WHAT. A. LINEUP.
Today, the Toronto International Film Festival announced the first titles for its 2019 edition, with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker for Warner Bros., Tom Hanks’ Fred Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and Rian Johnson’s Knives Out set to receive high-profile premieres.
The festival, which runs from Sept. 5-15, also features the debuts for James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari, the 20th Century Fox action automotive drama starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale (set for a Nov. 15 release) and Lorene Scafaria’s stripper drama Hustlers, starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu and Cardi B.
Earlier this week, the star-studded festival announced that Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will be the film that kicks off the festivities. The feature documentary revolves around the legendary musician and founding member of the influential group from director Daniel Roher.
“Some of the year’s biggest films will land in Toronto this September,” said Bailey, Co-Head and Artistic Director of TIFF. “We’re thrilled to unveil Galas and Special Presentations that bring the brightest lights in film to our Festival audience. Our new programming team has been hard at work for months to deliver the compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that mark our two highest-profile sections.”
Also playing at the gala presentations are are Justin Kurzel’s Australian western True History of the Kelly Gang, which skipped Cannes and stars George MacKay, Russell Crowe and Charlie Hunnam; Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet for Focus Features, which stars Janelle Monae and Cynthia Erivo; Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios’ The Goldfinch, helmed by John Crowley and starring Ansel Elgort; Just Mercy, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx’s civil rights drama directed by Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton, and based on the best-selling memoir by defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, which follows the case of a black man who was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit; and Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, about a family of cunning derelicts scheming to enter a wealthy household’s employ.
“I’m delighted to step into my first Festival as TIFF Co-Head to such a powerful slate of films,” said Vicente, Co-Head and Executive Director of TIFF. “Fast-paced, boundary-pushing, satirical — this lineup has films representing every corner of the cinematic landscape on top of a strong number of World Premieres. It’s a pleasure to be able to share these films with audiences for the first time.”
Rounding out the gala presentations are Roger Michell’s Blackbird, starring Kate Winslet and Sam Neill; Thom Zimny and Bruce Springsteen’s film Western Stars, based on the legendary musician’s latest record; the Ireland-set Ordinary Love, directed by Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn and starring Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville; Francois Girard’s The Song of Names, the Tim Roth and Clive Owen drama; and Indian director Shonali Bose’s real life drama The Sky Is Pink, with Priyanka Chopra in the lead role and co-producing.
In the special presentations sector, TIFF programmers booked Edward Norton’s passion project Motherless Brooklyn, which has cast Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin and Willem Dafoe; Steven Soderbergh’s Panama Papers thriller The Laundromat, featuring Gary Oldman and Meryl Streep; Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse, starring Willem Dafoe, along with Robert Pattinson; Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, which will first premiere at the London Film Festival and stars Dev Patel; and Scott Z. Burns’ The Report, which was first showcased at Sundance.
TIFF’s Special Presentations is reserved for films which have premiered at an earlier film festival before landing in Canada. Also booked is Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, a dark comedy about a young boy whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi); Pedro Almodovar’s Pain and Glory, which premiered in Cannes; Rian Johnson’s murder mystery Knives Out, featuring Daniel Craig, and Chris Evans; Michael Winterbottom’s Greed; Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story for Netflix, starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johnasson; Cory Finley’s family drama starring Hugh Jackman, Bad Education; Craig Brewer’s Dolemite is My Name, headlined by Keegan-Michael Key and Eddie Murphy and also bound for Netflix; Drake Doremus’ Endings, Beginnings; Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, starring Shia LaBeouf; Ira Sachs’ Frankie; Atom Egoyan’s Guest of Honor; Rupert Goold’s Judy; Peter Cattaneo’s Military Wives; and Nicolas Bedos’ French drama La Belle Epoque.
The festival will close this year with Radioactive, which has Rosamund Pike as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie in the upcoming feature from director Marjane Satrapi, with StudioCanal and Amazon Studios co-financing.