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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

10 movies getting the biggest advance buzz at TIFF 2016

TIFF films 2016Going into TIFF, not all movies are buzzed about equally. Some have way more anticipation and chatter swirling round them than others, and are the ones everyone is eager to get tickets for. Because who doesn't love being able to say "Oh, I saw that at TIFF" when the rest of the world catches up with these films in the coming months?

Here are 10 movies getting the most advance buzz at TIFF 2016.

American Pastoral
An adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Philip Roth about the tumultuous 1960s, American Pastoral is generating major award hype especially for Ewan MacGregor who takes on both acting and directing duties here.

Denis Villeneuve's Sicario was a hit at TIFF in 2015 and theatres in 2016. His latest is eagerly awaited not just because it's a high-concept genre movie where Amy Adams plays a linguist who has to unlock the language of an alien race that has arrived on Earth, but because it offers us a sci-fi tease of his next big project: a Blade Runner sequel.

The Birth of a Nation
Nate Parker's film about a slave in 1831 who leads a rebellion against his plantation owners is one of the most talked about movies going into TIFF, thanks to how it burst out of Sundance as an Academy Award contender to beat. It's also the most talked about movie because it's been surrounded by controversy since rape charges Parker faced in his youth re-emerged in public discussion.

Based on the true story of Christine Chubbuck, the news reporter who killed herself on live television in 1974, the film's subject matter alone has generated early curiosity. But it's especially the performance by the criminally underrated Rebecca Hall that's generating some early Awards talk.

Christian Mungiu is one of Romania's - even the world's - greatest filmmakers (his film 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days was recently named one of the top 15 movies of the 21st Century). He renewed that reputation by winning Best Director at Cannes this year for his film about a dysfunctional father who goes to great lengths to ensure his struggling daughter finishes school.

La La Land
Director Damien Chazelle's Whiplash proved he knows how to meld music and film. Now he's going even further: an old-fashioned style musical about two aspiring stars looking to make it big in Hollywood. It's the two highly successful stars - Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone - playing those characters that's especially driving anticipation for the film.

Jeff Nichols is a filmmaker who has made good films that tend only to receive modest attention. That's all changed with Loving, a movie about an interracial couple who fought against a law that prohibited them from marrying back in 1958. The film is accumulating early award buzz not just for its lead actors - Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga - but for its storyline.

Manchester by the Sea
Like Jeff Nichols, Kenneth Lonergan's previous films (You Can Count On Me, Margaret) never received wide attention. But Manchester by the Sea is already being named by some as a guaranteed Best Picture nominee, if not an outright winner. For many, there are few more must-sees than this one.

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, which has its international premiere here in Toronto, looks so impressive, even the release of its trailer got everyone talking. A possible TIFF People's Choice Award contender, Moonlight looks at a young black man looking to survive in 1980s Florida among poverty, drugs, and his own internal battles.

Toni Erdmann
A smash at Cannes, this film is riding such a positive wave of buzz that Germany had no trouble selecting it as its official selection for Best Foreign Film contention at the Oscars next year. For foreign film buffs especially, this is the one to see at TIFF.

Which movie are you most looking forward to seeing at TIFF 2015? Let us know in the comments.

Film still from La La Land

by Alexander Huls via blogTO

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