birdman movie

5 films getting buzz that won't be showing at TIFF

Fall is a busy time for festivals. Venice. Telluride. TIFF. New York. It's also a busy time for Hollywood, which uses all those festivals as staging grounds for the films they want to propel into being Oscar contenders.

TIFF in particular has hosted many a successful would-be Oscar winner, but sometimes you can't rush the filmmaking process and movies just aren't done in time. Or, as is the case this year, controversial new rules TIFF has introduced to force studios to choose between festivals means some flicks head elsewhere instead. So, some films that would have been great to see in Toronto this year sadly won't make it. Here are five in particular that it's too bad we'll all have to wait to see for a while.

Birdman
Ever since the crazy trailer for Alejandro González Iñárritu's (21 Grams, Babel) latest movie--about a washed-up actor (Michael Keaton), who once played a superhero, trying to save his career--premiered, I hoped to see it to believe it at TIFF. Sadly, it's not coming. Which makes the glowing reviews coming out of Telluride and Venice Film Festival just more salt in the wound.

Inherent Vice
Paul Thomas Anderson has not only emerged as one of America's greatest filmmakers, but one of its most fascinatingly unpredictable. Each new movie he makes--especially since There Will Be Blood--is a thrilling leap forward towards something slightly different. Which is why it's heartbreaking that his next, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's famous novel, will skip over TIFF to premiere at the New York Film Festival.

A Most Violent Year
Last year proved to be a breakout year for both writer-director J.C. Chandor (with All is Lost) and actor Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis). Now their exciting team-up becomes a must-see with A Most Violent Year, a movie focusing on an immigrant family trying to see their business succeed in New York during the winter of 1981--statistically one of the most violent years the city ever experienced.

Unbroken
Angelina Jolie's second feature film as a director is generating a lot of buzz in part because of its harrowing, almost unbelievable, true story. Based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand about an American Olympic runner who became a soldier in World War II and then not only survived being lost at sea but a grueling stay at a Japanese POW camp, it's a story that could easily become overwrought on film. Thankfully, the involvement of the Coen Brothers (who worked on the script) guarantees a certain level of quality, and adds a great deal of anticipation to a project that has yet to make a festival appearance.

Queen of the Desert
A Werner Herzog film is always an occasion. Especially in this case: Queen of the Desert marks Herzog's first non-documentary film since 2009. An impressive cast (Nicole Kidman, Robert Pattinson, James Franco) and a big story--a biopic about famous traveler, writer, archeologist and British Empire liaison, Gertrude Bell (Kidman)--all makes this a film worth anticipating. Sadly, the film won't be appearing at TIFF because of technical issues.

the equalizer movieThanks to the Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, for sponsoring our coverage of TIFF 2014.


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