Film,  The Rundown

TIFF Time: The Toronto International Film Festival

I know I shouldn’t keep saying it, but where does the time go? I can’t believe it’s already a year since I experienced my first TIFF. Ah, T.Dot. The films, the cocktail functions, the running. Yes, running – not just from cinema to cinema but along Lake Ontario, in preparation for the NYC Marathon, (which is less than 60 days away!)

In anticipation of Nadia’s 2nd TIFF, which is also TIFF ’13, or, more accurately, The 38th Toronto International Film Festival, here are 13 of the films I’m most looking forward to seeing:

1. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
This goes without saying. Not just because I am South African, but because for years I have been reporting on this film and I’ve watched it progress from an idea into an entity of its own that now has spawned some serious Oscar buzz. I liked Morgan Freeman as Mandela in Invictus but it was still difficult to get past the megastar he is. Idris Elba, from what I’ve seen in the trailer so far, seems to have that ‘special something’ when it comes to playing the revered elder statesman.

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2. Dallas Buyers Club
Two almost unrecognizable stars of our time, Matthew McCaughney and Jared Leto, who has been more involved with his 30 Seconds to Mars music than his acting over the past couple of years, come together in this story of an inventive, free-spirited man who finds a way to get HIV/Aids medicine out to those who need it.

3. Prisoners
Watching this trailer made me feel as if I’d almost seen too much, but from the sounds of early reviews, Prisoners still has a lot of surprising to do. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star.

4. Gravity
Alfonso Cuarón seems to have created a world in space that not only Sandra Bullock and George Clooney get lost in, but one the audience watching the film does too.

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5. 12 Years A Slave
First off, the cast. Second, the source material. Third, the director. All plenty of reasons to anticipate this one.

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6. Half of a Yellow Sun
Dubbed Nigeria’s most expensive movie ever made, this one seems like it’ll be worth it. The film, starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, is an adaptation of celebrated Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same title, which won the Orange Broadbrand Prize for Fiction.

7. Labor Day
The buzz from Telluride upped my expectations about this new film from Up in the Air‘s Jason Reitman.

8. Enough Said
Yes, this is the last film James Gandolfini made before he died suddenly in June, but judging from the trailer, it’s also an endearing comedy that will make a fitting tribute. Plus, we do love Julia Louis-Dreyfus!

9. iNumber Number
If, like me, you’ve been waiting to see Best Foreign Language-Oscar-winning Tsotsi’s breakout star Presley Chweneyagae on the big screen again, iNumber Number may be it. Although he doesn’t feature a lot in the trailer, I’m still keen to see what Spud director, Donovan Marsh comes up with, in a film that seems to signal a return to his Dollars and White Pipes roots.

10. Can A Song Save Your Life
As a huge fan of John Carney’s Once, I’m looking forward to the writer-director’s new musical romance, which stars Keira Knightley as a frustrated singer and Mark Ruffalo as a washed-up producer.

11. Third Person.
Director Paul Haggis returns to the Crash format with 3 intersecting stories about couples in Rome, Paris and New York City. It stars Liam Neeson, Kim Basinger, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis and Maria Bello.

12. Enemy
Director Denis Villeneuve’s second offering at TIFF this year stars Jake Gyllenhaal playing his own doppelgänger as a university teacher who tracks down a man who looks just like him.

13. A Film Not on My Radar
One of the best things about film festivals is the chance to stumble upon a movie you hadn’t planned on seeing that moves you in an unexpected way. I’ll let you know if I do!

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