Cloud Atlas

10 movies getting the biggest advance-buzz at TIFF 2012

Still haven't decided what to see at the Toronto International Film Festival? Geez, what's wrong with you? Time is running out! Whether you've made your selections or not, I've decided to lend a hand and compile a list of some of the films getting advanced buzz from critics and fans alike. Here they are in alphabetical order.

This one is definitely going to polarize audiences. The first feature from Brandon Cronenberg is a brilliantly bizarre piece of dark scifi that can make anyone but needle fetishists a little squeamish. Too challenging for most of the audience I saw it with, I think this director is better out of the gate than his father, and shows tremendous promise for the future.

The next blockbuster from actor turned director Ben Affleck is no Reindeer Games. As the Iranian revolution reaches it's height a CIA specialist hatches an unlikely plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The tagline says it's "based on a declassified true story".

Berberian Sound Studio
If you love a moodily paced tense psychological thriller, look no further. In the 70s a British sound technician is brought to Italy to work on the sound effects for a dark horror film. His job slowly takes over his mind, and he is driven mad while digging up his own past.

Cloud Atlas
Based on a bestselling book, this scifi epic is brought to you by the creators of The Matrix and cult classic Run Lola Run. Not sold yet? Did I mention it stars America's sweetheart Tom Hanks? It does. The film explores how actions and consequences of individuals impact one another through past present and future.

Dredd 3D
If you want hard action or need your comic book flick fix, Dredd brings it big time. For hard core fans this film stays true to the comics. But my favourite part is how the drug "Slo-Mo" is handled on screen. Sex is the only missing element here. Come on America, bring sexy back!

Curious to see how make Joseph Gordon-Levitt into a Young Bruce Willis? I was too. But you'll stay for a solid future tale in the style of Blade Runner, that conveniently (and hilariously) sidesteps how the mechanics of time travel work. If you're easily confused, think if you've ever pushed a pull door, then stay home.

The Place Beyond The Pines
I think all I need to say here is Ryan Gosling. You're welcome, ladies. Taking a break from his day job as industrial panty remover, Ryan Gosling plays a stunt driver (didn't he just do that? No way guys, this time he's on a motorcycle), who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his family, with not-so-unexpected consequences.

The Iceman
Violent unstable characters, and a supporting cast featuring Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, and James Franco has critics talking oscar buzz here. The true story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man who allegedly murdered hundreds of people. Michael Shannon is beautifully dark in the lead role here.

Much Ado About Nothing
Fan favourite who can seemingly do no wrong, Joss Whedon brings us a darkly absurd and stylized adaptation of Shakespeare's classic comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Joss drags along past collaborators Clark Gregg (The Avengers) and heartthrob Nathan Fillion (Serenity). You'll have to fight some Whedonites for a seat, methinks.

The Hunt
A slow controversial gem, The Hunt won Mads Mikkelsen the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his portrayal of an innocent kindergarten teacher accused of child molestation. The story is set in a tiny Danish village around Christmas time, and follows a man who becomes the unfortunate target of mass hysteria.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6-16.

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