TIFF 2013: the buzziest movies and biggest stars in this year’s lineup

TIFF 2013: the buzziest movies and biggest stars in this year’s lineup

WikiLeaks thriller The Fifth Estate is opening this year’s festival (Image: Frank Connor)
 

Judging from the list of galas that TIFF CEO Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey announced earlier today, the buzzword for this year’s film festival is “earnest.” In a year dominated by dopey Adam Sandler sequels and giant robots fighting giant lizards, TIFF 2013 feels like the guy at the party warning about the hazards of overdrinking and the importance of a good night’s sleep. The big opening night gala, often reserved for slightly schlocky fare, will be The Fifth Estate, a tense-looking and very timely drama about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch with a bleach-job. Below, more of the high-profile films screening during TIFF.

  • August: Osage County, based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning play about a dysfunctional family, stars Meryl Streep in full Oscar-bait mode
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom stars Idris Elba (of The Wire and Pacific Rim) as the young freedom fighter
  • 12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen (who brought viewers full-frontal Michael Fassbender in Shame) features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Fassbender and festival darling Brad Pitt
  • Prisoners, director Denise Villeneuve’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated Incendies, stars Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal in a thriller about a pair of kidnapped children
  • Ron Howard will present Rush, his Chris Hemsworth-starring drama about Formula One drivers
  • You Are Here is a road trip comedy starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, and directed by Matthew Weiner, the creator of Mad Men

If most of the films aren’t exactly popcorn flicks, Toronto will still be inundated with red carpet-worthy celebs. Aside from Pitt, Streep, and Cumberbatch, this year’s lineup features George Clooney, Reese Witherspoon, Catherine Keener, Ewan McGregor, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Winslet, and Keanu Reeves. Ready your camera phones.