Not all TIFF movies are created equal. At least not in terms of what is being most anticipated and buzzed about in the days leading up to the festival start. There are always some films that everyone seems especially excited to see, and expect to potentially ascend to Oscar glory.
Here are the ten movies getting the most advance buzz at TIFF 2015.
Beasts of No Nation
Cary Fukunaga was a remarkable director before True Detective, but now he’s on everybody’s map. Which is why Beasts of No Nation – based on the best selling book about a child soldier in Africa – is eagerly anticipated, with buzz especially surrounding Idris Elba’s performance as a sadistic rebel commander.
The Danish Girl
With one Best Actor Oscar in his pocket (for The Theory of Everything), buzz is Eddie Redmayne could earn himself another for playing Lili Elbe, one of the first recipients of sexual reassignment surgery in the 1920s. It no doubt helps that the film is directed by Tom Hooper (Best Picture winner, The King’s Speech).
After directing Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon to Oscar wins and nominated, buzz is Jean-Marc Vallée could direct Jake Gyllenhaal to his own overdue golden statue. The film itself, about an investment banker who tragically loses his wife (and his mind a little), is getting some award buzz of its own.
Based on the true story of a terminally ill police officer who fought a landmark legal battle to pass on her pension her domestic partner, the timely arrival of the film after the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage has made Freeheld eagerly awaited, as has the promise of Julianne Moore and Ellen Page’s performances.
I Saw the Light
Everybody loves a musical biopic, especially the Oscars (see: Walk the Line, Ray, La Vie En Rose, Amadeus, Coal Miner’s Daughter, the list goes on). So I Saw the Light – about the life of country-music God, Hank Williams – has a lot of building buzz behind it, especially for the ever charming Tom Hiddleston in the lead role.
Love has been generating a whole lot of attention as it’s been making the festival rounds. The reason? It features explicit, unsimulated sex scenes. In 3D.
Ridley Scott can be hit or miss. But his adaptation of the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, about an astronaut left behind on Mars to MacGyver his way to survival, has many eagerly anticipating a hit. Hell, the insane cast– Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kate Mara–alone has folks excited.
It’s not hard to see why there’s a lot of anticipation around Spotlight. It has a sensational subject–the true story of the Boston Globe reporters who exposed the Catholic Church’s cover up of Massachusets priests’ molestation of children – and a sensational cast, including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, and Rachel McAdams.
Where to Invade Next
It’s been six years since provocateur Michael Moore has made a movie, so that makes Where to Invade Next–a documentary that looks at why America is bad at invading countries, and how it can be better–a highly anticipated film at TIFF this year.
From director Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), Youth has been enjoying excellent reviews at festivals where it’s popped up. The performances of Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel – playing friends on a vacation in the Swiss alps – have especially drawn a lot of attention and eager anticipation for TIFF.