The Fest is traditionally a launching-pad for studios' Oscar hopefuls, and this year is no exception -- with not one but two George Clooney films hitting the screens, Matt Damon doing the weight-gain-for-Oscars thing, and Megan Fox getting nasty as a flesh-eating cheerleader (though, sadly, we're not sure its her time for Oscar glory just yet).
Whether you're heading to the festival (which runs from Sept. 10-19, by the way) or just want to know which movies are stoking buzz, Moviefone picks 12 flicks that are sure to make noise in Canada. center>Every year in September, Hollywood heads to Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival. There are sumptuous red carpet premieres, star-studded cocktail parties and, most importantly, a slew of films looking to score some big-time commercial and critical buzz.
The Fest is traditionally a launching-pad for studios' Oscar hopefuls, and this year is no exception -- with not one but two George Clooney films hitting the screens, Matt Damon doing the weight-gain-for-Oscars thing, and Megan Fox getting nasty as a flesh-eating cheerleader (though, sadly, we're not sure its her time for Oscar glory just yet). Whether you're heading to the festival (which runs from Sept. 10-19, by the way) or just want to know which movies are stoking buzz, Moviefone picks 12 flicks that are sure to make noise in Canada.
'Transformers' starlet Megan Fox tackles her first headlining role, playing a man-eating (literally) high-school cheerleader in Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody's 'Juno' follow-up. While word on the street is that this "horror" flick is less scary than humorously entertaining, who are we to turn down a flick in which Fox plays a human praying mantis (she kills and eats all of her sexual conquests -- mmm ... sexual conquests) AND shares a steamy kiss with Amanda Seyfried?
| Watch the 'Jennifer's Body' trailer |
Matt Damon scarfed down McDonald's Extra Value Meals to gain 30 pounds and grew out a sweet handlebar 'stache to play an agribusiness whistleblower with superspy delusions of grandeur in this based-on-real-life flick from director Steven Soderbergh. So it's basically 'Erin Brockovich' minus a busty Julia Roberts, plus a fat Matt Damon. Translation: Look out Oscars.
'Up in the Air'
Director Jason Reitman follows up his Oscar-nominated 'Juno' gig with a film that is both timely -- it follows a professional corporate downsizer who might just find himself downsized and obsolete (thanks, recession and technological advances!) -- and, judging by the buzz from its Telluride Film Festival premiere, Oscar-worthy. Early reviews claim that George Clooney (as said corporate downsizer) turns in the most charismatic and engaging performance of his career to date, so things certainly are looking 'Up.'
Not to be outdone by her 'Juno' director (Reitman) and screenwriter (Cody), star Ellen Page returns to Toronto two years after their preggers-teen dramedy earned raves, starring in Drew Barrymore's directorial debut about a girl named Bliss (Page) who abandons her beauty queen background to become a roller derby badass. For some reason, all we can think to say is: 'Whip It!' ... real good.
| Watch the 'Whip It!' trailer |
'Volver' director Pedro Almodovar and his beautiful muse Penelope Cruz reteam for an ambitious Spanish-language drama, the love-triangle-and-flashback-laden plot of which is way too tangled to unravel here (trust us). Suffice it to say that Cruz, who earned a Best Actress nomination for 'Volver' and won Best Supporting Actress last year for Woody Allen's 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona,' could be making a return trip to the podium for 'Embraces.' Hey, if it ain't 'Broken,' don't fix it.
'The Men Who Stare at Goats'
If the hype over 'Goats' coming out of the Venice Film Festival is to be believed (and why wouldn't it?), George Clooney could be competing against himself for Best Actor come Oscar time. While his turn in 'Goats,' in which he plays a U.S. military operative trained to use psychic and paranormal tactics in combat, leans more toward broad comedy than his nuanced role in 'Up in the Air,' you never can tell when the Academy will develop a sense of humor. With Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges playing alleged fellow psychics, Ewan McGregor cast as a reporter chronicling their exploits and an enticing blend of fact an fiction (yes, the movie is based on a nonfiction book, we swear), George and co. may have gotten our (and the Academy's) 'Goats.'
| Watch 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' trailer |
The pedigree just screams Oscar: It's based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by 'No Country for Old Men' author Cormac McCarthy and it stars the always reliable Viggo Mortensen as a dad guiding his son to safety in a grim (and cannibalistic) post-apocalyptic world. But still critics seemed skeptical of 'The Road' -- probably because it's opening was delayed from last November to this fall (usually not a good sign). But after wowing audiences at the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals, 'The Road' has renewed Oscar hopes and burgeoning commercial prospects (it will now bow wide on Nov. 25 instead of limited on Oct. 16). Take that, skeptics!
| Watch 'The Road' trailer |
'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'
Though reviews have been mixed since Terry Gilliam's trippy modern morality play debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in May, there's no getting around the allure of 'Imaginarium.' The movie features the final big-screen performance of the late Heath Ledger, whose untimely death in the midst of filming prompted Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell to step in to play alternate-reality versions of Ledger's character. On top of that, the film follows an immortal man (Christopher Plummer) who enlists Ledger's help to win a bet with the Devil. Tell us your interest isn't piqued.
'Youth in Revolt'
Everyone's seen Michael Cera play the awkward nice guy who somehow gets the girl (think 'Superbad' and 'Juno'). But what if that affable everyman schtick didn't work? That's exactly what happens in this coming-of-age comedy ... and the answer is: He'd create a French, mustachioed, cigarette-smoking badboy alter-ego who goes to any lengths (including arson) to win the girl of his dreams. It's a side of Cera we've never seen ... and we kinda like it.
| Watch the 'Youth in Revolt' trailer |
'The Invention of Lying'
Ricky Gervais writes, directs and stars in this satirical comedy in which he's the only man in the world capable of lying. Yep, leave it to the creator of the British 'Office,' the man who practically invented subtly uncomfortable comedy, to imagine a world in which he's such a good liar that he's able to convince Jennifer Garner to sleep with him. Bastard.
| Watch 'The Invention of Lying' trailer |
'A Serious Man'
Two years after the Coen Bros.' bleak 'No Country for Old Men' stormed into Toronto and established itself as an Oscars frontrunner and one year after they amused with slightly slapstick comedy of 'Burn After Reading,' the brothers return to the fest with a film that walks more of a middle ground: the black comedy 'A Serious Man.' Theater vet Michael Stuhlbarg is already garnering hype for his starring role as a Midwestern physics prof whose life begins to unravel when his wife leaves him for another -- presumably less serious -- man.
| Watch 'A Serious Man' trailer |
Looking for the big breakout star of 2009? It could be up-and-comer Carey Mulligan, who is already prompting some serious Oscar talk for her portrayal of a 16-year-old girl who, in 1961 London, receives -- you guessed it -- an education in the ways of the world from a worldly (and creepy?) older man (Peter Saarsgard). Proving she's not just a flash in the pan, Mulligan has already snapped up roles in 'Never Let Me Go' opposite Keira Knightley and in 'Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps' as the daughter of the one and only Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).
| Watch 'An Education' trailer |
'Capitalism: A Love Story'
Always true to form, controversial documentarian Michael Moore bites the hand that feeds him (and, well, everyone) with his latest foray into filmmaking -- exploring the events that led up to the global financial crisis. The film couldn't be more timely, is sure to spark some heated debate and, as usual, will most definitely rain some heat down upon Moore, who goes so far as to declare the U.S. Stock Exchange a crime scene. Hey, he said it.
| Watch the 'Capitalism: A Love Story' trailer |
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