Lights, camera, action! After last year’s subdued virtual outing, the Toronto International Film Festival is back in the spotlight with a return to red carpet events and splashy premieres. The 46th edition of the fest, running from Sept 9-18, is set to host a bevy of celebrities and film lovers for a mix of in-person and digital screenings.
TIFF has a long history of attracting some of the most talked about films and Oscar contenders, and the 2021 lineup is no exception. Check out our picks for the 10 hottest tickets in town.
If buzz level is determined by which movie tickets got snatched up the fastest, that honour goes to the Kenneth Branagh-directed period piece Belfast. The first to sell out among TIFF members, this film follows Buddy (Jude Hill) as he navigates coming of age in Northern Ireland in the 1960s. Jamie Dornan and Outlander's Caitríona Balfe star as his parents, while Judi Dench is his grandmother. It hits theatres Nov. 12.
Also selling out fast was Titane, Julia Ducournau’s Palme d’Or–winning film about a woman who survives a car crash as a child and embarks on bizarre journey as an adult that involves having sex with cars, going on a killing spree, and assuming the identity of a long-lost boy. Part of the Midnight Madness program, this one is not for the faint of heart. It's coming to theatres Oct. 1.
Dear Evan Hansen
The festival’s opening night gala sees Ben Platt reprising the Broadway role that made him famous. The Perks of Being a Wallflower director Stephen Chbosky adapts this story of an anxious high school student whose secret threatens to upend his new social status. It also stars Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani, Julianne Moore, and Amy Adams. It will be in theatres on Sept. 24.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
TIFF will host the world premiere of the latest from director Michael Showalter (The Big Sick). Based on a true story, Jessica Chastain plays Tammy Faye Bakker, the flamboyant televangelist who grew to fame alongside her husband Jim Bakker (Andrew Garfield) in the 1980s until their empire collapsed when Jim was convicted of defrauding their donors. It will be released in theatres on Sept. 17.
Hot off its premiere at the Venice Film Festival comes Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. This epic retelling of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, and Stellan Skarsgård. Dune will be released in theatres and on HBO Max on Oct. 22.
Last Night in Soho
Director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver) returns with this time-travelling murder mystery. A fashion student (Jojo Rabbit’s Thomasin McKenzie) who is obsessed with the 1960s begins having dreams about a glamorous singer (Anya Taylor-Joy) from that period – and soon she’s seeing a decades-old murder that she becomes obsessed with solving in the present. In theatres Oct. 19.
Kristen Stewart is getting rave reviews as Princess Diana in the latest from director Pablo Larraín (Jackie). Spencer follows three days in 1991 when the royal family converges on Norfolk's Sandringham estate for Christmas and Diana contemplates a divorce from Prince Charles (played by Jack Farthing), amid rumours of his affairs. Coming to theatres on Nov. 5.
The Power of the Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst lead Jane Campion’s acclaimed drama set in Montana in the 1920s. Two brothers’ lives are forever changed when a widow and her son arrive at their ranch, leading to a duel. Coming to select theatres and Netflix on Dec. 1.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this intense thriller from Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). A 911 dispatcher gets a frantic call from a woman (Riley Keough) who says she’s been abducted, and he struggles to piece together the clues in time to save her. The film unfolds in real time. Coming to Netflix on Oct. 1.
Surprise Steven Soderbergh Screening
It wouldn’t be TIFF without an event that’s shrouded in mystery. This year, that honour goes to the surprise screening of a new Steven Soderbergh movie on Sept. 17 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. There’s no word what the film will be, but we’re crossing our fingers that it’s Kimi, Soderbergh’s upcoming thriller starring Zoe Kravitz as an agoraphobic tech worker who uncovers a crime and must leave her apartment to report it.