Today marks the first official day of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Though it may seem like just another film festival (blah blah), Toronto is anything but. This is where audiences get their first look at most of the films that will be vying for awards come Oscar time. It's also where a lot of smaller films with big talent premiere hoping to land a distribution deal for 2011. So some of these you'll definitely be seeing later this year in time for Oscars, and others you may be seeing in time for next year's Oscar ceremony.
The Five: Most Buzzed-About Toronto Film Festival Movies
But not all the movies are awards contenders; Toronto is also known for its amazing Midnight Madness slate, where they screen some of the most buzzed-about genre films from around the world. We've combed through the 300-film (!) lineup and pulled out what we feel are five of the most buzzed-about films screening this year.
1. The Town – You won't have to wait long to watch this one as it hits theaters a week from now, on September 17th. Ben Affleck returns to the director's chair for this gritty Boston-set tale about a bank robber who begins to fall in love with a bank manager taken hostage during one of his previous heists. Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall star in what critics are hailing a must-see.
2. Black Swan – If you listen to some critics, Natalie Portman has already won the Best Actress Oscar for this year after churning out a harrowing performance as a veteran ballerina under pressure to perform and succeed. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, the psychological horror is also surprisingly one of the most erotic films of the year. Portman? Erotic? Count us in! Black Swan hits theaters on December 1st.
3. Rabbit Hole – Though it doesn't have distribution yet, we probably won't have to wait too long considering someone is bound to snap up this dark drama starring Nicole Kidman (in a return to form?) and Aaron Eckhart as a couple trying to come to terms with the loss of their young son in a car accident. Bring your tissues to this one and prepare to get your cry on.
4. Hereafter – Due in theaters on October 22nd, Clint Eastwood directs this supernatural thriller about three people whose lives are touched by death in different ways. Matt Damon,Bryce Dallas Howard, Jay Mohr and Richard Kind star. No advanced buzz at all from this one, but its positioning leads us to believe this might be the Halloween viewing alternative to those straight-up horror flicks like Saw 3D. And that's just fine by us!
5. Super – We talked before about Toronto's great Midnight Madness slate, and so here's one of those films. Written and directed by James Gunn, Super has a sort of Kick-Ass vibe to it in that it follows a random everyman (Rainn Wilson) who decides to take on a superhero persona after his wife (Liv Tyler) falls under the influences of a drug dealer (Kevin Bacon). Ellen Page also stars as our makeshift-superhero's sidekick. Based on this cast, hilarity should ensue. No distribution yet, but that will hopefully change once it screens since the early footage shown at Comic-Con went over well.
Which Toronto Film Festival movies are you looking forward to the most?
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Erik DavisFandango Bloggers
Erik is a leading movie commentator who has worked for outlets such as AOL Moviefone and Movies.com.