Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

September 3, 2013

CALLERI: The Toronto Film Festival begins its yearly dance in the spotlight


Niagara Gazette — The 2013 festival opens, as movie publicists love to shout, with a film straight from today's headlines. “The Fifth Estate” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the man with a lot of secrets to tell. It co-stars Laura Linney, Daniel Bruhl, David Thewlis, Anthony Mackie, and Stanley Tucci. Bill Condon, who won a screenwriting Oscar for "Gods And Monsters" is the director. A fascinating element of this highly charged political movie is that it's distributed by Walt Disney Studios, which usually steers clear of controversy.

One of the strongest cast line-ups in years shows up in "August: Osage County," which stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan MacGregor, Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, and Cumberbatch, again. It's directed by John Wells and is written by Tracy Letts, based on his own play about a quarrelsome Oklahoma family.

Festival highlights include American writer-director Nicole Holofcener's "Enough Said," James Gandolfini's second last film, a comedy about social conventions also starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Catherine Keener, and Toni Collette. There's "The Last Robin Hood," which has Kevin Kline playing Errol Flynn, Dakota Fanning as his underage girlfriend and Susan Sarandon as her mother. "Parkland" is about the bedlam at the Dallas hospital where President John F. Kennedy was taken after he was shot. Paul Giamatti, Marcia Gay Harden, Zac Efron, Tom Welling, and Ron Livingston are in it.

"Kill Your Darlings" stars Daniel Radcliffe as poet Allen Ginsberg, Jack Huston (grandson of director John) as Jack Kerouac, and Ben Foster as William S. Burroughs in a drama about a scandalous 1944 murder case that changed the lives of the men who would immortalize the Beat Generation. A famed writer is also the subject of “The Invisible Woman," which looks at the secret love affair between author Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes, who also directed) and Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones).

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