The Toronto Film Festival starts a week from Thursday — 11 days from now. This morning I took my first stab at coming up with a short list. 40 films, I mean, which I’d like to see and write about these over a nine-day period. But I’ll probably only see two thirds. The truth is that I usually see about 25 TIFF films over nine days, 30 if I really push it.
I probably won’t be re-viewing anything I’ve already seen here (or intend to see here before 9.2), or anything I saw last May in Cannes — Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s Three Monkeys, Rod Lurie‘s Nothing But The Truth, Bill Maher and Larry CharlesReligulous, Jonathan Demme‘s Rachel Getting Married, Mike Leigh‘s Happy Go Lucky, Gavin O’Connor‘s Pride and Glory, etc. And I’ve obviously marked off dozens of films that just don’t seem or sound good enough.
In no particular order, my priorities are as follows: (1) Neil Burger‘s Lucky Ones, (2) Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Burn After Reading, (3) Daniel Burman‘s Empty Nest, (4) David Koepp‘s Ghost Town, (4) Ed Harris ‘s Appaloosa, (5) Guillermo Arriaga‘s The Burning Plain, (6) Steven Soderbergh‘s Che (yes, again — in part because it’s 14 or 15 minutes shorter than the Cannes version), (7) Stephan Elliott‘s Easy Virtue, (8) Barbet Schroeder‘s Inju, (9) Spike Lee‘s Miracle at St. Anna, and (10) Guy Ritchie‘s Rocknrolla.
And then comes (11) Darren Aronofsky‘s Wrestler, (12) Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno, (13) Kari Skogland‘s Fifty Dead Men Walking, (14) Michael McGowan‘s One Week, (15) Richard Eyre‘s The Other Man, (16) Jean-Francois Richet‘s Public Enemy Number One, (17) Gina Prince-Bythewood‘s Secret Life of Bees, (18) Ari Folman‘s Waltz With Bashir, (19) Phillipe Claudet‘s I’ve Loved You So Long, and (20) Laurent Cantet‘s Entre Les Murs.
The next ten are (21) Rian Johnson‘s Brothers Bloom, (22) Matteo Garrone‘s Gomorra, (23) James Stern and Adam Del Deo‘s Every Little Step, (24) Kathryn Bigelow‘s Hurt Locker, (25) Bruno Barreto‘s Last Stop 174, (26) Stephen Belber‘s Management, (27) Richard Linklater‘s Me and Orson Welles, (28) Peter Sollett‘s Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, (29) Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire, and (30) Matt Tyrnauer‘s Valentino.
The final group is made up of (31) Max Farberbock‘s Woman in Berlin, (32) Jerzy Skolimowski‘s Four Nights with Anna (which I missed in Cannes), (33) Olivier AssayasHeure de Ete, (34) Nigel Cole‘s $5 A Day, (35) Anthony Fabian‘s Skin, (36) Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige‘s I Want To See, (37) Scott McHehee and David Siegel‘s Uncertainty, (38) Cyrus Nowratesh‘s Stoning of Soraya M., (39) Brian Goodman‘s What Doesn’t Kill You and (40) Kevin Rafferty‘s Harvard Beats Yale….even if it played at Manhattan’s Film Forum last fall.
Anything I should add or subtract or make extra sure that I see? Open to all suggestions, warnings, kills.