By Alex Deleon
While Toronto prides itself on being the most important film festival in North America it might not rank so high in importance without the crop of films cloned from Venice across the seas.
No less than sixteen of 21 world premieres unspooled at Venice will have their second unveiling in Toronto which runs from September 5-15 right on the heels of the Italian Mostra Cinematografica which closed on the 7th of September.
The Venice films that will have North American premieres at Toronto are as follows:
- The Burnt Orange Heresy, which was the closure at Venice will be shown as a gala. Film features Mick Jagger as a wealthy art collector.
- Joker, which took the Best Film Golden Lion at Venice will also be presented as a gala in Toronto. A flashy tour de force by Joaquin Phoenix.
- Martin Eden, the Italian update of the Jack London tale will be shown in the Platform section
The remaining thirteen titles will be shown as Special Representstions:
- The Truth. French stars Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche directed by Japanese helmer Hirokazu Kore-Eda, which opened Venice.
- The Laundromat. Soderbergh directed with Meryl Streep
- Marriage Story, Scarlett Johansson.
- Saturday Fiction, World War II Shanghai set spy thriller, starring Gong Li
- Seberg. With Kristen Stewart as the American actress Jean Seberg, hounded to death by the FBI in France
- Wasp Network. With Penelope Cruz as an anti-Castro terrorist wife.
- Pelican Blood. A love story set in the world of obsessive birdwatchers. with German actress, Nina Hoss
- Mosul, The battle to liberate Iraq’s second city from fanatic ISIS occupiers
- No. 7 Cherry Lane. A story in animation of a love triangle involving a university student, a single mother and her teenage daughter, set in 1967 Hong Kong when it was still a British colony.
- Ema. Directed by ace Chilean director Pablo Larraín of “Jackie” 2016 with Natalie Portman as the new widow of JFK. In this one A couple deals with the aftermath of an adoption that goes wrong as their household falls apart.
- Guest of Honor. A high school teacher is accused of sexually abusing one of her students and also has a father problem. Directed by Armenian Torontonian Atom Egoyan, this is a natural for the home folks
- The Painted Bird. Dismal dark Czech interpretation of the dark novel by Polish writer Jerzy Kosinski. A Jewish boy in WWII is tortured constantly but keeps a straight face even when buried in sand up to his neck and pecked at by crows. Will be a delight for SM buffs.
- The Domain (A Herdade). Long (263 minutes) chronicle of the estate of a wealthy Portuguese family during the regime of dictator Salazar in power for 46 years. Political symbolism, anyone?
Other films of interest on tap at Toronto:
- Judy, A biopic of legendary singer Judy Garland on the 50th anniversary of her death with Renée Zellweger as Judy.
- The Astronauts, “Theory of Everything” stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones reunited in a high flying hot air baloon adventure.
- Blackbird, English remake of Danish drama Silent Heart is directed by Bille August with cast that includes Kate Winslett and Susan Sarandon
- Ford vs Ferrari, with Matt Damon and Christian Bale out to design a faster racing car for LeMans, 1966. Director James Mangold
- Motherless Brooklyn, directed by and starring Ed Norton as a private eye investigating the death of his boss in a 1950s period thriller. All star cast features Alec Baldwin and Willem Defoe. Norton’s last (and first) directorial effort was the comedy romance Keeping the Faith which premiered at Karlovy Vary in 2000.
- Western Stars, starring and co-directed by Blue collar pop idol Bruce Springsteen, known to his fans as “The Boss”. Springsteen performs all 13 songs from his new album “Western Stars”. An automatic must see for his numerous devotees.