Toronto Film Festival Preview: 10 Must-See Films

Brad Pitt in Moneyball
Brad Pitt in Moneyball

The Toronto Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, offering the usual mix of Oscar bait, new films from foreign and experimental masters, and basically every conceivable thing in between. With the caveat that the lineup, hundreds of films strong, could not possibly be tackled in full by one lone lady critic, here's a sampling of what I'm most excited to see over my eight days in the north.

Jonah Hill in Moneyball
Jonah Hill in Moneyball

10. Moneyball

Can Bennett Miller (Capote) and Brad Pitt turn

sabermetrics -- the controversial brand of baseball statistics detailed in

the Michael Lewis book on which the film is based -- into a crowd-pleasing fall

blockbuster? I'm a Dodgers fan; if the odds weren't stacked against this movie, I might not be interested.

9. Damsels in Distress

The first film in 13 years from Whit Stillman, the great literary auteur of the 90s indie boom (Oscar nominated for

Metropolitan, dormant since Last Days of Disco), this college-set comedy

features an ensemble of fresh faces, led by '00s indie ingenue Greta


Toronto Film Festival Preview: 10 Must-See Films

8. Crazy Horse

Nonfiction filmmaking legend Frederick Wiseman follows up

last year's Boxing Gym with this portrait of the nearly-as-legendary

Paris strip club.

7. Shame

Michael Fassbender plays a sex addict in his Hunger director

Steve McQueen's latest.


Yorgos Lanthimos, director of this year's surprise Oscar

nominee Dogtooth, returns with this film about an underground group

devoted to an extreme form of bereavement therapy. Co-starring another

recent Greek discovery, Arianne Labat (star of the upcoming Attenberg).

Elle Fanning and Val Kilmer in Twixt
Elle Fanning and Val Kilmer in Twixt

5. Twixt: Francis Ford Coppola unexpectedly hijacked the conversation

at Comic-Con with his presentation on his new, partially-3D,

self-financed horror flick.

4. Girl Model

The latest documentary from globetrotting indie

ethnographers Ashley Sabin and David Redmon (Kamp Katrina) follows a

model scout and the pre-teen she "discovers" in Siberia.

3. That Summer

Philippe Garrel's latest was jeered in Venice; his

Frontier of Dawn was my number one film of 2009. Son Louis Garrel again

stars, opposite Monica Bellucci.

Toronto Film Festival Preview: 10 Must-See Films

2. The Loneliest Planet

Gael García Bernal stars in this new film by

Julia Loktev, whose last effort was the beautifully understated suicide

bomber drama Day Night Day Night.

1. Keyhole

Guy Maddin re-teams with frequent collaborator Isabella

Rossellini for this digitally-shot riff on Ulysses.

Other films on the must list: detained Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi's This is Not a Film, which TIFF is showing as a special presentation, free to the public; Todd Solondz's Dark Horse; Lynn Shelton's Your Sister's Sister; Jeff Who Lives at Home by the Duplass Brothers; Sarah Polley's latest directorial effort, Take This Waltz, starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen; the new Werner Herzog joint, Into the Abyss; Goodbye First Love, directed by Mia Hansen-Løve; Andrea Arnold's Wuthering Heights; God Bless America, the new comedy directed by Bobcat Goldthwait; Killer Joe, directed by William Friedkin and starring Matthew McConaughey; Sarah Palin - You Betcha!, directed by English muckraker Nick Broomfield (Biggie and Tupac); and, schedules permitting, much, much more.

Follow @karinalongworth and @LAWeeklyArts on Twitter.


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