Films I'm Excited to See at the 2018 Toronto Film Festivalby keithsim | last updated - 3 months ago
If this list looks to be missing some must-see titles bound for TIFF it's likely because I already included them on my Films I'm Excited to See at the 2018 Venice Film Festival, resulting in my Best of the 2018 Venice Film Festival list. - by Keith Simanton, Senior Film Editor
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1. Beautiful Boy (2018)
R | 120 min | Biography, Drama
Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.
Votes: 14,597 | Gross: $7.63M
Van Groeningen directed the Best Foreign Language nominee for the 2014 Oscars, the achingly beautiful The Broken Circle Breakdown. The award was taken home by The Great Beauty that season, so no shame there. I saw an extended clip of this film at CinemaCon, with Carell and Chalamet in a diner, that was so well-wrought and emotional it reminded me of the street scene between Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck from Manchester by the Sea. Both Carell and Chalamet have one Oscar nomination each to their name. I bet they have two, respectively, when January rolls around.
2. Widows (2018)
R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
Votes: 26,001 | Gross: $42.27M
Combine Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) & co-writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) and this cast and you have one of the musts of the festival. I always pay attention when an artist, such as McQueen, takes on a genre like the heist film. His ability to up the prestige and the delivery with well-known tropes and, we hope, subvert them, will be another notch in his belt.
3. Life Itself (2018)
R | 117 min | Drama, Romance
As a young New York City couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.
Votes: 5,791 | Gross: $4.10M
It's a fantastic cast from the guy who created This Is Us.
4. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
R | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
A woman in Harlem embraces her pregnancy while she and her family struggle to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime.
Votes: 4,907 | Gross: $8.82M
5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018)
R | 106 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime
When Lee Israel falls out of step with current tastes, she turns her art form to deception.
Votes: 3,552 | Gross: $7.75M
Rapturous reviews coming out of Telluride vaulted this film into my top 10. Oscar talk for McCarthy must make her head spin. Just a few weeks ago she starred in, and was lambasted for, what was being labeled the "worst movie of the year," The Happytime Murders. Ah, showbiz.
6. White Boy Rick (2018)
R | 111 min | Crime, Drama
The story of teenager Richard Wershe Jr., who became an undercover informant for the FBI during the 1980s and was ultimately arrested for drug-trafficking and sentenced to life in prison.
Votes: 10,054 | Gross: $24.01M
Advance notice from Telluride has been mixed on this film but I'm a huge fan of '71, which was director Demange's film prior to this one. Plus McConaughey.
7. The Old Man & the Gun (2018)
PG-13 | 93 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.
Votes: 14,146 | Gross: $11.26M
8. The Front Runner (2018)
R | 113 min | Biography, Drama, History
American Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.
Votes: 1,849 | Gross: $2.00M
9. Ben Is Back (2018)
R | 103 min | Drama
A drug addicted teenage boy shows up unexpectedly at his family's home on Christmas Eve.
Votes: 2,153 | Gross: $3.37M
10. Green Book (2018)
PG-13 | 130 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.
Votes: 25,417 | Gross: $39.71M
You know Peter Farrelly as one part of the team, with his brother Bobby, who made There's Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber and Stuck on You. Peter also wrote Outside Providence which gave Alec Baldwin one of the best roles of his career. And one thing the Farrelly's did, when no one else was even thinking about it, was to include disabled characters and to treat them without the usual dollops of pity or imbue them magical qualities. Hell, they made fun of them and included them, just as they would their best pals at the bar. Farrelly's a humanist so this particular subject ought to be well-handled by him. Fingers crossed.
11. Red Joan (2018)
110 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller
The story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the KGB's longest-serving British spy.
Nunn probably has a storage unit somewhere where he puts the awards he's won over the years. Still he's never really had a feature film that was a box office hit so it would be nice to see this 78-year-old get just that.
12. The Land of Steady Habits (2018)
TV-MA | 98 min | Comedy, Drama
After leaving his wife and his job to find happiness, Anders befriends a drug-addicted teen, sending him down a path of reckless and shameful behavior.
13. Manmarziyaan (2018)
156 min | Romance
A love triangle between a spirited young woman, her outgoing boyfriend and a fiance who's husband material.
Votes: 3,779 | Gross: $0.57M
The prolific Kashyap directed movie #236 on our Top 250 list, Gangs of Wasseypur.
14. Outlaw King (2018)
R | 121 min | Action, Biography, Drama
A true David vs. Goliath story of how the 14th century Scottish 'Outlaw King' Robert the Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.
I dunno, Pine still looks kind of actor-y silly in that chain mail. But Mackenzie! After years of very interesting films that often felt long (but really weren't) and that were always intriguing (Perfect Sense, Spread., Young Adam) he had a critical and commercial success with the damn-good Hell of High Water. Looking forward to it, chain mail and all.
15. High Life (2018)
R | 110 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.
Robert Pattinson has used his post- Twilight time in this world making interesting (though not always successful) films with very interesting directors. I think this is also the first time he's been directed in a feature by a woman.
16. Kursk (2018)
PG-13 | 117 min | Action, Drama, History
The film follows the 2000 K-141 Kursk submarine disaster and the governmental negligence that followed. As the sailors fight for survival, their families desperately battle political obstacles and impossible odds to save them.
17. The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (2018)
123 min | Drama
A decade after the death of an American TV star, a young actor reminisces the written correspondence he shared with him, as well as the impact those letters had on both their lives.
I'm a Laurence Anyways fan so I'll be ready for this one. The eclectic mix of actors in this cast, including the wonderful Sarah Gadon, the very pretty but kinda-comes-off-crazy Bella Thorne, and Jacob Tremblay (the young boy from Room), alongside the headliners promises another uniquely Dolan experience.
18. Gloria Bell (2018)
102 min | Drama, Romance
A free-spirited woman in her 50s seeks out love at L.A. dance clubs.
19. Greta (2018)
R | 98 min | Drama, Horror
A young woman befriends a lonely widow who's harboring a dark and deadly agenda towards her.
20. Hold the Dark (2018)
TV-MA | 125 min | Adventure, Drama, Horror
After the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the parents of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate their son in the Alaskan wilderness.
21. The Hummingbird Project (2018)
R | 111 min | Drama
A pair of high-frequency traders go up against their old boss in an effort to make millions in a fiber-optic cable deal.
I was entranced by Nguyen's brutal War Witch which became a surprise nominee for Best Foreign Language film at the 2013 Oscars. He's got a lot of known names in front of the camera this time so let's see what he does with it.
22. Boy Erased (2018)
R | 115 min | Biography, Drama
The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.
Votes: 6,355 | Gross: $6.79M
23. La chute de l'empire américain (2018)
127 min | Comedy
A shy and insecure delivery truck driver accidentally arrives on the scene of a major crime and happens to pick up two bags of cash and hides them in his truck. Though an interrogation of ... See full summary »
Votes: 276 | Gross: $2.06M
24. Mid90s (2018)
R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama
Follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 1990s-era Los Angeles who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.
Votes: 11,084 | Gross: $7.36M
Two-time Oscar nominee Hill gets behind the camera for his Eighth Grade?
25. Wildlife (2018)
PG-13 | 105 min | Drama
A teenage boy must deal with his mother's complicated response after his father temporarily abandons them to take a menial and dangerous job.
Votes: 7,331 | Gross: $1.03M
On top of a top-notch cast Dano's screenwriting collaborator is Zoe Kazan and I'm a big fan of hers. The subject matter sounds like tough sledding though but, hey, it's a film festival.
26. Teen Spirit (2018)
92 min | Drama, Music
Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story.
Minghella is the son of the late, very-much lamented Anthony Minghella so the kid (well, young man) could have inherited great directing by osmosis. Or he could be his own man. Either way it's of interest.
27. Where Hands Touch (2018)
PG-13 | 122 min | Drama, Romance, War
A rites of passage story of a bi-racial teen struggling for survival in Nazi Germany.
Votes: 623 | Gross: $0.07M
Assante directed the under-rated Belle so she's handled historical films before and has done so with great delicacy and depth.
28. Black '47 (2018)
R | 100 min | Action, Drama
Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the drama follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. Despite ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,155 | Gross: $0.05M
Haven't seen any of Daly's previous work but that plot outline gives me The Outlaw Josey Wales shivers.
29. Galveston (2018)
Not Rated | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama
After escaping a set up, a dying hitman returns to his hometown of Galveston where he plans his revenge.
Seems like cast and director couldn't attend the Premiere for this film so, by TIFF rules, it was booted out. At least that's the current line. I kept it here because I do think it looks like it's worth a look when it comes out.