's site):
The Place Beyond The Pines - Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and Eva Mendes star in this multi-generational crime drama from director Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), about a motorcycle stunt rider whose moonlighting a bank robber brings him into conflict with an ambitious young cop.
Everybody Has A Plan - In this dazzling thriller from first-time feature filmmaker Ana Piterbarg, Viggo Mortensen (in his third Spanish-language film) is twice the badass as twin brothers whose deadly pact plunges them into the sordid depths of the Argentinean underworld.

Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out - Marina Zenovich dives into the mysterious details of Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland in 2009, which came suspiciously soon after the release of her ground-breaking 2008 documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired. In this follow-up investigation, Zenovich raises fresh questions about legal manipulation, media distortion and power politics.
Cloud Atlas - Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving head a stellar international cast in this visionary, time-tripping science-fiction epic from directors Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Lana and Andy Wachowski (The Matrix).
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence In The House Of God - Academy Award–winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi To the Dark Side) explores the charged issue of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States and all way to the Vatican.
The Impossible - Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage) recreates the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in terrifyingly vivid detail in this grueling survival story about a married couple (Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor) searching for their missing children in the aftermath of the disaster.

The Iceman - Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon stars alongside a stellar supporting cast — including Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta and Chris Evans — in the story of real-life mob hit-man Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski, who was reportedly responsible for over 200 murders.

The Sessions - Academy Award nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) stars in this funny and touching comedy-drama about a childhood polio survivor — now in his thirties and permanently confined to an iron lung — who hires a professional sex surrogate (Academy Award winner Helen Hunt) to help him lose his virginity.
Artifact - Telling harsh truths about the modern music business, Artifact gives intimate access to singer/actor Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars as they battle their label in a brutal lawsuit and record their album This Is War. The film is a true artifact of our times, as its subjects struggle with big questions over art, money and integrity.
9.79* - Filmmaker Daniel Gordon investigates the 1988 Olympic race that resulted in disgrace for Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, a gold medal for the USA’s Carl Lewis, and major controversy over drug testing.