UPDATED with latest: The Toronto Film Festival began September 7 in Ontario with opening-night movie The Boy and the Heron, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. It kicks off a lineup for the fest’s 48th edition that includes world premieres of GameStop pic Dumb Money, Netflix’s Pain Hustlers, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, Kristin Scott Thomas’ Scarlett Johansson pic North Star, Chris Pine’s Poolman, Michael Keaton-directed Knox Goes Away, Anna Kendrick’s Woman of the Hour, Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils, Michael Winterbottom’s Shoshana, Grant Singer’s Reptile, Viggo Mortensen’s The Dead Don’t Hurt, Lee Tamahori’s The Convert and Alex Gibney’s doc In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon.
The fest also features new films from such celebrated directors as Alexander Payne, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Alice Rohrwacher and Richard Linklater.
Deadline is on the ground to watch all the key films. Below is a compilation of our reviews from the fest, which last year awarded Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans its People’s Choice Award for best film.
Click on the film titles below to read the reviews in full, and keep checking back as we add more movies throughout the fest, which runs through September 17.
Section: Gala Presentations
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Takuya Kimura
Deadline’s takeaway: The Boy and the Heron deals with complex themes that manifest with visual splendor. While it might not be Studio Ghibli’s strongest outing, it’s still an important one, and Miyazaki’s return after a decade-long hiatus serves as a reminder of the unique vision and artistry he brings to the world of animation.
Section: World Premiere
Director: Viggo Mortensen
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Viggo Mortensen, Solly McLeod, Garrett Dillahunt, Danny Huston, Ray McKinnon, Colin Morgan, W. Earl Brown, Atlas Green
Deadline’s takeaway: Mortensen has placed his story squarely in the western genre, but you really could lift it out and put it in many different settings and still have the same very human character study that stays with you long after credits roll. John Ford and Howard Hawks would love this movie.
Section: Midnight Madness
Director: Larry Charles
Cast: Megan Mullally, Megan Thee Stallion, Bowen Yang, Nathan Lane, Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp
Deadline’s takeaway: As a viewer, I often wondered how the hell this got turned into the movie because it is so outrageous. Thankfully, it succeeds at being fun and funny because anything less would have amounted to torture.
Section: Gala Presentations
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan
Deadline’s takeaway: This isn’t some cheap, ripped-from-the-headlines quickie but a top-quality film that its major studio is planning a large awards season campaign around. It deserves that consideration. And the casting could not be better.
Director: Patricia Arquette
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Camila Morrone, Patricia Arquette, Elizabeth Lail, Ray Nicholson, Leila George, James Urbaniak
Deadline’s takeaway: Although set in 1992, Arquette’s vision seems more in line with the ’70s style of filmmaking, particularly Robert Altman. Though not always hitting the bull’s-eye here she certainly comes close enough to signal a new career behind the camera.
Section: Special Presentations
Director: Kristin Scott Thomas
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Emily Beecham, Thibault De Montalembert, Freida Pinto, Joshua Maguire, James Fleet
Deadline’s takeaway: This is not a broad comedy in any sense: Thomas is a fan of French movies, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters, Little Miss Sunshine, Marriage Story and others that are smart examples of the genre.