The 37th Toronto International Film Festival is behind us and the stars have retreated back to Hollywood. However, those who missed the festival can catch some of the films on the big screen in the coming months. Here are a few short reviews of the films that received the most buzz at the festival.
This action-packed sci-fi drama, which brings together an all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant, is about how good and evil actions in one’s life result in what they reincarnate as in the future. The movie is directed by the Wachowski’s of Matrix fame, two of the most creative minds in Hollywood. It’s like Avatar, The Matrix, and Star Trek combined into a three-hour story about the karmic relationships between people over different lifetimes. “Cloud Atlas” is not only headed for top blockbuster hit of the year but is one of those films that leave audiences with food for thought. The six different stories intertwine in the most mystical and spiritual of ways, making the audience believe in destiny. Hits theatres Oct. 26.
‘Silver Linings Playbook’
The acting is phenomenal in this comedy/drama that stars Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Chris Tucker. The film is directed by award-winning director, David O. Russell, who grabbed two Oscars for The Fighter. Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of two people—a high school teacher fresh out of a mental institution and a young, depressed widow—who find positives in each other although society labels them as outcasts. Their lives are complex but at the same time simple, and the two look for the silver lining in situations while battling their own problems. Critics say the film is headed straight for multiple Oscar nominations, including best actress for Jennifer Lawrence. It has already won the BlackBerry People’s Choice award for best film at TIFF. To be released Nov. 21.
‘The Company You Keep’
This action-packed, based-on-real-life thriller will keep audiences on the edge of their seats as director Robert Redford carefully doles out revealing clues up until the last minutes of the film. The picture boasts a strong cast, including Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Julie Christie, and Shia LeBeouf. Redford also stars as the main character in the film, which is based on the American activist group Weather Underground that was formed to oppose the Vietnam War. Its members eventually integrated into society but were under the watch of the CIA for over 30 years. But when one of the activists admits that she was involved in a bombing incident, a whole chain of investigations follow and a reporter uncovers the identity of another member. To be released Nov. 15.
This mind-bending time-travel thriller directed by Rian Johnson and starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt opened this year’s TIFF. The twisted plot takes place in the future; the mob sends people they want to get rid of back in time 30 years, where they are shot by a “looper.” The loopers of course get a large sum of money for the job, but eventually pay the price by having to kill their future selves in order to “close the loop.” Gordon-Levitt plays a younger Willis, whom he has to get rid of. Viewers should expect to see a lot of violence, which according to Johnson serves its purpose in the film. Looper will be released Sept. 28.
‘Great Expectations’An adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous novel, this drama takes audiences into the life of an orphan who works as a blacksmith on a farm in Kent, but things change after a mysterious beneficiary funds him to become a gentleman in London. With an all-British cast, including Helena Bonham Carter (famous for her role in the Harry Potter movies as Bellatrix Lestrange) Ralph Fiennes, and Jeremy Irvine, the film is as authentic as the beautiful but sometimes dirty setting of London in the 1800s. Director Mike Newell, who has worked on some of the Harry Potter films, takes this dark tale and its morals—just as he takes the setting in the dark castle of Miss Havisham—to a whole new level. Scheduled for release Nov. 30.
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