More TIFF titles added!

My last post contained six new titles and a few speculated ones – well, a few more have been confirmed thanks to the TIFF press conference and Quiet Earth (http://www.quietearth.us/articles/2009/07/14/First-TIFF-Toronto-International-Film-Festival-titles-announced)

So here they are (same format):
Bright Star – starring: Abbie Cornish and Ben Whishaw. A Cannes favourite and a sentimental story scream for me, so I’ll definitely be seeing this. At the festival, perhaps — it all depends on what else is playing at the same time. I’d love to see this at TIFF, but it hits US theaters on September 25th, so using up a ticket for it may or may not be a mistake. I’m excited for it though. (A 9/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

City of Life and Death – starring: Ye Liu. This looks like the best movie that is going to be playing at TIFF this year. The most devastating genocide that no one knows about in Nanjing is finally getting its dues in an authentic Hong Kong feature by Chuan Lu. No US release has been confirmed, but I see this being Hong Kong’s selection to the Academy this year for their Foreign Feature slot. (A 10/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Cracks – starring: Eva Green and Juno Temple. I just found out about this film and it has an intriguingly minimalist plot – the film is apparently a look at the lives of girls in an elite British school. Simple, solid cast… hopefully I’ll see it. I like me some Juno Temple, Eva Green and Imogen Poots! No US distribution date yet, but it does have an October release set in France. (A 7/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Get Low – starring: Bill Murray and Robert Duvall. The first Gala announced that is an “out-of-nowhere” pick. I’d not heard of this until today, but I’m glad that I have. Although I am weary of unknown films getting the Gala treatment after so many others have faltered, the director of this, Aaron Schnider, has already won an Oscar for his short Two Soldiers. That alone interests me. The plot is also unique – it’s about a man who stages his own funeral before he dies. Inspired by a true story way of the 1930’s, this seems like a nostalgic, but harrowing film. I hope to see this one! Currently without any distribution – including US. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Hadewijch – starring: Julie Sokolowski and David Dewaele. Bruno Dupont is one of the more recent auteurs that I’ve yet to watch anything by (although I do have a copy of L’humanite laying around). Although the plot synopsis doesn’t intrigue me – a former faith healer returns to her diplomatic and accustomed routes, but with God and rage in her heart, encountering Khaled and Nassir cause her distress and a new route down a dangerous path. It sounds interesting, but not at all my thing. If I appreciate L’humanite then perhaps I’ll give this a go. (A 6/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

The Invention of Lying – starring: Ricky Gervais and Jennifer Garner. A delightful looking comedy about the power of lying in a world that doesn’t understand the meaning of the word. A down and out man is given a second chance by being put in an alternate and trusting universe that is at his disposal. Looks very light – very entertaining. Last years also TIFFed Gervais film Ghost Town did well with me, so I may just see this based on that. Oh, and that Louis CK is in it. It has a September 25th release set for the US. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

London River – starring: Sotigui Kouyaté and Brenda Blethyn. This has been one of my most anticipated films of the year after Kouyate won the Silver Bear Award at BIFF (Berlin International Film Festival) back in February. It has a somber little synopsis – a Muslim man and a Christian woman meet each other after both of their children go missing after a London bombing; set in July 2005 during the factual events. Simple and touching – plus it has Sami Bouajila in it; love that guy. No US release yet, but there have been a few European ones past and coming up. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Mao’s Last Dancer – starring: Chengwu Guo and Chi Cao. Honestly, this sounds too sentimental and explicit for my taste. It seems like it’ll be emotionally manipulative and that’s one thing I hate. It sounds like a sad story – a young Chinese boy who was a ballet dancer is taken and forced into vigorous training and is threatened by the Cultural Revolution – but one that isn’t for me. I won’t be seeing this – no US release as of now, but Australia has one set for October 1st. (A 3/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Max Manus – starring: Aksel Hennie and Nicolai Cleve Broch. One of my most anticipated of the year after finding out about it in March – it sounds like a thrilling wartime film; exactly my thing. It’s already online, so I’d be hard pressed to see this at TIFF, but who knows. If I watch it online and love it, I’ll be sure to give the film its dues in the theater. (A 9/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Moloch Tropical – starring: Yet to be announced. It has an interesting concept – a President wakes up one morning to see his country inflamed and reduced to suet. Rather than step down, he has a mental breakdown and refuses to resign. It sounds neat, but I’ll hold out on more information before I make any hasty decisions about this feature. (A 7/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Mother – starring: Bin Won and Ku Jin. Joon-ho Bong is directing this feature and so far he’s 1/1 with Memories of a Murder. This feature sounds very thrilling as well – a mother searches after the murderers that framed her son for their crime. A realistic thriller will always be marked down well in my books – especially one with a director who is already marked down as good in them. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Ondine – starring: Colin Farrell and Alicja Bachleda. The only thing about this project that compels me is Colin Farrell being the star. A story about a man falling in love with what he believes to be a mermaid isn’t for me; Neil Jordan isn’t for me… however, if nothing else is playing, I will see this just to see what Farrell does with the role. This seems like it’ll have a December US release, but that isn’t confirmed. (A 5/10 on my Anticipation Meter)

Partir – starring: Kristen Scott Thomas and Sergi Lopez. Alright, so the concept isn’t the best I’ve heard – actually, it’s quite a routine concept that I’m sure I’ve seen in many films before. Married woman is sick of boring life; woman wants to start doing fulfilling work; woman falls in love with man she meets doing said work. However, the film sports an amazing cast that I would watch in anything. Thomas, Lopez and Yvan Attal? If the timing is right, I’m totally in. It has an August release in France. (A 7/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Precious – starring: Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe and Mo’Nique. This film is picking up a lot of awards buzz after majorly positive receptions from Sundance and Cannes. Personally, this seems like a trite and pretentious little film about realism and the struggles of life. I might see it out of curiosity – if the timing is convenient – but I won’t go out of my way to watch this. The trailers didn’t impress me and the possibility of Mo’Nique turning in a good performance isn’t appealing to me. It has a November 6th release set for US theaters. (A 6/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Scheherazade Tell Me a Story – starring: Yet to be announced. I know nothing of this so I’ll just copy and paste the synopsis: Hebba is the host of a successful political talk show in present-day Cairo. Karim, her husband, is deputy editor-in-chief of a government owned newspaper. When Party big shots imply his wife is meddling with opposition politics, Karim convinces her to start a series of talk shows around issues involving women. Hebba knows, of course, that woman’s issues are political. But she could not imagine to what extent, and the tension eventually leads to the break-up of her marriage. So yeah, that sounds OK. I won’t see it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was taken to at TIFF. (A 4/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

Valhalla Rising – starring: Mads Mikkelsen and Jamie Sives. So, TIFF is calling this one of the films to look out for this year. The plot is very interesting and sounds like it’ll be chocked full of violence and adrenaline, so odds are I’ll catch it for some amusement through the pile of heavy dramas. It sounds a bit like Apocolypto but with more of a twist – the main character is a mute, supernaturally strong warrior. Sounds fun to me! (A 7/10 on my Anticipation Meter)

Vengeance – starring: Sylvie Testud and Johnny Hallyday. It’s a story about a woman who was once an assassin, but now a chef, traveling to France to enact revenge through murder. It sounds great – very sublime and Testud will probably give a very calmed performance. It’s already been released in France and Belgium – no US release has been announced. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

The Vinter’s Luck – starring: Jeremie Renier and Vera Farmiga. OK, so this sounds great. A period piece about a man who sets out to make the best wine possible. He also has three loves in his life in Celeste, Aurora de Valday and Xas… who is an angel. This could be the one element that makes or breaks the film, so it’ll be interesting to see how the philosophical and religious aspect coincide together in the end. I’ll see it, if only for Renier and Farmiga. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)

So that’s the batch that was just released. A few more titles to be excited for and once again, this ensures me in thinking that this’ll be a grand festival. Lets just hope I’m right.

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