10 can’t-miss picks for film fest

We do the TIFF re­search so you don’t have to

North Toronto Post - - Arts - By Richard Crouse

The Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val has re­duced the num­ber of pro­grammed movies by 20 per cent from pre­vi­ous years, but it still in­cludes 339 films to feast your eyes on. With 27,438 min­utes of cel­lu­loid f rom 83 coun­tries be­ing pro­jected on screens, there will be some­thing for every­one.

1. Char­lie Hun­nam and Rami Malek head­line a re­make of the 1973 pe­nal colony es­cape flick

Papil­lon. The new film is based on the au­to­bi­og­ra­phy of Parisian safe­cracker Henri Char­rière— played here by Hun­nam — and the script for the Steve Mc­Queen, Dustin Hoff­man orig­i­nal. 2. Di­rect from Sun­dance comes

Novi­tiate, a ’60s pe­riod drama that sees a young nun work through is­sues of sex­u­al­ity and spir­i­tu­al­ity. It stars Mar­garet Qual­ley, Andie MacDow­ell’s daugh­ter, and Os­car win­ner Melissa Leo. 3. Shot in west­ern Canada, The

Moun­tain Be­tween Us is a sur­vival two-han­der with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. They play strangers who must bond af­ter a dev­as­tat­ing plane crash leaves them badly in­jured and stranded in a moun­tain wilder­ness.

4. The love of Michael Jack­son is be­hind an Egyp­tian film mak­ing its world pre­miere. Sheikh

Jack­son is the story of an Is­lamic cleric’s cri­sis of faith in the wake of the King of Pop’s death. A study of mas­culin­ity and mod­ern Is­lam, it’s be­ing touted as one of the feel-good, in­ter­na­tional hits of the year. 5. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote

Subur­bicon’s story of the soured Amer­i­can dream in 1986. Ge­orge Clooney was once at­tached to star but now takes over as di­rec­tor to a cast that in­cludes Academy Award win­ners Matt Da­mon and Ju­lianne Moore.

6. Guillermo del Toro, a di­rec­tor whose Pan’s Labyrinth elec­tri­fied TIFF au­di­ences in 2005, re­turns with an­other crea­ture fea­ture, The

Shape of Wa­ter. Doug Jones, a del Toro reg­u­lar who was the oth­er­worldly Pale Man in Pan’s

Labyrinth and Hell­boy’s mer­man Abe Sapien, plays the film’s am­phibi­ous crea­ture.

7. Mark Felt — The Man Who Brought Down the White House sheds light on mys­te­ri­ous whistle­blower Deep Throat. Liam Nee­son plays an FBI agent who pro­vided Wash­ing­ton Post jour­nal­ist Bob Wood­ward with the in­for­ma­tion that led to the Water­gate. Di­rec­tor Peter Lan­des­man is an award-win­ning in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter.

8. Di­rec­tor Mina Shum is back with Med­i­ta­tion Park, a bit­ter­sweet look at 60-year-old Maria’s (Cheng Pei Pei) at­tempts to change her life af­ter her hus­band cheats on her. Fes­ti­val favourites Don McKel­lar and San­dra Oh co-star.

9. Dark­est Hour, di­rec­tor Joe Wright’s look at Win­ston Churchill’s bat­tle against the Nazis, is al­ready be­ing hyped as a sure­fire Os­car nom­i­na­tion for star Gary Old­man. The film is ded­i­cated to John Hurt, who was cast as Neville Cham­ber­lain but died be­fore pro­duc­tion be­gan.

10. Bat­tle of the Sexes chron­i­cles the tele­vised 1973 ten­nis match be­tween top-ranked Bil­lie Jean King and ex-champ Bobby Riggs. Emma Stone and Steve Carell star, recre­at­ing the game and King’s pre-game of­fer­ing to Riggs, a squeal­ing piglet — an em­blem of male chau­vin­ism.

Emma Stone and Steve Carell star in ‘Bat­tle of the Sexes’

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