Mother Nature may say that we have a couple of weeks of summer left, but on the movie scene, fall is all around us. Not only have we clued you in on the 25 movies you need to watch out for this season, another staple of the autumn is getting underway in Canada.
The Toronto Film Festival is kicking into high gear today, and with Oscar bait, world premieres and some of Hollywood's hottest A-listers all swarming on our northerly neighbors, we've got the scoop on the five things you need to know.
1. Double the Clooney, Double the Gosling: Ryan and George have been everywhere this year; Ryan even made it to the finals in our King of Summer tournament! And if you still can't get enough of the two, then Toronto is the film festival for you. Both of these A-listers have two movies playing, and they're even together in one of them! First up is Gosling's Drive, the tense thriller about a getaway driver who's forced to take matters into his own hands when a job goes wrong. And it seems to feature some serious chemistry between Gosling and costar Carey Mulligan.
In George's corner, he's dealing with familial drama in The Descendants, a touching story of a father who must attempt to finally forge a connection with his daughters after his wife is in a serious boating accident. But if you're holding out to get double the eye candy in one flick, then check out The Ides of March. Clooney stars as a presidential candidate who's trusted aide, Gosling, begins to buckle under the pressure of big-time politics and quickly becomes the campaign's most dangerous enemy.
2. Keira Knightley Gets Spanked: It's the inappropriate doctor-patient relationship that everyone will be talking about. Knightley and X-Men's Michael Fassbender star in A Dangerous Method, director David Cronenberg's flick about an illicit relationship between famed psychologist Carl Jung and a patient of his who happens to be a fan of "punishment." Does that excite you?
3. Brad Pitt Is the New Coach Eric Taylor: At first glance, Moneyball, a flick about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane attempting to put together a Major League baseball team on a shoestring budget, might not scream inspiration the way Friday Night Lights' Taylor and his East Dillon Lions do. But the story takes a decidedly dramatic shift in the trailer when it focuses on Pitt sitting alone in empty stadiums, talking to his precocious daughter about the realities of grown-up stresses and basically trying to do what's best despite a swarm of detractors. Right out of the Taylor family playbook, and you'll want to check it out.
4. Madonna's a Director Now! The Material Girl may be known for getting all sorts of attention in front of the camera, but this time she's taking her creative drive behind the scenes and calling the shots. Her directorial debut, W.E., about a young woman who obsesses over the relationship between Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII is making it's North American premiere in Toronto. Wonder if the Canadian crowd will be a bit gentler in its reviews?
5. Oscar Bait Galore: Not only could names like Gosling, Clooney and Pitt ultimately earn nominations for their films hitting Toronto, but a who's who of award-worthy stars also have flicks making the rounds. For instance, Glenn Close plays an Irishwoman who must dress as a man in order to succeed in 19th-century Dublin in Albert Nobbs, Ralph Fiennes (aka, Lord Voldemort) is a modern Shakespearean general in Coriolanus and past winner Rachel Weisz abandons her posh '50s London life to shack up with a young Royal Air Force pilot in The Deep Blue Sea. Our gut says we'll be seeing these names again come awards season.