Countdown has begun for the 40th Toronto International Film Festival, which will run from September 10 to September 20. Tiff fever has already broken all over Twitter, with most indie film sites already making predictions about the films that are most likely to be both audience and critic favorites.
The lineup for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival is out, and it certainly does not disappoint. Here at Art Film File, we are revealing our personal picks for the ten films we believe will come out on top. Drum-roll, please:
1) The Dressmaker: Based on the novel by Rosalin Ham, this Australian feature is set in the 1950’s, among the high rise of haute couture fashion. Tilly Dunnage, a young ambitious girl, who left her tiny hometown of Dungatar in order to become somebody new, returns to correct mistakes from the past. Starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth, this film brings together a sense of hope amidst Tilly’s search for resolution, and the transformation of an entire town.
2) The Danish Girl: Directed by Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl is a film that portrays the lives of avant-garde transgender artist Lili Elger and his wife Gerda Wegener, as they circumvent the difficulties of living in a closeted society. Starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander
3) The Lobster: Already a success at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, we don’t expect The Lobster to be any less of a hit in Toronto. An international collaboration between Ireland, the U.K., Greece, France, and the Netherlands. The Lobster is set in a dreary dystopia, where single individuals are forced to find a mate in forty-five days, or be transformed into animals, and forcefully, released in the woods. Directed by Yorgo Lanthimos, and starring Colin Ferrel, Rachel Weisz, and John C. Reilly.
4) Sicario: Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Sicario deals with the controversial topic of border control between the U.S. and Mexico, as an FBI agent played by Emily Blunt is recruited to aid in the battle against the drug cartels amidst escalating violence and finds herself confronted with a reality she never expected.
5) Youth: In the tradition of his 2013 success The Great Beauty, director Paolo Sorrentino this time around, reveals the story of two friends who ponder on the idea of retiring, while vacationing at in a lodge nestled in the Swiss Alps. Starring Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, Youth is a powerful testament, reminding us that it is never too late for change. Co-starring: Rachel Weisz, Jane Fonda, and Paul Dano.
6) Room: Based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Emma Donoghue, Room is the story of five year old Jack, told from his point of view, and the life he leads with his Ma in an eleven by eleven foot space. While for Jack, this room is his comfort, the place where he dreams and lives out the musings of his imagination, it’s been Ma’s prison for seven years. An ode to the resilience of the human spirit and the tenacity of maternal love, this Irish-canadian film directed by Lenny Abrahamson will reveal that even though Room can hold the world at bay for years, it cannot do so forever. Starring Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers and William H Macy.
7) Dheepan: An inspiring story of human strength in times of adversity, Jacques Audiard directed this French feature about an unlikely trio, a former Tamil Tiger soldier, a woman, and a little girl who pretend to be a family in order to escape the civil war in Sri Lanka and later attempt to rebuild their lives in a Paris suburb.
8) Son of Saul: This Hungarian feature film directed by László Nemes, Geza Rohrig as Saul, a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, work units that were composed of mainly Jewish prisoners from Nazi concentration camps, who were forced to assist the Nazis with the disposal of bodies from gas chambers. While he is clearing out one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he believes is his son. Merged in the horror of what he is forced to do for the Nazis, Saul decides to recover the child’s corpse from the fire and procure the services of a rabbi, who can recite the Kaddish and honor the boy with a proper burial.
9) Freeheld: Directed by Peter Sollet (Philadelphia), is an adaptation of an award winning documentary about the compelling love story of Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, as they struggle for justice when Laurel is diagnosed with cancer, and realizes that legally, she cannot leave her hard earned pension to her partner of many years. As county officials called the Freehelders, try to prevent this, the couple receives some unexpected help from a detective and an activist, who in a hard attempt to fight back, try to gain support from ordinary citizens in the name of social justice. Starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, MichaelShannon and Steve Carell.
Colonia: Set amidst the oppressive regime of Augusto Pinochet, Colonia is the story of Lena and Daniel, a young couple who amidst the confusion of the military coup of 1973 that deposed Salvador Allende, become the target of Pinochet’s secret police and a place simply known as Colonia Dignidad, from which no one ever escapes. The film stars Emma Watson, Daniel Brühl and Michael Nyqvist