This morning the 2014 Toronto Film Festival (9.4 to 9.14) announced a rundown of I-forget-how-many galas and special presentations (i.e., 40- or 50-something). I read the list two or three hours ago and went “okay, interesting, good, yup, cool….wait, where’s Leviathan?” Will it be announced as…what, a Canadian premiere when the next TIFF announcement breaks? Or is it being punished (i.e., relegated to after-Monday status) because Telluride, as expected, will be the first U.S. festival to show it? I’m a little confused about the Toronto vs. Telluride rules of inclusion vs. exclusion.
Here, in any event, are my preferential Toronto must-sees so far in terms of genuine intrigue and excitement, and not necessarily in terms of “ooh, ooh, pant, pant…will this be a serious Oscar contender?” I rarely see more than 27 films during my ten days there (9 and 1/2 days X 3 films daily plus filing, sleeping, occasional parties), and more often in the vicinity of 25 or a bit less. Hottest films listed first, less-hots starting around 15 or thereabouts:
1. Wild, d: Jean-Marc Vallee; 2. The Theory of Everything, d: James Marsh; 3. While We’re Young, d: Noah Baumbach; 4. Rosewater, d: Jon Stewart; 5. Men, Women & Children, d: Jason Reitman; 6. Black and White, d: Mike Binder (hit me hard during first viewing, wanna see it again); 7. Wild Tales, d: Damian Szifron (loved it in Cannes, can’t wait to see it again); 8. Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington‘s The Equalizer; 9. Phoenix, d: Christian Petzold; 10. Pasolini, d: Abel Ferrara; 11. Nightcrawler, d: Dan Gilroy; 12. 99 Homes, d: Ramin Bahrani; 13. Time Out of Mind, d: Oren Moverman; 14. The Judge, d: David Dobkin; 15. This Is Where I Leave You, d: Shawn Levy; 16. The Riot Club, d: Lone Scherfig; 17. Miss Julie, d: Liv Ullman; 18. The Good Lie, d: Philippe Falardeau; 19. Love & Mercy, d: Bill Pohlad; 20. Manglehorn, d: David Gordon Green; 21. The Humbling, d: Barry Levinson; 22. The Last Five Years, d: Richard LaGravenese; 23. The New Girlfriend, d: François Ozon; 24. Top Five, d: Chris Rock; 25. A Second Chance, d: Susanne Bier.
TheWrap‘s Steve Pond has written that today’s TIFF roster tells us which films will be in Telluride and which won’t, considering the new Toronto vs. Telluride grudge game. Rule #1 is that if you take your film to Telluride, you can’t screen it as a world premiere or North American premiere during Toronto’s first four days. But you can screen it in Toronto as a Canadian premiere.
We therefore know, Pond reasons, that Jason Reitman‘s Men, Women and Children won’t be in Telluride, and that in itself says something, as Reitman has been a Telluride darling for a long time. It sounds to me like a possible mark-down.
It follows that other Telluride no-shows are James Marsh‘s The Theory of Everything (that’s a little bit of an uh-oh right there), Noah Baumbach‘s While We’re Young and Liv Ullman‘s Miss Julie. I don’t think anyone expected very much from Ed Zwick‘s Pawn Sacrifice so no tremors about it being a Toronto pick.
Pond believes that Telluride will also welcome Wild, Rosewater, The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Mr. Turner, Wild Tales, 99 Homes and possibly Whiplash (but why would Telluride want an eight-month-old film from Sundance?).
My own private wild guess is that J.C. Chandor‘s A Most Violent Year, which will very definitely be pushed as a derby movie (or so I was told by a producer last February), will be included at Telluride. And possibly Stephen Daldry‘s Trash. I think I’ve already mentioned that Werner Herzog‘s Queen of the Desert is all but firmed as a Telluride pick. I would personally love a little lesbo Telluride action with Todd Haynes’ Carol but who knows?