TIFF 2019: First Slate of Films Revealed

Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Marielle Heller

A jaded journalist (Matthew Rhys) reluctantly accepts an Esquire assignment to profile the children’s television host Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks), and encounters a profoundly empathetic worldview that changes his life forever.

A Herdade

Tiago Guedes

Portuguese filmmaker Tiago Guedes looks at the political, economic, and social history of Portugal from the vantage point of a family line of wealthy homesteaders on a Tagus River estate.

Abominable

Jill Culton

Featuring the voices of Eddie Izzard and Sarah Paulson, this spectacular animated adventure follows a clever teen girl and a Yeti as they rove the Himalayas in the hopes of reuniting the charismatic creature with his family.

American Woman

Semi Chellas

A political activist (Hong Chau) helps take care of a group of America’s most wanted fugitives — including a well-known, recently radicalized heiress — in this fictionalized reimagining of the Patty Hearst affair.

Bad Education

Cory Finley

Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, and Ray Romano star in this fact-based dramedy directed by Cory Finley (Thoroughbreds), about an infamous school-larceny scandal that rocked Long Island in the early aughts.

Blackbird

Roger Michell

A terminally ill mother (Susan Sarandon) invites her family to their country house for one final gathering, but tensions quickly boil over between her two daughters (Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska), in Roger Michell’s (My Cousin RachelLe Week-End) remake of the award-winning 2014 Danish film Silent Heart.

Clemency

Chinonye Chukwu

A death row prison warden (Alfre Woodard) grapples with the psychological fallout of her job following years of executions, in Chinonye Chukwu’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize–winning drama.

Coming Home Again

Wayne Wang

A Korean American man cares for his ailing mother while trying to master her traditional cooking in the latest from Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club), based on Chang-rae Lee’s New Yorker short story.

Dolemite Is My Name

Craig Brewer

Eddie Murphy leads this hugely entertaining biopic from Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) with his hilarious and finely honed turn as comedian Rudy Ray Moore, who became a legend in midlife with his outlandish 1970s Blaxploitation chartacter Dolemite.

Ema

Pablo Larraín

After a terrible accident fractures her family and her marriage, a woman sets out on a risky quest to reset her life, in this incendiary drama about art, desire, and family from Chilean director Pablo Larraín (JackieNeruda).

Endings, Beginnings

Drake Doremus

An idealistic woman (Shailene Woodley) attempts to get her life on track financially and romantically, but gets caught in a love triangle with a free-spirited bad boy (Sebastian Stan) and his more stable, scholarly best friend (Jamie Dornan), in this tender exploration of love and heartbreak from Drake Doremus (Like Crazy).

Ford v Ferrari

James Mangold

James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma) directs Matt Damon and Christian Bale in this high-speed biographical drama that pits an underdog team of American automotive engineers against Ferrari in the 1966 “24 Hours of Le Mans” endurance race.

Frankie

Ira Sachs

An aging actor (Isabelle Huppert) summons her idiosyncratic extended family on a fateful holiday, in Ira Sachs’ thoughtful dramedy co-starring Marisa Tomei, Brendan Gleeson, Jérémie Renier, and Greg Kinnear.

Greed

Michael Winterbottom

Festival favourite Michael Winterbottom skewers the fast-fashion industry in this scathing farce about a retail billionaire (Steve Coogan) whose lavish birthday plans are thrown into disarray by a nearby refugee camp.

Guest of Honour

Atom Egoyan

A father (David Thewlis) and daughter (Laysla De Oliveira) attempt to work through their complicated relationship, secret histories, and personal demons, in Atom Egoyan’s latest exploration of unresolved personal trauma and its unintended consequences.

Harriet

Kasi Lemmons

Tony-winning Broadway actor Cynthia Erivo stars in Kasi Lemmons’ inspiring biopic about renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who escaped slavery and risked her life to lead others to freedom through the network of safehouses known as the Underground Railroad.

Heroic Losers

Sebastian Borensztein

When some neighbours in rural Argentina are swindled out of their savings by an unscrupulous lawyer and bank manager, they join forces to plan an elaborate heist and take back what’s theirs.

Honey Boy

Alma Har’el

Shia LaBeouf mines his own troubled childhood in this raw confessional, which traces a decade in the toxic relationship between a famous child actor and his abusive alcoholic father.

Hope Gap

William Nicholson

A together-forever couple (Annette Bening and Bill Nighy) unpack the many complications of splitting up, in Oscar-nominated writer-director William Nicholson’s razor-sharp drama.

How to Build a Girl

Coky Giedroyc

A working-class teenager (Beanie Feldstein) tries to reinvent herself as a hip London music critic, in this unconventional coming-of-age story based on British author Caitlin Moran’s semiautobiographical novel. Also starring Chris O’Dowd, Emma Thompson, and Paddy Considine.

Hustlers

Lorene Scafaria

Inspired by a 2015 New York Magazine article that went viral, Hustlers follows a savvy crew of former strippers (Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B, Constance Wu, and Julia Stiles) who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

I Am Woman

Unjoo Moon

This uplifting biopic tells the story of Helen Reddy, the fiercely ambitious Australian singer behind the 1971 megahit anthem that became the rallying cry of the women’s liberation movement.

First still from the set of WW2 satire, JOJO RABIT. (From L-R): Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) has dinner with his imaginary friend Adolf (Writer/Director Taika Waititi), and his mother, Rosie (Scarlet Johansson). Photo by Kimberley French. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi directs a riotous cast — including Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson, Rebel Wilson, and Alfie Allen — in this equally daring, droll, and touching story of a young German boy who discovers a Jewish girl hiding in his home and consults with his imaginary best friend, Adolf Hitler (Waititi).

Joker

Todd Phillips

Joaquin Phoenix becomes the iconic comic-book villain in director Todd Phillips’ (War DogThe Hangover) dark chronicle of a vulnerable man’s descent into violent madness.

Judy

Rupert Goold

Oscar winner Renée Zellweger delivers a note-perfect performance as Judy Garland during the last year of her life, in Rupert Goold’s (True Story) moving adaptation of the stage play End of the Rainbow.

Just Mercy

Destin Daniel Cretton

A civil-rights defense attorney (Michael B. Jordan) fights to free a wrongfully convicted death-row inmate (Jamie Foxx), in this true-life courtroom drama from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12The Glass Castle).

Knives Out

Rian Johnson

Director Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last JediLooper) assembles an all-star cast — Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, and LaKeith Stanfield — in this intelligent whodunit about a famed southern detective (Craig) who joins forces with local police to investigate a group of eccentric suspects following the murder of a wealthy crime novelist (Christopher Plummer).

La Belle Époque

Nicolas Bedos

In this high-concept comedy from Nicolas Bedos (Mr. & Mrs. Adelman), a luddite cartoonist suffering an existential crisis hires a VR company to recreate a happier time in his marriage, as he tries to reconcile the golden-hued past with an inescapable digital present.

Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach

In the latest from Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz StoriesFrances Ha), a stage director (Adam Driver) and his actor wife (Scarlett Johansson) struggle through a gruelling, coast-to-coast divorce that pushes them to their personal and creative extremes.

Military Wives

Peter Cattaneo

With their partners away serving in Afghanistan, a group of women on the home front form a choir and quickly find themselves at the centre of a media sensation and global movement, in this feel-good story from Peter Cattaneo (The Full Monty).

Motherless Brooklyn

Edward Norton

Edward Norton directs and stars in this layered mystery — based on Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed novel — about a private investigator with Tourette syndrome trying to solve his boss’s murder.

No.7 Cherry Lane

Yonfan

Set in the politically charged Hong Kong of the 1960s, iconic Chinese director Yonfan’s animation debut is an atmospheric story of an English literature student who enters into a love triangle with the woman he is tutoring and her middle-aged mother.

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band

Directed by Daniel Roher (Ghosts of Our Forest) and executive produced by Martin Scorsese, Brian Grazer, and Ron Howard, the feature documentary follows Robertson from his early life in Toronto and on the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve, in Southern Ontario, to the creation of legendary roots-rock group The Band.

Ordinary Love

Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star as a long-standing couple facing a potentially life-changing cancer diagnosis, in this drama scripted by Northern Irish playwright Owen McCafferty.

Pain and Glory

Pedro AlmodóvarAn aging filmmaker (Antonio Banderas) grapples with an uncertain future and the circumstances that shaped his successful but troubled life, in Pedro Almodóvar’s self-reflexive consideration of identity and desire.

Parasite

Bong Joon-ho

A family of cunning derelicts scheme to enter a wealthy household’s employ in this genre-bending, Palme d’Or–winning thriller of class struggle from South Korean master Bong Joon-ho (OkjaSnowpiercer).

Pelican Blood

Katrin Gebbe

A mother’s idyllic country life is threatened when her newly adopted second daughter turns from shy and charming to menacing and dangerous, in Katrin Gebbe’s dramatic thriller…

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Céline Sciamma

Hired to paint a portrait ahead of a prospective marriage, an artist in 18th-century Brittany finds herself falling for the reclusive would-be bride, in the Cannes Queer Palm–winning fourth feature from writer-director Céline Sciamma (Girlhood).

Radioactive

Marjane Satrapi

Based on Lauren Redniss’s award-winning graphic novel, Marjane Satrapi’s (Persepolis) biopic stars Rosamund Pike as two-time Nobel Prize–winning scientist Marie Curie, highlighting the groundbreaking discoveries she made with her husband, Pierre (Sam Riley).

Saturday Fiction

Lou Ye

In 1941, a Chinese actress returns to Japanese-occupied Shanghai, ostensibly to star in a play, but her true motivations become complicated as she learns of the imminent Pearl Harbor attack and struggles to differentiate friend from undercover enemy.

The Friend

Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Based on the award-winning Esquire article of the same name, a man (Jason Segel) puts his own life on hold to move into the family home of his best friends (Dakota Johnson and Casey Affleck) and support them through a terminal cancer diagnosis.

The Goldfinch

John Crowley

A young boy’s life is forever altered following a terrorist attack at an art museum, in John Crowley’s (Brooklyn) adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. Starring Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson, and Jeffrey Wright

The Laundromat

Steven Soderbergh

Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas star in Steven Soderbergh’s guided tour through the corrupt and secret world of financial crime that was exposed by the infamous Panama Papers leak.

The Lighthouse

Robert Eggers

Shot on 35mm black-and-white film, this psychological thriller from Robert Eggers (The Witch) follows the slow descent into madness of two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) on a remote New England island at the turn of the 19th century.

The Other Lamb

Malgorzata Szumowska

A girl (Raffey Cassidy) born into an all-female cult led by a man in their compound (Michiel Huisman) begins to question his teachings and her own reality, in this haunting, English-language debut from acclaimed Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska (The BodyMug).

The Painted Bird

Václav Marhoul

A young Jewish boy encounters the worst of humanity as he wanders Eastern Europe during World War II, in director Václav Marhoul’s adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s infamous Holocaust novel.

 

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Armando Iannucci

Director Armando Iannucci (The Death of Stalin) brings his sardonic wit — and a stellar cast that includes Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Gwendoline Christie, Peter Capaldi, and Ben Whishaw — to Charles Dickens’ classic autobiographical novel.

The Report

Scott Z. Burns

In this searing political thriller from screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (Contagion), Adam Driver stars as a dogged investigator who’s tapped by the US Senate to probe the CIA’s use of torture tactics after 9/11.

The Sky Is Pink

Shonali Bose

A recently deceased teenage daughter narrates her parents’ poignant, affecting, and inspiring romance, in this unexpectedly humorous love story from Shonali Bose, inspired by the life of late Indian author and motivational speaker Aisha Chaudhary.

The Song of Names

François Girard

Tim Roth and Clive Owen star in François Girard’s (Hochelaga, Land of Souls) latest sweeping historical drama, about a man searching for his childhood best friend — a Polish violin prodigy orphaned in the Holocaust — who vanished decades before on the night of his first public performance.

The Two Popes

Fernando Meirelles

In 2013, progressive incoming Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) and conservative outgoing Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) debate the best path forward for the Catholic Church, in this surprisingly funny chamber piece from Oscar-nominated director Fernando Meirelles (City of God)

True History of the Kelly Gang

Justin Kurzel

A fictionalized re-telling of the life and crimes of infamous 19th-century Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, based on Peter Carey’s Booker Prize–winning novel. Starring Russell Crowe and Nicholas Hoult.

Uncut Gems

Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie

From acclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie comes an electrifying crime thriller about Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score. When he makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime, Howard must perform a precarious high-wire act, balancing business, family, and encroaching adversaries on all sides, in his relentless pursuit of the ultimate win.

Weathering With You

Makoto Shinkai

In the highly anticipated follow-up to his 2016 anime box-office hit Your Name, Makoto Shinkai returns with the story of a runaway teenager who meets a girl with the fantastical ability to stop the rain and clear the sky.

Western Stars

Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen

The incomparable Bruce Springsteen performs his critically acclaimed latest album and muses on life, rock, and the American dream, in this intimate and personal concert film co-directed by Thom Zimny and Springsteen himself.

While at War

Alejandro Amenábar

Set in the first months of the Spanish Civil War, this riveting and timely chamber drama from acclaimed writer-director Alejandro Amenábar (The Others) tracks the country’s slide into nearly four decades of fascism under dictator Francisco Franco.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5th to the 15th in Toronto, Ontario.

Written by
Ashley Menzel is an avid film lover and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She loves foreign films and dramas and reading books that have film adaptations. Her favorite movie of all time is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, iZombie, and Grimm.

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