Clooney and Jolie projects head­ing to TIFF

The Hamilton Spectator - - A&E - VIC­TO­RIA AHEARN TORONTO —

A provoca­tive com­edy-drama di­rected by Ge­orge Clooney, a Trag­i­cally Hip doc­u­men­tary, and an An­gelina Jolie-helmed bi­o­graph­i­cal thriller are among the projects headed to this year’s Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val.

On Tues­day, or­ga­niz­ers re­vealed just un­der a quar­ter of the slate of films set to screen at the an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of cin­ema, which runs from Sept. 7 to 17.

Clooney’s “Subur­bicon,” writ­ten by the Coen broth­ers, stars Matt Da­mon and Ju­lianne Moore in a tale of a sub­ur­ban home in­va­sion.

“It’s a dis­turb­ing film, it’s not an easy film,” said Piers Han­dling, CEO and di­rec­tor of TIFF.

“It’s a kind of so­cial satire that re­ally cuts at the heart of the U.S.,” added Cameron Bai­ley, artis­tic di­rec­tor of TIFF.

The Trag­i­cally Hip doc­u­men­tary “Long Time Run­ning,” di­rected by Cana­di­ans Jen­nifer Baich­wal and Ni­cholas de Pencier, will have a gala open­ing.

It doc­u­ments the lead-up to the beloved Cana­dian band’s 2016 tour for their “Man Ma­chine Poem” al­bum af­ter front­man Gord Downie an­nounced he had in­cur­able brain can­cer.

Bai­ley said the film­mak­ers are in touch with the band and hope to have the whole group at the fest.

Jolie’s “First They Killed My Fa­ther,” which she also cowrote, is based on Cam­bo­dian hu­man rights ac­tivist Loung Ung’s me­moir.

“This is a film that’s set in Cam­bo­dia about the Kh­mer Rouge and all the events that went on in the ‘70s, the mas­sacres, the geno­cide, and it’s shot in the na­tive lan­guage with sub­ti­tles,” said Han­dling. “So she’ll ob­vi­ously be here to sup­port the film.”

Other films on the docket in­clude David Gor­don Green’s Bos­ton Marathon bombing drama “Stronger,” star­ring Jake Gyl­len­haal and Regina na­tive Ta­tiana Maslany.

Dar­ren Aronof­sky’s psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller “Mother!” stars Jen­nifer Lawrence and Javier Bar­dem in a story the TIFF direc­tors said will “be a real talk­ing point.”

“Subur­bicon,” “Mother!” and Alexan­der Payne’s satire “Down­siz­ing,” which also stars Da­mon, are among sev­eral edgy films from big­name direc­tors in the lineup.

“It’s great to see ad­ven­tur­ous, chal­leng­ing work be­ing done by these ma­jor film­mak­ers at this par­tic­u­lar point in time, when I think there’s such an in­stinct and a move to­ward ... not tak­ing risks — es­pe­cially at the stu­dio level, they’re mov­ing more into the fran­chise movies, the comic-book films,” said Han­dling.

The sched­ule also has a slew of star-packed biopics, in­clud­ing “Dark­est Hour,” star­ring Gary Old­man as Win­ston Churchill, and “I, Tonya,” star­ring Mar­got Robbie as ice skater Tonya Hard­ing.

In “Bat­tle Of The Sexes,” Steve Carell and Emma Stone star in a story in­spired by the 1973 ten­nis match be­tween Bil­lie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

“The Catcher Was A Spy” stars Paul Rudd as Ma­jor League Base­ball player Moe Berg, who was a spy for the Of­fice of Strate­gic Ser­vices. “Mary Shel­ley” stars Elle Fan­ning as the “Franken­stein” au­thor and Canada’s own Michael Greyeyes stars as Sit­ting Bull along­side Jes­sica Chas­tain and Sam Rock­well in the “Woman Walks Ahead,” based on a true story.

The com­edy “C’est la vie!” — writ­ten and di­rected by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano — will be the clos­ing night film. The open­ing­night ti­tle hasn’t been an­nounced.

Cinephiles have been won­der­ing whether Que­bec di­rec­tor De­nis Vil­leneuve’s much-an­tic­i­pated “Blade Run­ner” se­quel will be at the fes­ti­val, but it was not in the lineup an­nounced on Tues­day.

“I’m not sure the stars, to be hon­est, are go­ing to align this year when it comes to ‘Blade Run­ner,’” said Han­dling.

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