Happy TIFFmas! Toronto’s film fest reveals first 2017 picks


It’s the silly season for Toronto filmgoers, the cine-season, TIFFmas to many devoted local movie buffs. Today the Toronto International Film Festival 2017 edition announced its first swath of upcoming films. These are Gala and Special Presentation flicks, and there’s bound to be a passel of Oscar-hunting contenders worth checking out. Catch the full list after the jump!

There are a bunch of buzz-worthy films to consider. The festival has slimmed down slightly from last year’s ludicrous bloat of nearly 300 films in ten days. It’s still mammoth, with a predicted 240 movies on tap, more than any human could possibly see in that time (tho there’s always diehards that try). Here’s a few standouts, followed by the full list announced thus far (47 pics to get your started, plus trailers if they’re available):

Local resident and film industry unto himself Guillermo del Toro will have his latest The Shape of Water in the Special Presentations. With Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon, the film is an otherworldly fairy tale with hints of Beauty and the Beast.

Alexander Payne takes his satire to the sci-fi side with Downsizing, starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Laura Dern. Apparently, Damon’s character decides he would have a better life if he shrinks himself down, living cheaper and consuming less. Kind of a Gen X Ant Man, I guess?

Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton have been working together for years. The married couple started out breaking bands on MTV’s The Cutting Edge in 1992, and they’ve done tons of music video shorts and commercials. Following up on their feature debut Ruby SparksBattle of the Sexes packs star wattage into a real life story. Emma Stone plays tennis great Billie Jean King and Steve Carell plays Bobbie Riggs, a former tennis champ and all-around hustler. In 1973, Riggs challenged King to a match, claiming however good King might be, as a woman, she couldn’t beat a man. The film looks hilarious, and spot-on for a culture that forty years later still hasn’t given women their fair due.

Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri looks amazing. Frances McDomand stars alongside Woodie Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Abbie Cornish. Capturing the escalating war between the mother of a murdered daughter and the callous local sheriff, it’s a perfect film for these unhinged times.

Here’s a full list of everything TIFF announced today:

GALAS 2017

Breathe — Andy Serkis, United Kingdom World Premiere

The Catcher Was A Spy — Ben Lewin, USA World Premiere

*Closing Night Film*
C’est la vie! — Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano, France World Premiere

Darkest Hour — Joe Wright, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool — Paul McGuigan, United Kingdom Canadian Premiere

Kings — Deniz Gamze Ergüven, France/Belgium World Premiere

Long Time Running — Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Canada World Premiere

Mary Shelley — Haifaa Al Mansour, Ireland/United Kingdom/Luxembourg/USA World Premiere

The Mountain Between Us — Hany Abu-Assad, USA World Premiere

Mudbound — Dee Rees, USA International Premiere

Stronger — David Gordon Green, USA World Premiere

Untitled Bryan Cranston/Kevin Hart Film — Neil Burger, USA World Premiere

The Wife — Björn Runge, United Kingdom/Sweden World Premiere

Woman Walks Ahead — Susanna White, USA World Premiere


Battle of the Sexes — Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, USA International Premiere

BPM (Beats Per Minute) — Robin Campillo, France North American Premiere

The Brawler — Anurag Kashyap, India World Premiere

The Breadwinner — Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg World Premiere

Call Me By Your Name — Luca Guadagnino, Italy/France Canadian Premiere

Catch the Wind — Gaël Morel, France International Premiere

The Children Act — Richard Eyre, United Kingdom World Premiere

The Current War — Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, USA World Premiere

Disobedience — Sebastián Lelio, United Kingdom World Premiere

Downsizing — Alexander Payne, USA Canadian Premiere

A Fantastic Woman — Sebastián Lelio, Chile Canadian Premiere

First They Killed My Father — Angelina Jolie, Cambodia Canadian Premiere

The Guardians — Xavier Beauvois, France World Premiere

Hostiles — Scott Cooper, USA International Premiere

The Hungry — Bornila Chatterjee, India World Premiere

I, Tonya — Craig Gillespie, USA World Premiere

*Special Presentations Opening Film* Lady Bird — Greta Gerwig, USA International Premiere

mother! — Darren Aronofsky, USA North American Premiere

Novitiate — Maggie Betts, USA International Premiere

Omerta — Hansal Mehta, India World Premiere

Plonger — Mélanie Laurent, France World Premiere

The Price of Success — Teddy Lussi-Modeste, France International Premiere

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women — Angela Robinson, USA World Premiere

The Rider — Chloé Zhao, USA Canadian Premiere

A Season in France — Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France World Premiere

The Shape of Water — Guillermo del Toro, USA Canadian Premiere

*Special Presentations Closing Film* Sheikh Jackson — Amr Salama, Egypt World Premiere

The Square — Ruben Östlund, Sweden North American Premiere

Submergence — Wim Wenders, France/Germany/Spain World Premiere

Suburbicon — George Clooney, USA North American Premiere

Thelma — Joachim Trier, Norway/Sweden/France/Denmark International Premiere

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — Martin McDonagh, USA North American Premiere

Victoria and Abdul — Stephen Frears, United Kingdom North American Premiere

For film synopses, cast lists, images and more information see tiff.net/galas and tiff.net/specialpresentations.



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