An announcement popped this morning about principal attractions slated for the 2017 Toronto Film Festival. As usual, Hollywood Elsewhere will be there with bells on following my Telluride attendance. All hail the enticement of Darren Aronfosky‘s mother!, even if it’s not playing Telluride. Why turn down an Aronofsky film, Tom?
Don’t knock the Toronto rock: Guillermo del Toro‘s The Shape of Water (following showings at Venice and Telluride), Joe Wright‘s Darkest Hour, Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing (which will also have previously played Venice and Telluride), the noteworthy inclusion of Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name after the forehead-slapping turndown by Telluride, George Clooney‘s Suburbicon, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton‘s Battle of the Sexes, Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Venice but no Telluride), Scott Cooper‘s Hostiles, Scott Cooper‘s Hostiles, Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird (also a Telluride firstie), Ruben Ostlund‘s The Square, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War, Stephen Frears‘ Victoria and Abdul, et. al.
The first thing you have to ask about any TIFF is “how many high-profile titles are grim stories about some form of assaultive or debilitating trauma followed by painful recovery or, failing that, acceptance or closure”? I’m not posting a comprehensive list of these films here and now, but Toronto Agonistes certainly applies: Andy Serkis‘ Breathe, David Gordon Green‘s Stronger, Angelina Jolie‘s First They Killed My Father, Hany Abu-Assad‘s The Mountain Between Us, Paul McGuigan‘s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier‘s Long Time Running, et. al.
Thanks to TIFF’s regional designations after every film (listing them as a North American, Canadian or international premiere), we know almost everything about who’s doing Venice, Telluride and/or Toronto. Jig’s up, cat’s out of the bag.
I doubt that Telluride will be showing Dee Rees‘ Mudbound, which played Sundance last January, but if they do they’ll be granting it an exception that they didn’t grant Call Me By Your Name, which Tom Luddy deep-sixed for having played Sundance and Berlin. But Sebastian Lelio‘s A Fantastic Woman, which played Berlin and other international festivals, is going to Telluride, as indicated by TIFF’s calling it a Canadian premiere, which means the film will have been celebrated as a U.S. and international premiere prior to Toronto.
Going to Telluride: Joe Wright‘s Darkest Hour (which TIFF is calling a Canadian premiere), Paul McGuigan‘s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Canadian premiere), Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing, Sebastian Lelio‘s A Fantastic Woman (Canadian premiere), Angelina Jolie‘s First They Killed My Father (Canadian premiere), Chloé Zhao‘s The Rider (Canadian premiere), Guillermo del Toro‘s The Shape of Water, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton‘s Battle of the Sexes (calling it an “international premiere” = no Venice or Berlin), Scott Cooper‘s Hostiles (international premiere), Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird (international premiere) and Joachim Trier‘s Thelma.
NOT going to Telluride: Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name (HE response: boooooo!), Robin Campillo‘s BPM (Beats Per Minute), Darren Aronofsky‘s mother! (baahh), Ruben Östlund‘s The Square (boooo!), George Clooney‘s Suburbicon, Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Stephen Frears‘ Victoria and Abdul, Andy Serkis‘s Breathe, Deniz Gamze Ergüven‘s Kings, Hany Abu-Asasad‘s The Mountain Between Us, David Gordon Green‘s Stronger, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War