The biggest question on our minds is whether Madonna can get a warmer reception for her latest directing effort, W.E., than it received last week in Venice, where critics and audiences alike were a bit less-than-kind to the film (about British Royal Family disruptor Wallace Simpson).
Expected to fare better are a slew of young British talents, including Emily Blunt, who has both Your Sister’s Sister and Salmon Fishing in Yemen in the festival. Fellow Brit Carey Mulligan will be in town to show off Drive and Shame, while her Never Let Me Go co-star, Kiera Knightley, squares off with Jung and Freud in A Dangerous Method. But the real Brit to watch is Felicity Jones, whose performance opposite Anton Yelchin in Like Crazy was strong enough to earn her a Special Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year.
There’s plenty of female talent from this side of the Atlantic, of course. Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood hold their own against some impressive male co-stars in Ides of March, while Glenn Close dons drab drag in the period piece Albert Nobbs. And hometown girl Sarah Polley is unveiling her second directorial project, Take This Waltz.
Brad Pitt will be in town to support his baseball passion project, Moneyball, but will the whole Jolie-Pitt clan be in tow? Jolie, Pitt and their six kids tend to travel as a unit ‘ with a small army of bodyguards and nannies ‘ so be on the lookout.
With two films being featured (Alexander Payne’s The Descendants and his own Ides of March), George Clooney will be all over Toronto, as will his Ides’ co-star, Ryan Gosling, who’s also pulling double duty with the critically acclaimed Drive. Clooney doesn’t often make appearances outside of festivals and awards shows, so get him while you can. X-Men standout Michael Fassbender will also be on hand to represent both Shame and A Dangerous Method.
Other big names heading to town include Antonio Banderas, starring in Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, while Gerard Butler will be all over town promoting his true-life tale, Machine Gun Preacher. And the British action thriller Killer Elite brings the macho trifecta of Jason Statham, Clive Owen and Robert DeNiro.