Meryl Streep, Nelson Mandela, Julian Assange, Mike Myers, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman are names in the mix for the 2013 Toronto Film Festival. TIFF announced its big gala presentations this morning and here they are: “August: Osage County,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “The Fifth Estate,” “The Railway Man,” Ron Howard’s “Rush,” “Kill Your Darlings,” Jennifer Aniston and Tim Robbins in “Life of Crime,” Mike Myers’ documentary about Alice Cooper manager Shep Gordon, and a new movie by Canadian whiz Don McKellar. Also included are “Parkland” and “Love Punch.”
The opening night film is Bill Condon’s “The Fifth Estate.” Benedict Cumberbatch — that’s Khan, to you Star Trek fans– plays Julian Assange, the real life antagonist of Wikileaks fame. Condon, a serious writer and director from “Gods and Monsters,” “Chicago,” and “Dreamgirls,” makes a comeback after a payday turn to “Twilight.” He is welcomed back most vociferously.
On the docket for special presentations: Jason Bateman’s directing debut with “Bad Words,” Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated “12 Years a Slave,” Paul Haggis’s excellent “Third Person,” Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and two Canadian favorites that should be big hits: Jason Reitman’s “Labor Day” and Atom Egoyan’s “Devil’s Knot.”
And two movies I am very excited about: Stephen Frears directing Judi Dench in “Philomena” and the feature film debut of “Mad Men” writer-director Matthew Weiner.