Toronto Diary: Top 10 Movies to Watch
During the 10-day event, which kicks off Thursday night, 349 movies will unspool. Hollywood studios use Toronto to launch movies, mostly due out later this fall or during the holiday season, that they hope will be contenders come awards season.
Given that factor, the glamour quotient here is high – with Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney and Brad Pitt all due to drop into town briefly to promote their starring vehicles.
Here are 10 titles boasting marquee names at Toronto that are – at least before I see 'em – on my must-see list:
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: The title is the spoiler here. Brad Pitt saddles up as the Old West's most notorious outlaw, who is eventually shot dead by a member (Casey Affleck) of his own gang. Possible uh-oh factor: the 160-minute running time.
Rendition: In this sure-to-be controversial drama that delves into American-condoned torture of terrorism suspects imprisoned abroad, Reese Witherspoon plays a woman whose Egyptian-American husband (Omar Metwally) is put behind bars while on a trip overseas. Jake Gyllenhaal costars.
Eastern Promises: Star Viggo Mortensen and director David Cronenberg follow up 2005's stunning A History of Violence with another crime thriller, this one about Russian gangsters in London. Naomi Watts costars.
Elizabeth: The Golden Age: Great Cate, also known as Cate Blanchett, returns to the commanding role of England's first female monarch, a part which propelled her to stardom in 1998's Elizabeth. Shekhar Kapur again directs this continuation of the story.
Michael Clayton: George Clooney plays a hotshot Manhattan lawyer who begins to question his life and choices in a corporate thriller. Screenwriter Tony Gilroy, the wiz behind all three Bourne films, makes his directing debut here.