Confirming its position as the launch padfor Oscar season, the Toronto International Film Festival has added nine worldpremieres to its line-up, many from or starring Academy Award-winningfilmmakers and actors.
Among the new titles scheduled to screen at the 30thTIFF are Breakfast On Pluto, fromscreenplay winner and directorial nominee Neil Jordan; The World's Fastest Indian, starring multiple winner AnthonyHopkins; North Country, starring BestActress winners Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand and Sissy Spacek; and
Although it has no Oscar pedigree, JamesMangold's Johnny Cash biopic Walk TheLine could tap the same iconic vein as Taylor Hackford's musical biopic
Other world premieres include MichaelWinterbottom's Tristram Shandy: A CockAnd Bull Story, a post-modern take on Stern's literary classic, starringSteve Coogan, Jeremy Northam, Stephen Fry, and Gillian Anderson;
World premiering in Contemporary WorldCinema is Opa!, starring MatthewModine as an archeologist who falls in love with the Greek villager whosetaverna sits on important dig site. The UK-produced title is directed by
TIFF also announced North Americanpremieres of Cameron Crowe's comedy Elizabethtown,starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst along with Susan Sarandon and AlecBaldwin; Steven Soderbergh's Bubble,starring a cast of non-professional actors; Mike Johnson and Tim Burton'sstop-motion animation Tim Burton's CorpseBride, voiced by Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter; actor LievSchreiber's directorial debut EverythingIs Illuminated, starring Elijah Wood about a young man's quest to find theUkrainian woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis; Cannes title
Based on the novel by Patrick McCabe,
Directed by Roger Donaldson, New Zealandtitle The World's Fastest Indianfeatures Hopkins as Kiwi motorcycling legend Burt Munro, who set a speed recordon his modified Indian motorcycle. It screens as a Special Presentation. Thefilm has no US distribution as yet; it's handled in Canada by AllianceAtlantis' Odeon.
Directed by Whale Rider filmmaker Niki Caro, North Country stars Diaz as a Minnesota miner who, sick of theharassment she and other female miners encounter, decides to take action.McDormand plays her miner friend, Spacek her disapproving mother. Rounding outthe cast are Sean Bean, Richard Jenkins, Jeremy Renner, Michelle Monaghan andWoody Harrelson. The film was written by Michael Seitzman and produced by NickWechsler. Warner Bros. distributes.
The directorial debut of playwright PhyllisNagy, Mrs. Harris stars Annette Bening as Jean Harris, the New Yorksocialite who killed her lover, Scarsdale diet developer Dr. Herman Tarnower,played by Ben Kingsley. Ellen Burstyn, Frances Fisher, Philip Baker Hall,Cloris Leachman, Mary McDonnell and Chloe Sevigny are also featured. Inspiredby the book Very Much a Lady by ShanaAlexander, the film is executive produced by Elizabeth Karlsen, Pamela Koffler,Christine Vachon, and John Wells.A Killer Films/Number 9 Films/John WellsProduction, the film is a presentation of HBO Films.
Today's announcement is the latest in astring of line-up news releases from Toronto (see links below). The festival isexpected to complete its line-up by the end of August.