Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Festival Flash: Big Blockbusters

In addition to all the movies you can see at TIFF that are never going to make it into wide release on our side of the world, the festival also features some large blockbusters that will be making their premiere here before they settle in megaplexes around the world.

While I wouldn't suggest using all your passes for the Toronto International Film Festival on major Hollywood pictures, there are a few features that might be fun to see before they hit the big screen in the upcoming months — even if it's only to brag to your friends that you've seen them already.

One of the most anticipated films to be opening at the festival is Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age, his follow up to 1998's critically acclaimed film Elizabeth. With an ensemble cast that features even more star power than the first film, Kapur's new movie is already the subject of several Oscar rumors. Another man that is no stranger to Oscar buzz is Woody Allen, who will be premiering his new film, Cassandra's Dream, at this year's festival.

The title The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford might be quite a mouthful, but I don't think director Andrew Dominik has any problems with people calling his film "the new Brad Pitt movie," especially seeing how casting Pitt in a movie seems to guarantee its financial success. Torontonians will have a chance to see Pitt as Jesse James at this year's festival before it hits theatres later this fall. We'll also get to see Louis Koo, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Pitt on screen, in Wilson Yip's Flash Point, a martial arts cop thriller playing in the Midnight Madness programme. And if those two films aren't intense enough for you, the Coen Brothers are returning to TIFF with the particularly violent and thrilling No Country for Old Men.

It's not all drama and action at the festival: David Schwimmer (yes, Ross from Friends fame) is hoping to make audiences laugh with his comedy Run, Fat Boy, Run, where a man has to train for a marathon in order to win back the woman of his dreams. Julie Taymor shows us that "all you need is love" in her new musical, Across the Universe, based on the musical catalog of The Beatles.

There are tons of other blockbusters appearing at the festival, so be sure to get your copy of the complete film list and check out blogTO's continuing coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival for our picks and tips for this year's festival.

(Image: Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.)

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