Just figuring out my schedule this year was a chore as the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival organizers certainly didn't make it easy on us. Loaded with conflicts, I've had to make two sacrifices at this year's festival in that I won't be seeing Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom of Parkland due to scheduling conflicts and one film simply has to be chosen over another. However, as I've already seen two of the films playing at the festival in Rush and Kill Your Darlings -- reviews will be posted based on the film's first screenings in Toronto -- I was able to open up my schedule a little following my first, preliminary schedule.
Earlier today I posted my new schedule, which currently includes 27 films with a few gaps here and there where other films may fit in, or I may simply be able to catch up on reviews. Either way, I think I have a solid slate for this year, which should offer me the chance to post upwards of 29 reviews over the next ten days as I will be in Toronto from September 4-13, which brings us to my top ten list of most anticipated films I'll be seeing while at the festival.
Of course, as with most any list of this nature it could change in a matter of minutes and this is simply how the titles fell as I was putting this list of ten together. Having already seen Rush it obviously isn't on here and titles such as The Fifth Estate, Can a Song Save Your Life?, Devil's Knot, August: Osage County, Unforgiven and Joe just didn't make the cut, but this doesn't mean I'm not anticipating them. A few of those were actually on the list at one point or another, but I had to stop reordering and just publish so this is what you get...
Over the next few pages I've posted a picture, some thoughts a trailer and/or clip whenever one was available and the film's synopsis. You can view my screening schedule right here and I'll continue to update that page as the festival continues on so you'll always know what to expect while I'm on the ground.
That said, let's get into this...
The Railway Man
Here is the film that replaced Parkland on my schedule and largely because Parkland has a release date and The Railway Man doesn't even have a distributor.
Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, the film is based on a true story, following the victim of World War II's "Death Railway" who sets out to find those responsible for his torture. Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man) directs while Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Stellan Skarsgård and Hiroyuki Sanada co-star.
Considering this is a chance to see a potentially great film with a solid core of lead actors I felt it was the better option when it comes to filling the schedule. On top of that, I was kicking myself for not having it in there to begin with.
Based on a remarkable autobiography, The Railway Man tells the extraordinary and epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him, and his haunting past. Starring Academy Award-winner Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, and Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman, the film is a powerful tale of survival, love and redemption.
Buzz out of Telluride suggests Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners is better and about more than what the trailers are selling and as a result I am intrigued. Considering how spoierish the trailers seem this doesn't necessarily surprise me, and I think the measure of doubt vs. anticipation I have for this one is what makes it a film I'm looking forward to seeing than some of the others. The idea of seeing something that will exceed expectations is always intriguing.
How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent's worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The only lead is a dilapidated RV that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release. As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child's life is at stake the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? Also features Melissa Leo, Maria Bello, Viola Davis and Terrence Howard.