15 Films We Can't Wait to See at the Toronto International Film Festival

 

 
The first wave of programming for the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival was unveiled Tuesday morning, giving fest-goers a full rundown on the anticipated titles selected for the Gala and Special Presentations programs. As is usually the case, films with serious Oscar aspirations will use TIFF as a launch pad. Other international directors will bring world and North American premieres to the Canadian city, where they’ll be able to expose their films to a wide-range of culturally sophisticated and open-minded moviegoers. 
 
This year, Rian Johnson’s sci-fi assassination thriller Looper – with Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt – will kick off the fest, which begins on Thursday, Sept. 6. A full roster of announced films can be found on the festival’s official site.
 
Expect to hear of even more titles added in the next few weeks, as TIFF fills in its Midnight, Contemporary World Cinema, Visions and Future Projections programming. But for the time being, here are 15 TIFF films announced today that we’d move Heaven and Earth to see. Put them on your radar, and be sure to see them when they reach a movie theater near you.
 
Ben Affleck has proven himself to be a stellar director with Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Here?he tackles the strange-but-true story of a CIA specialist rescuing hostages from a crisis in Tehran. 
 

Roger Michell slice-of-history comedy might look too much like The King’s Speech, but we’re on board with Bill Murray playing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as he hosts the King and Queen of England (Samuel West and Olivia Colman). 
 

Looper
Can Rian Johnson wrap the space-time conundrum around a riveting thriller about a hitman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) forced to hunt the futuristic version of himself (Bruce Willis)?
 

David O. Russell returns to pitch-black comedy after The Fighter. His cast – which includes Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker – will have us fighting our way into theaters at TIFF. 
 

Hideki Takeuchi spins a fascinating story of an ancient Roman architect who travels back and forth between his era and present-day Japan using a portal in a bathhouse. The film is based on the Japanese manga series by Mari Yamazaki. The Japanese trailer is below.

 
Joe Wright reunites with Keira Knightley for an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s novel. They collaborated on Pride & Prejudice and Atonement. What more do you need?
 

Perhaps the most ambitious film on TIFF’s slate this year, Cloud Atlas finds Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski bridging multiple storylines across spanning centuries to show how actions have consequences between different individuals. Tom Hanks, Hugo Weaving, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant co-star.
 
Frances Ha
Director Noah Baumbach tells the story of an aspiring dancer (co-writer Greta Gerwig) who seeks her fortunes in New York City. Perfect. That’s all I need to know. I’m in. 
 
The great Mads Mikkelsen stars in Thomas Vinterberg’s tense drama about a man protecting his integrity after a lie taints his reputation in a small town. 
 

Kristen Wiig continues to establish herself as a big-screen presence. Here, she plays a moderately successful New York playwright who stages a fake suicide attempt – then ends up being forced into the custody of her gambling-addicted mother (Annette Bening).
 
J.A. Bayona directs what looks like a riveting thriller about a yoiung family (led by Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor) fighting to survive one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. The Spanish trailer is below.
 

How does Joss Whedon follow up The Avengers? He attempts a low-budget take on one of William Shakespeare’s finest works, of course. 
 
Derek Cianfrance reunites with his Blue Valentine lead, Ryan Gosling, for the story of a professional motorcycle rider who turns to bank robberies to support his newborn son. 
 
One of Sundance’s buzziest titles, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung, who at age 38 is determined to lose his virginity. John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy co-star. 
 

To The Wonder

New Terrence Malick! This study of love follows a dedicated couple (Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck) who question their bond when they meet new lovers (Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams).
 
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
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