toronto tiff stars

A-list stars who will descend on Toronto for TIFF 2012

TIFF is a small slice of Xanadu for every cinephile--the biggest films of the year ahead, and the opportunity to preview them. But it's also every star-gawker's fantasy. Why else is it so hard to navigate around the hotels where stars are known to congregate? Why else do shark-eyed young girls plant themselves outside of theatre venues, with a single-minded focus on spotting their favourite celebrity?

Well, this year is no exception. TIFF has just announced their international guest list of filmmakers and actors, and it's definitely swoon-worthy. I'm a self-professed movie junkie, but I've always prided myself on my imagined ability to play it cool if faced with my silver screen idols, but I'll admit that the (rather lengthy) list is already making me a bit giddy. Here are some of the big names that I'm excited to see.

You can expect the charming and meteorically-rising Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Halle Berry and Tom Hanks (of the highly-anticipated Cloud Atlas), Marion Cotillard, Naomi Watts, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence, Julianne Moore, Colin Firth. You can also expect Bill Murray (whose turn as Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson might prove to be a much-delayed, but worthy follow-up performance to his career-reviving part in Lost in Translation), Robert Redford, and Bruce Willis.

And yes, the moment to finally enact those memes you've shamelessly re-posted to Pinterest has arrived: Ryan Gosling will also grace us with his presence.

Some fine directors will also be in attendance. Joss Whedon (whose one-two punch of The Avengers and The Cabin in the Woods has hopefully cemented his future outside the Buffy-sphere), Ben Affleck, Francois Ozon, The Wachowskis, Barry Levinson, Michael Winterbottom, Stephen Chbosky (who has directed his seminal young adult work The Perks of Being a Wallflower for the screen), and Deepa Mehta.

Some other worthy names are among the guests expected to attend, including Saoirse Ronan, Alexander Skarsgård (who is, in every way, a fine specimen), Winona Ryder, Rachel McAdams, Billy Bob Thornton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tommy Lee Jones, Jude Law, Audrey Tautou, and many, many more. I'm perhaps most excited by the prospect of running into Kristen Wiig on the street (read: not in a pilfered hotel uniform, standing sentry outside her door).

In addition, the festival's official film schedule was announced today, and you can either pick up yours at the Festival Box Office (225 King St West) or online, and start planning for September 2 at 10 a.m. when single tickets go on sale. The festival runs September 6 to 16, 2012, and yes, beautiful people will be descending on Toronto. Time to polish those binoculars.


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