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The Biggest And Boldest Movies To See At TIFF 2017

NEIL KARASSIK

image credit: tiff.net

Want to catch a glimpse of next year’s Oscar contenders? Look no further than the Toronto International Film Festival.

Every September for 11 straight days, Toronto gets flooded with film critics, industry hotshots, movie lovers and, natch, A-list celebs. Whether you live in the city or thousands of miles away, visiting the annual epicenter of cinema is a must for film buffs and star-gazers alike.

This year’s festival takes place between September 7 and 17, so if you want to start planning your TIFF-cation right now, you’re in luck, because they just announced a slew of titles from their Gala and Special Presentations programmes.

So pop your corn, dim the lights and check out our list of the standout films that were revealed, with official synopses, dazzling images and even snazzy new trailers—ooh la la.

 

Breathe

The directorial debut of British actor Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes series) stars Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield as Robin Cavendish, the activist and innovator who helped make the world a more navigable place for the disabled.

 

Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman steps into the imposing persona of Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) period drama set in the early years of the Second World War, when Churchill’s rousing leadership inspired a nation.

 

Films Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Oscar winner Annette Bening and Jamie Bell star in this adaptation of the memoir by British actor Peter Turner, recounting his romance with the legendary (and legendarily eccentric) Hollywood star Gloria Grahame during the last years of her life.

 

Kings

A recluse (Daniel Craig) helps a woman (Halle Berry) and her 12 foster children when riots erupt in Los Angeles following the 1992 beating of Rodney King, in the English-language debut from writer-director Deniz Gamze Ergüven (Mustang).

 

Long Time Running

Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier capture the emotional and powerful 2016 final tour by Canadian rock icons The Tragically Hip.

 

Mary Shelley

Elle Fanning stars in this scintillating biopic of the Frankenstein author, chronicling her tempestuous marriage to dissolute poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and the fateful night at a Swiss chateau that inspired her most famous creation.

 

Mudbound

Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige and Garrett Hedlund star in this ensemble drama from director Dee Rees, an adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s prize-winning novel about simmering racial tensions in the Jim Crow South of the 1940s.

 

Stronger

David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls) directs Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany in this adaptation of the memoir by Jeff Bauman, which recounts his struggles to adjust to a new kind of life after losing his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing.

 

The Catcher Was a Spy

A sterling cast—including Paul Rudd, Guy Pearce, Jeff Daniels, Paul Giamatti, Sienna Miller, Mark Strong, Tom Wilkinson and Connie Nielsen—star in this biopic of Moe Berg, the former professional baseball player who became a secret agent in the OSS during World War II.

 

The Mountain Between Us

A surgeon (Idris Elba) and a journalist (Kate Winslet) must rely on each other for survival when the small plane they share crashes in the wilderness.

 

The Wife

Jonathan Pryce, Glenn Close and Christian Slater star in Björn Runge’s adaptation of Meg Wolitzer’s bestselling novel about an author who travels to Stockholm to collect her Nobel Prize—and leaves her husband in the process.

 

Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in this remake of the French hit The Intouchables, a dramatic buddy comedy about the unlikely friendship between a rich quadriplegic and his working-class caregiver.

 

Woman Walks Ahead

Jessica Chastain stars in the true-life story of Catherine Weldon, a 19th-century Brooklyn artist who travelled to the Dakota Territory and became the confidante of legendary Sioux chief Sitting Bull.

 

Battle of the Sexes

Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in this recreation of the legendary 1973 tennis match that pitted Billie Jean King against Bobby Riggs.

 

Disobedience

Sebastián Lelio directs Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams in this adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel about a woman who returns home to her orthodox Jewish community in London and rekindles a romance with her cousin’s wife.

 

First They Killed My Father

Angelina Jolie co-produces, co-writes and directs this adaptation of the memoir by Loung Ung, which recounts the author’s horrifying childhood experiences under the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in her native Cambodia.

 

I, Tonya

Margot Robbie plays Tonya Harding in this biopic of the disgraced Olympic figure skater.

 

Novitiate

Oscar winner Melissa Leo (The Fighter) oversees a bevy of up-and-coming female actors in this drama about aspiring nuns at an isolated Catholic school in 1964, who are forced to re-examine their faith and their calling in light of the liberal reforms of Vatican II.

 

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

Luke Evans (High-Rise, Beauty and the Beast), Rebecca Hall (Christine) and Bella Heathcote (Fifty Shades Darker) star in this biopic of William Moulton Marston, the American psychologist who put his progressive ideals about female liberation into practice by creating the DC superhero Wonder Woman and living in an “extended relationship” with his wife and another woman.

 

Submergence

The new film from the great Wim Wenders (Pina) is a globe-trotting romance about a water engineer (James McAvoy) and a deep-sea researcher (Oscar winner Alicia Vikander) striving to reconnect although separated by oceans, continents and civil war.

 

The Current War

Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) directs Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland and Katherine Waterst.

 

The Shape of Water

At the height of the Cold War, circa 1962, two workers in a high-tech US government laboratory (Sally Hawkins and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer) discover a terrifying secret experiment, in this otherwordly fairytale from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth).

 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A frustrated and grieving mother (Frances McDormand) antagonizes her local police force (including Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell) to call attention to the lack of progress in the search for her daughter’s killer, in the latest from dark-humour master Martin McDonagh.

 

Victoria and Abdul

Acclaimed British auteur Stephen Frears reunites with his Philomena star, Academy Award winner Judi Dench, in this charming dramedy chronicling the friendship between Queen Victoria and a decades-younger Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

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