The first announcement for the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival is upon us, and it’s glorious.
TIFF is widely regarded as the kick-off to awards season, and this announcement in the past has featured films such as Spotlight, The Shape of Water, and 12 Years a Slave, which all went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars.
Big stars, big directors, and buzzed films were among the first wave of films included in the TIFF line-up, and we've selected ten that you'll definitely want to look out for.
Beautiful Boy, Felix Van Groeningen
Timothée Chalamet fans will be ecstatic to see that his latest film is having its World Premiere in Toronto. Adapted from memoirs written by a father and son (“Beautiful Boy” and “Tweak”), the film features him as a drug-addicted teenager and focuses on his relationship with his father, played by Steve Carell. Could Chalamet have his second Oscar nomination at the young age of twenty-two?
First Man, Damien Chazelle
Ryan Gosling is re-teaming with La La Land director Damien Chazalle, but this time it’s for a very different story. Gosling plays Neil Armstrong, and the film depicts the years leading up to the Apollo 11 mission, where he was the first man to walk on the moon. The film also stars Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler and Jason Clarke. As big fans of both Chazelle and Gosling, we have high hopes that First Man will be another winner for the duo.
The Hate U Give, George Tillman Jr.
Based on the bestselling teen novel written by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give features rising star Amandla Stenberg as a young woman who witnesses the fatal shooting of her friend by a corrupt police officer. This timely teen film tackles issues of racism, poverty, police brutality and activism, and we have a feeling that it’ll be one of the most talked about films at the festival.
Life Itself, Dan Fogelman
The creator of “This is Us” is giving us a lot more to cry about with his romantic drama Life Itself. Starring Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Samuel L. Jackson, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening, this ensemble piece follows a couple through their relationship, and the twists in their journey that affect those around them. If it’s anything like “This is Us”, we’re in and we’ll have our tissues ready.
A Star is Born, Bradley Cooper
Move over, Barbra Streisand. Lady Gaga is taking on her role from A Star is Born in this remake directed by Bradley Cooper. Gaga stars as a young singer who falls in love with a musician, also played by Cooper, and their romance must survive alcoholism, fame, and each of their personal demons. We’re ecstatic to see Lady Gaga in her first big film role, and it’s one that could even earn her an Oscar nomination.
Widows, Steve McQueen
From the writer of “Gone Girl” and the director of 12 Years a Slave, Widows promises us four power-house performances by some of our favourite women. Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo star as the widows to four criminals who have given them no choice but to orchestrate their own perfect crime to pay off the debts their husbands left behind.
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
Ever since we saw Moonlight, we’ve been obsessed with Barry Jenkins and excited to see what he’d do next. His new film follows a young, pregnant woman living in Harlem who is desperately trying to prove that her fiancé is innocent of a crime for which he’s been accused. The film stars newcomer Kiki Layne alongside Canadian actor Stephan James.
The Front Runner, Jason Reitman
Caught on the heels of Tully, one of our favourite Canadian directors is already back with a new film and this time it’s a biographical dark comedy about American Senator Gary Hart, played by Hugh Jackman. The film depicts the rise and fall of Hart, a Democratic presidential candidate in 1988, who finds himself at the centre of a media scandal when he’s caught having an affair.
White Boy Rick, Yann Demange
Produced by Darren Aronofsky, this crime-drama stars Matthew McConaughey as a blue-collar factory worker who is trying to keep his family together, while his son becomes the youngest FBI informant ever at the age of 14. We're hearing great things about newcomer Richie Merritt, who plays the titular "White Boy Rick", and are excited to see this crazy true story unfold on the big screen.
Wildlife, Paul Dano
One of our favourite couples, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan, co-wrote the screenplay for Dano’s directorial debut, Wildlife. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan as a couple whose marriage falls apart as seen through the eyes of their son. The film was highly buzzed when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and the talent involved makes this one especially exciting.