Fresh Air producer Ann Marie Baldonado is at the Toronto Film Festival again this year, checking out films for Fresh Air to cover in the coming months. She will check in with us throughout the festival.
After checking into my hotel room and checking it for bedbugs, I headed out to catch films during the festival’s first day. Sure both the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals began last week. But the Toronto Film Festival seems to officially kick off the Fall movie season and by extension, the Oscar race. (Although making a splash here doesn’t necessarily lead to Oscar glory. Last year’s Toronto favorite Up In the Air didn’t end up winning any big awards and Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker came out in June of 2009).
Unfortunately, in the next 6 days, I can’t see all 40 of the films on my must see list. But I will try to get to as many as possible On Friday alone, I look forward to catching Black Swan, Darren Aronosky's follow up to The Wrestler, which was a big hit here two years ago. Swan, about a ballerina competing for a lead role, stars Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis and Vincent Cassel. There’s also The Illusionist by Sylvian Chomet who made The Triplets of Belleville and I’m Still Here, Casey Affleck's documentary about his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix. That interesting (or-car-crash-of-a-movie) will already be playing in theaters in the US this weekend.
Also playing at the festival and coming to theaters in the next few weeks are a few films you will hear more about soon on Fresh Air. First, there’s The Town, the second film directed quite well by Ben Affleck. It’s kind of like Good Will Hunting but about robbing banks. Affleck plays a reluctant criminal wanting to get out of the family business. Jon Hamm leaves the 60s ad game, grows some stubble, and puts on some khakis to play an FBI agent trying to track him down.
And It’s Kind of Funny Story, starring Zach Galifianakis, is directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden who directed Half Nelson and Sugar. And then there’s Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightly, and Andrew Garfield, the new Spiderman. It’s based on the acclaimed novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. That’s all for now. Hope to post some photos soon.