Talk about impossible. While having to choose from so many amazing titles is a great problem to have, that doesn't stop it from being endlessly infuriating. While putting together my schedule for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival I came up with a total of 44 films that I would like to see, and that was a conservative effort. That was me saying, "Nah, I won't add that one because I definitely won't be able to find time to see it."
I say this so you understand what I'm up against and why some films just won't make the cut. Last year I saw 17 movies at the festival and reviewed 18, one of which I saw before leaving to go to Toronto. This year I also have already seen one film that will be playing the fest, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and will be posting that review the day it plays in Toronto. Other than that I am guessing I'll probably have room for seven more beyond the ten I've listed here, but what those seven are I have no idea.
To give you an idea of what isn't in the top ten, here are the 34 titles that didn't make it in alphabetical order:
- Bad 25
- The Bay
- Dial M for Murder
- Dredd 3D
- End of Watch
- Ernest & Celestine
- Frances Ha
- Great Expectations
- Hotel Transylvania
- How to Make Money Selling Drugs
- Hyde Park on Hudson
- The Iceman
- Jayne Mansfield's Car
- John Dies at the End
- A Liar's Autobiography
- Love is All You Need
- Mr. Pip
- Much Ado about Nothing
- The Place Beyond the Pines
- The Sessions
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Something in the Air
- Spring Breakers
- Thanks for Sharing
- West of Memphis
That's a lot of movies. Not only is it a lot, it's a lot of intriguing movies. Movies I want to see. Like I said, this is a good problem to have. I'd hate for it to be the opposite and not have enough to choose from. The horror!
All of that said, let's have a look at the ten films I am most excited about seeing and reviewing for you. Ten films I can assure you I will be seeing. Let's get to it...
I'm wary of Looper for one big reason... the advanced buzz is daunting. For what feels like 6-8 months, I've heard rumblings of how good this film is and now that it has screened for critics in Los Angeles in advance of its Toronto premiere those rumblings are increasing into a dull roar. So often this advanced buzz can lead to disappointment, it elevates expectations to concerning levels, but as we all know, we can't quell expectations. We can only hope to contain them, something I'm having to do not only here but on the majority of these ten films, particularly the one at #1.
Most important, however, is the film itself. Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brothers Bloom) and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, this is a film to get excited for and with the Toronto Film Festival organizers choosing it as their opening night film tells me my expectations and I have nothing to worry about.
To the Wonder
The "big" news all last week was how Terrence Malick has reportedly cut the likes of Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, Michael Sheen and Amanda Peet's performances from To the Wonder. Why this is surprising I have no idea. Have these people forgotten about the likes of Bill Pullman, Gary Oldman, Lukas Haas, Viggo Mortensen, Martin Sheen and Mickey Rourke, all of which were cut from The Thin Red Line?
Then there's talk of Will Malick show up in Venice or Toronto? Who cares? These distractions take away from what we're supposed to be evaluating, the film itself. It's exactly the reason Malick gave for staying away from the press at Cannes last year where The Tree of Life went home with the Palme d'Or.
So when the lights dim on To the Wonder on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, then we will finally be able to judge. In fact, if you want to find something to discuss about the film, perhaps explore what may have been some of Malick's inspiration for the story... Like Tree of Life, his own experiences.
The Company You Keep
I'm interested in this one for a few reasons, one being Robert Redford at the helm and my belief he can be better than what he has been recently with Lions for Lambs and The Conspirator, neither of which were very good, though The Conspirator did have some solid performances and held some modicum of intrigue. Secondly I want to see Shia LaBeouf knock it out of the park if only to show he's been running his mouth for a reason. I love cocky behavior and the "I don't give a shit" attitude, but I also like to see it backed up. Talk is cheap... now back it up and show what you stand for really means something.
These might not be the best of reasons to want to see a movie, but in the end, the dream, as always, is to see a good film and beyond everything above I believe The Company You Keep has that kind of potential.