The world premieres of Jason Reitman‘s “Men, Women & Children,” James Marsh’s “Theory of Everything,” Noah Baumbach‘s “While We’re Young,” Ed Zwick’s “Pawn Sacrifice,” Liv Ullman’s “Miss Julie” and Oren Moverman’s “Time Out of Mind” will be among the gala presentations and special screenings at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF director and CEO Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey announced on Tuesday morning.
The fall’s biggest festival will provide a showcase for such stars and awards hopefuls as Jessica Chastain, who plays the title role in “Miss Julie”; Denzel Washington, who takes the role played on TV by British actor Edward Woodward in Antoine Fuqua’s “The Equalizer”; Julianne Moore, who won the Cannes’ best-actress award for “Maps to the Stars” and also appears in “Still Alice”; Kristen Stewart, who also appears in both of those films; Jake Gyllenhaal, who stars in Dan Gilroy’s “Nightcrawler”; Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in David Dobkin’s “The Judge”; and Al Pacino, who appears in both Barry Levinson’s “The Humbling” and David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn.”
Actors who’ll come to Toronto playing real people — always a plus when it comes to awards season — will include Eddie Redmayne, who plays Stephen Hawking in “Theory of Everything”; Benedict Cumberbatch, who portrays the British intelligence worker who cracked Germany’s Enigma Code in World War II in “The Imitation Game”; Paul Dano and John Cusak, who play the younger and older Brian Wilson, respectively, in Bill Pohlad’s biopic about the troubled Beach Boys mastermind, “Love & Mercy”; Reese Witherspoon, who plays author Cheryl Strayed in Jean-Marc Vallee’s “Wild,” based on Strayed’s true-life story; and Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber, who play chess grandmasters Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in “Pawn Sacrifice.”
The late James Gandolfini’s final screen appearance, alongside Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace in “The Drop” from “Bullhead” director Michael R. Roskam, will have its world premiere at TIFF as well.
Alan Rickman’s “A Little Chaos,” with Rickman, Kate Winslet and Stanley Tucci, will close the festival. The opening-night film will be announced “shortly,” according to Bailey.
And “Daily Show” anchor Jon Stewart’s directorial debut, “Rosewater,” will have its Canadian premiere at the festival.
The lineup also includes a number of films that screened at previous festivals, including “Maps to the Stars,” “Foxcatcher,” “Mr. Turner,” “Force Majeure,” “Wild Tales” and “Coming Home” from Cannes, and “Whiplash” from Sundance.
The announced galas include “The Equalizer,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Judge,” “A Little Chaos,” “Maps to the Stars” and “Pawn Sacrifice,” as well as Mike Binder’s “Black and White,” a custody drama with Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer; “The Riot Club,” from “An Education” director Lone Scherfig; and “This Is Where I Leave You,” a comedic drama directed by Shawn Levy and starring Jason Bateman and Tina Fey.
Rounding out the galas are the South Korean film “Haemoo” and two French films: “The New Girlfriend,” from director Francois Ozon, and “Samba,” from Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.
The 46 special screenings also include “Before We Go,” directed by and starring Chris Evans; Daniel Barnz’s “Cake,” with Jennifer Aniston and Anna Kendrick; Andrew Niccol’s “Good Kill,” with Ethan Hawke and January Jones; the Sudanese-refugee drama “The Good Lie,” directed by Philippe Falardeau and starring Reese Witherspoon and Corey Stoll; Daniel Barber’s Civil War story “The Keeping Room,” with Hailee Steinfeld and Sam Worthington; Richard LaGravenese’s musical adaptation “The Last Five Years”; and “My Old Lady,” the directorial debut of 75-year-old playwright Israel Horovitz.
International directors in the selection include Laurent Cantet (“Return to Ithaca”), Christian Petzold (“Phoenix”) and Mia Hansen-Love (“Eden”).
While the lineup is a solid start for the largest, most well-attended and busiest of the fall festivals, it is missing a number of high-profile films that were considered potential awards contenders and possible festival bookings.
Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” Stephen Daldry’s “Trash,” Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year,” Tim Burton’s “Big Eyes” and Thomas Vinterberg’s “Far From the Madding Crowd” have all yet to announce festival bookings.
Toronto will reveal additional titles every Tuesday for the next few weeks, with future announcements including documentaries, foreign films, Canadian films and special talks and conversations. Typically, additional galas and special screenings are announced as well, as the festival heads toward its usual slate of more than 300 films.
The last seven Oscar winners for Best Picture have all screened in Toronto.
Of the other major fall festivals, the Venice Film Festival, which will open with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman,” will announce its full lineup on Thursday. The New York Film Festival has revealed that it will open with David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” and close with “Birdman,” with Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” occupying a spotlight gala slot as well. The Telluride Film Festival does not announce its lineup until the day before the festival, which begins on Aug. 29.
In the past, films have been able to play Telluride in “surprise” screenings without jeopardizing their announced Toronto premieres. This year, though, Toronto officials have barred films that play the smaller festival from the coveted first-weekend spots in their fest.
A TIFF spokesperson told TheWrap that its “World Premiere” and “North American Premiere” designations take Telluride into account, meaning that most of the films announced on Tuesday will not be playing the Colorado festival.
TIFF will open on Sept. 4 and run through Sept. 14.
The complete announced lineup:
Black and White Mike Binder, USA / World Premiere
The Equalizer Antoine Fuqua, USA / World Premiere
Foxcatcher Bennett Miller, USA / Canadian Premiere
Haemoo Shim Sung-bo, South Korea / International Premiere
The Judge David Dobkin, USA / World Premiere
A Little Chaos, Alan Rickman UK / World Premiere
Maps to the Stars David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany / North American Premiere
The New Girlfriend (Une nouvelle amie) François Ozon, France / World Premiere
Pawn Sacrifice Ed Zwick, USA / World Premiere
The Riot Club Lone Scherfig, United Kingdom / World Premiere
Samba Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France / World Premiere
This is Where I Leave You Shawn Levy, USA / World Premiere
Wild Jean-Marc Vallee, USA / International Premiere
American Heist Sarik Andreasyan, USA / World Premiere
Before We Go Chris Evans, USA / World Premiere
Breakup Buddies Ning Hao / World Premiere
Cake Daniel Barnz, USA / World Premiere
Coming Home Zhang Yimou, China / North American Premiere
The Dead Lands (Hautoa) Toa Fraser, New Zealand/United Kingdom / World Premiere
Dearest Peter Ho-Sun Chan, China/Hong Kong / North American Premiere
The Drop Michael R. Roskam, USA / World Premiere
Eden Mia Hansen-Løve, France / World Premiere
Far From Men (Loin des Hommes) David Oelhoffen, France / North American Premiere
Force Majeure (Turist) Ruben Ã-stlund, Sweden/Norway/Denmark/France / North American Premiere
The Gate Regis Wargnier, France / World Premiere
Good Kill Andrew Niccol, USA / North American Premiere
The Good Lie Philippe Falardeau, USA / World Premiere
Hector and the Search for Happiness Peter Chelsom, Canada/United Kingdom / North American Premiere
The Humbling Barry Levinson, USA / North American Premiere
Hungry Hearts Saverio Costanzo, Italy / International Premiere
The Imitation Game Morten Tyldum, UK / Canadian Premiere
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet Roger Allers, Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Joan Gratz, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Tomm Moore, Nina Paley, Bill Plympton, Joann Sfar and Michal Socha — Canada/France/Lebanon/Qatar/USA / World Premiere
The Keeping Room Daniel Barber, USA / World Premiere
The Last Five Years Richard LaGravenese, USA / World Premiere
Learning to Drive Isabel Coixet, USA / World Premiere
Love & Mercy Bill Pohlad, USA / World Premiere
Manglehorn David Gordon Green, USA / North American Premiere
Mary Kom Omung Kumar, India / World Premiere
Men, Women & Children Jason Reitman, USA / World Premiere
Miss Julie Liv Ullman, Norway/United Kingdom/Ireland / World Premiere
Mr. Turner Mike Leigh, UK / Canadian Premiere
My Old Lady Israel Horovitz, USA / World Premiere
Ned Rifle Hal Hartley, USA / World Premiere
Nightcrawler Dan Gilroy, USA / World Premiere
99 Homes Ramin Bahrani, USA / Canadian Premiere
Pasolini Abel Ferrara, France/Italy/Belgium / North American Premiere
Phoenix Christian Petzold, Germany / World Premiere
The Reach Jean-Baptiste Leonetti, USA / World Premiere
Red Amnesia (Chuangru Zhe) Wang Xiaoshuai, China / North American Premiere
Return to Ithaca Laurent Cantet, France / North American Premiere
Rosewater Jon Stewart, USA / Canadian Premiere
A Second Chance (En chance til) Susanne Bier, Denmark / World Premiere
Still Alice Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, USA / World Premiere
The Theory of Everything James Marsh, United Kingdom/USA / World Premiere
Time Out of Mind Oren Moverman, USA / World Premiere
Top Five Chris Rock, USA / World Premiere
While We’re Young Noah Baumbach, USA / World Premiere
Whiplash Damien Chazelle, USA / Canadian Premiere
Wild Tales Damian Szifron, Argentina/Spain / Canadian Premiere