Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival

Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival
Top Ten Most Anticipated Movies at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival

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:

  1. Aftershock
  2. Bad 25
  3. The Bay
  4. Byzantium
  5. Dial M for Murder
  6. Dredd 3D
  7. End of Watch
  8. Ernest & Celestine
  9. Frances Ha
  10. Great Expectations
  11. Hotel Transylvania
  12. How to Make Money Selling Drugs
  13. Hyde Park on Hudson
  14. The Iceman
  15. Imogene
  16. Jayne Mansfield's Car
  17. John Dies at the End
  18. A Liar's Autobiography
  19. Love is All You Need
  20. Mr. Pip
  21. Much Ado about Nothing
  22. No
  23. The Place Beyond the Pines
  24. Pusher
  25. Quartet
  26. The Sessions
  27. Sightseers
  28. Silver Linings Playbook
  29. Smashed
  30. Something in the Air
  31. Spring Breakers
  32. Thanks for Sharing
  33. West of Memphis
  34. Yellow

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...


Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper
Photo: TriStar Pictures

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

Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in To the Wonder
Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams in 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.

Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has done a fantastic job in a pair of posts (here and here) giving you plenty information to begin your journey.

The Company You Keep

Robert Redford in The Company You Keep
Robert Redford in The Company You Keep
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

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.

  • The Dude

    You're going to kick yourself if you don't see The Place Beyond the Pines. That's all I can say at this point.

    • Brad Brevet

      I wrote in this article how I am going to skip the first screening of The Master so I can see it.

      • The Dude

        My mistake. Was just flipping through the list quickly on my phone and missed that.

        • The Dude

          BTW, here is my line-up (tickets already bought):

          The Master
          Seven Psychopaths
          The Place Beyond the Pines
          West of Memphis
          Thanks for Sharing
          No One Lives
          Silver Linings Playbook
          The Sessions
          The Impossible

          Just going for the first weekend, but should be a good one. Had to skip out on stuff like Looper, Argo and Cloud Atlas in favor of stuff that comes out later in the year. There are also a few playing later in the week that I wish I could have seen (To the Wonder, Beyond the Hills, etc.)

  • Criterion10

    Very good list indeed. I'm still very wary of Cloud Atlas. It looks like a film that could potentially be great, but I have a feeling it may end up being rather hollow.

    My ten most anticipated films, even though I will not be attending TIFF (sadly):
    1. Spring Breakers
    2. The Master
    3. To the Wonder
    4. The Place Beyond the Pines
    5. Cloud Atlas
    6. Passion
    7. John Dies at the End
    8. Looper
    9. Argo
    10. Seven Psychopaths

    I've said before how excited I am for Spring Breakers. I even went against my usual rule of not watching any clips for a movie and already watched the two released. It simply looks great. I still put Cloud Atlas on my list because I am rather interested to see it. I'm just afraid that it may not live up to expectations.

  • SP1234

    My Top Ten for Toronto:

    1. Cloud Atlas
    2. The Master
    3. Looper
    4. To the Wonder
    5. Argo
    6. Rust and Bone
    7. Silver Linings Playbook
    8. The Impossible
    9. Anna Karenina
    10. Passion

    Cloud Atlas is easily my most anticipated film of the fall. And with a lot of my favorite actors appearing this year (Phoenix, Gordon-Levitt, Cotillard, Lawrence, Watts and Rapace), this should be a very memorable year.

  • SP1234

    An honorable mention is Smashed. I'm a huge fan of Mary Elizabeth Winstead's work from Death Proof and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and I've had my eye on this film since Sundance. I didn't even know it was playing at Toronto until I saw the schedule and was very surprised.

  • marlonwallace

    I look forward to reading Brad's reviews and Laremy's as well. If I were going to TIFF, I would probably make my most anticipated be all those that have women as their directors.

    "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners" by Shola Lynch
    "Inescapable" by Ruba Nadda
    "Love, Marilyn" by Liz Garbus
    "Midnight's Children" by Deepa Mehta
    "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" by Mira Nair
    "Imogene" by Shari Springer Berman
    "Cloud Atlas" by Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski

  • GregDinskisk

    Ah, love for some Cloud Atlas! It looks beyond fantastic. I have very few doubts (although I should) about it. John Dies at the End is definitely on my list, and I may be able to go to Toronto merely to see it. Perks looks fantastic, I loved the novel.

    I wish I was able to go for the entire festival...

  • Kessler

    Nice list Brad. Sounds like Toronto will be a lot of fun.

    This would be my top ten if I could go.

    1. The Master
    2. Argo
    3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
    4. Looper
    5. Cloud Atlas
    6. The Place Beyond the Pines
    7. Seven Psychopaths
    8. The Company You Keep
    9. Hyde Park on Hudson
    10. To the Wonder

    I feel like Perks of Being a Wallflower may be too high, but I love the book and the fact that the author wrote and directed the movie made me even more excited. I even saw the trailer for it and thought it looked great. I just hope I'm not overhyping it for myself.

  • maja

    Cloud Atlas and The Master are the ones I'm most anticipating with Looper a distant third and then Place Beyond the Pines. Cloud Atlas is simply fasinating because it's such a big risk that it could either be a masterpeice of fall flat on it's face and I'm interested in seeing which way it goes. As for the others - Passion had a very solid trailer and I am looking forward to that one too.

  • Jamie

    also really looking forward to the reviews from you guys. i live just outside Toronto, but unfortunately completely forgot to look into passes. argh.

    1. THE MASTER - easily one of my favorite films of all time is MAGNOLIA, so it goes without saying i'm always pumped for a new PTA film.

    2. TO THE WONDER - another film which is neck and neck with MAGNOLIA is THE THIN RED LINE. i eat malick up. every film. supposedly reactions are mixed from the screenings out of venice, but i wouldn't expect anything else. TREE OF LIFE was supposedly booed at it's festival premiere.

    3. ARGO - am hearing really great things out of telluride.


    5. LOOPER





    10. PASSION

    have fun. too bad we couldn't get a deliriously exhausted podcast out of you guys. something tells me that would have classic written all over it.

  • Driver

    Edgar Right hinted a surprise event on TiFF, and I saw you commented on his twiter about it, are you going to it Brad?

  • kyle coley

    Brad, i was hoping you would see the iceman.

  • Travis

    With my quick thinking, I somehow managed to convince my college's film studies program to discuss going to Toronto (we aren't that far off). If we do, I'd have to see Dangerous Liasons (as a requirement for Chinese Cinema) and possibly The Impossible, but other than that, my list would include Perks-if possible-The Master, and probably about 3 to 5 other films

  • AS

    I'm not as pumped about this line up as everyone else seems to be. For me, the most promising films are:

    1. The Master (I imagine this and Django will top my year-end top 5)
    2. Argo (I really liked The Town, but I'm worried that Affleck will end up vilifying Iranians)
    3. Seven Psychopaths (although the trailer did nothing for me)
    4. The Place Beyond the Pines (hard to judge, since only one image has been released. I'm primarily interested in Ryan Gosling and I've heard that he's not really in much of it so my interest has waned slightly).

    The trailer for The Company You Keep didn't inspire any excitement from me whatsoever.

    I can't figure out why Brad is having such a love-fest over Joe Wright, but to each their own as I always say.

    Looper & Rust and Bone feel like a rentals.

    After reading the plot synopsis of To the Wonder, I hope I never have the misfortune of sitting through it.

    Cloud Atlas certainly sounds ambitious, but since The Matrix, the Wachowski's haven't had the strongest track record so I'll remain doubtful until I hear otherwise.

    Hyde Park on Hudson & Silver Linings Playbook seem like interesting, if not average, films that will be worth a look at some point.

    I have no reason to expect anything great from Passion, since I only like 3 of De Palma's films (Scarface, Redacted, and to a lesser degree, The Untouchables). Just seems like another erotic thriller from Mr. De Palma. I'll probably end up renting the blu ray.

    Sorry if I sound overly cynical.

    • AS

      Just watched the UK trailer for Rust and Bone and I'm really intrigued now.

  • Connor

    1. Looper
    2. The Place Beyond the Pines
    3. The Master
    4. Cloud Atlas
    5. Argo
    6. Seven Psychopaths
    7. The Conpany You Keep
    8. The Silver Linings Playbook
    9. Hyde Park on Hudson
    10. To the Wonder

  • Ariadne

    If i make it ,here;s a list of the movies i want to see (in no particualr order):

    1.Anna Karenina
    2.The Impossible
    3.The Perks Of Being A Wallflower
    4.Cloud Atlas
    5.Great Expectations
    and 6.Silver Linings Playbook

  • Grissom

    I'm eager to see Argo, Seven Psychopaths and The Master, but im also quite interested in checking out Dredd. I've been a fan of the comics for awhile.

  • Adu

    I hope you somehow manage to fit in Iceman to you awesome line-up

  • Newbourne

    Cloud Atlas will disappoint you. I hope I'm wrong, but Halle Berry and Tom Hanks haven't made good films in years. They might be able to redeem themselves here, but I just don't see it happening. This will be a confusing mess of a film. Mark my words.

  • Alex Thomas

    Shame you are missing A ROYAL AFFAIR but you can't fit them all in!

    Nice list Brad - your top 3 are probably all movies I'm not that keen to see amazingly, Looper is the one I'm dying for!

  • Rhonda Adam

    I'm looking forward to reading your review on Looper. I hope it doesn't disappoint.

  • Kimberlesk

    Great list Brad! I'm looking forward to reading your reviews on all these films!
    I'm worried about Looper too -- it looks very interesting, but with all the hype, I hope it still delivers.