August 16, 2011

THE BIJOU @ TIFF: Yet More Titles

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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The Toronto International Film Festival prides itself on being one of the more comprehensive in the world, and today a slew of additional titles were announced for next month’s TIFF.  After the break, some highlights:
PAGE EIGHT:  A British spy thriller from famed playwright David Hare, with the usual amazing UK ensemble that this time includes Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Rachel Weisz, Ralph Fiennes and Judy Davis.

THE AWAKENING:  Rebecca Hall has shown great taste in projects so far; her newest is a supernatural thriller that also features Dominic West and Imelda Staunton.
HYSTERIA:  A romantic comedy based on the same bizarre piece of history as the recent Broadway play In The Next Room:  the fact that vibrators were originally invented to be prescribed to women by psychiatrists.  Maggie Gyllenhaal heads a cast that also includes Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett and Felicity Jones.
KILLER ELITE:  What is a Jason Statham action movie doing in a film festival?  It also features Robert DeNiro and Clive Owen… but still.
TRESPASS:  A Joel Schumacher thriller about a home invasion sounds pretty low-rent, too, but this one has Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, so it may at least have some oddball moments.
WINNIE:  A biography of Winnie Mandela (that the real-life subject is none too happy about), starring Jennifer Hudson.
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS:  Whit Stillman’s first film since The Last Days of Disco in 1998 is an event by definition; it’s a comedy about university life and stars Greta Gerwig and Analeigh Tipton (the babysitter in Crazy, Stupid, Love).
IN DARKNESS:  Not to sound cynical, but every film festival has to have a Holocaust movie.  This one is set in Poland, and directed by Agnieska Holland.
INTRUDERS:  From the director of 28 Weeks Later, a thriller starring Clive Owen.
VIOLET AND DAISY:  The directing debut of Geoffrey Fletcher, who wrote the script for Precious.  It’s described as both “whimsical” and “surreal,” and stars Saoirse Ronan and Alexis Bledel as assassins, with James Gandolfini as not just a mysterious man, but “an unusually mysterious man.”  
UNION SQUARE:  Nancy Savoca’s story of two estranged sisters, starring Mira Sorvino and Tammy Blanchard.
YOUR SISTER’S SISTER:  Lynn Shelton directed the very funny mumblecore Humpday; this time, she directs two very non-mumblecore actresses–Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt–in a love story.
You might think that’s plenty for any film festival, but TIFF has more announcements on the way.  Not too many, though:  the official festival schedule will be released a week from today, on August 23.
Stay with SHOWBUZZDAILY’S THE BIJOU for all your TIFF coverage!

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."