The Toronto International Film Festival is off and running. TIFF, as it is more commonly known, is a celeb fest of epic proportions. It is the time of year when all of Hollywood packs up and heads to Canada. It is one of many musts for any actor or film with Oscar hopes. Many films that premiere at TIFF go on to take home the most coveted award in all of entertainment - an Academy Award.
Now in its 47th year, this go around is no different. Here are some headlines and major star sightings so far.
Queen Davis Crowned King
Oscar winner Viola Davis is front and center in The Woman King. The film had its premiere on Friday at the fest and the entire cast lit up the premiere.
- Viola Davis at the premiere of "The Woman King" at TIFF
“At 56 years old I have come to the realization that I can define myself.”
“I feel like my entire life I have allowed myself to be defined by a culture. I have allowed myself to be defined by the naysayers,” Viola Davis told the crowd from center stage at the film's premiere. “At 56 years old I have come to the realization that I can define myself.”
"The Woman King"
The Woman King is this generations Gladiator with women. It is beautiful and powerful and will inspire younger girls while reminding us older ladies how strong we can be. Viola Davis is a powerhouse and leads this incredibly talented cast in a direction that more films should go in. All hail Viola Davis, The Woman King!
Runtime 2h 6m
In theaters September 16
Eichner Enchants The Streets of Toronto
Bros is a gay romantic comedy with an all LGBTQ cast, a first from a major movie studio. A film more than five years in the making highlights both the comedic and dramatic side of Billy Eichner who co-wrote the film. Also behind the movie are Hollywood heavyweights Judd Apatow and Nicholas Stoller.
"So many of the most high profile LGBTQ stories are always about struggling and torture, and we are dying, We are in the closet, we are in the '50s," Eichner told the crowd after the movies screening in Toronto. "Can't we have one fu*king movie where we are happy at the end? I don't understand why that is controversial."
- Billy Eichner on gay stories in Hollywood.
"Can't we have one fu*king movie where we are happy at the end? I don't understand why that is controversial."
Radcliffe Goes Weird for Yankovic
Daniel Radcliffe is taking on one his weirdest roles yet, literally. The Harry Potter alum is taking on the role of “Weird Al” Yankovic.
“Why me,” said Radcliffe at the premiere for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. “There are a lot more other people that look like Al. But when I read the script I was like, ‘Oh. I get it.'" The script by the way was co-written by Yankovic himself. The film also stars Evan Rachel Wood and Rainn Wilson.
- Daniel Radcliffe on why he took the role of "Weird Al" Yankovic.
“There are a lot more other people that look like Al. But when I read the script I was like, ‘Oh. I get it.”
For those not at TIFF, you’ll have to wait to see how Yankovic when from an accordion player to the perfect parody songwriter when the film drops on Roku November 4. Those who have screened the film say Radcliffe's comedic performance is among his best work yet.
A Swift Stop Over
Taylor Swift is touching down at TIFF this year. The mega pop star has made her musical work cross over into film.
While her song “All Too Well,” which was rumored to be about ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, gave the internet much to speculate about, it is her artistic touch to the song that has her visiting Toronto. “All Too Well: The Short Film” was indeed more reminiscent of a movie than a music video.
The project was shot on 35mm and has a runtime of almost 15 minutes.
It will make its debut at TIFF where Swift will be a part of “In Conversations With…” a longtime festival staple.
Cage Goes County... Western That Is
Nicolas Cage has over 100 acting credits to his name, but it’s his latest that has real awards season buzz. Cage stars in Butcher's Crossing. The film is an adaptation of John Williams’ western in which Cage is a buffalo hunter. Cage is Miller, a one time Ivy League drop-out, who takes a journey that will put his life at risk.
- Nicholas Cage on his invitation to the country and western genre.
“I’m somewhat mystified that it took this long to be invited.”
The good news is that Cage obviously got the invite, finally. The bad news? Butchers Crossings is not expected to hit theaters until next year.
Other Headlines To Keep An Eye Out On
Steven Spielberg, believe it or not, is visiting the fest for the first time ever with his semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans. The film stars Michelle Williams, Paul Dano and Seth Rogen in a movie that is reminiscent of the iconic director’s childhood experiences. That film makes its TIFF premiere on Saturday, September 10 and opens in November.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is the long awaited sequel to Knives Out. The film will have its premiere at TIFF before dropping on Netflix later this year. The movie stars Daniel Craig, Edward Norton and Kate Hudson.
Sterling K. Brown and Mark Duplass take on Toronto with Biosphere. The film has both Brown and Duplass as the last men on the planet and how they must evolve in order to save humanity.
Stay tuned for updates. The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 8 - 18.