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10 TIFF musts: Standouts from the festival’s first batch of films

The Toronto International Film Festival announced its first batch of galas and special presentations at the end of July, and the roster featured major filmmakers and international starpower. Here are 10 standouts:

“Dolemite Is My Name”

Eddie Murphy starring as comedian and Blaxploitation icon Rudy Ray Moore, aka Dolemite? This could be one of autumn’s most enticing films.

“Ford v Ferrari”

Christian Bale and Matt Damon costar in “Walk the Line” director James Mangold’s dramatization of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.

“The Goldfinch”'

10 TIFF musts: Standouts from the festival’s first batch of films | Buffalo Magazine

There’s a good chance you’ve been meaning to read Donna Tartt’s weighty, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a young boy who survives a terrorist attack. Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort and Sarah Paulson star.

“Jojo Rabbit”

Visionary filmmaker Taika Waititi directs and stars—as, um, Adolph Hitler—in this satire about a young German who discovers a Jewish girl hiding in his home. Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson star.

“Joker”

10 TIFF musts: Standouts from the festival’s first batch of films | Buffalo Magazine

Have you seen the trailer for “Joker,” which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the clownish comic book villain? It’s certainly…something. It’s hard to know what to expect in director Todd Phillips’ film, and that should make this a hot TIFF ticket.

“Knives Out”

10 TIFF musts: Standouts from the festival’s first batch of films | Buffalo Magazine

Rian Johnson follows up “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” with an Agatha Christie-style whodunit starring Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon and Christopher Plummer.

“The Laundromat”

10 TIFF musts: Standouts from the festival’s first batch of films | Buffalo Magazine

Steven Soderbergh takes on the Panama Papers in a story of financial corruption. The stellar cast includes Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas.

“The Lighthouse”

Robert Eggers’s black and white follow-up to modern horror classic “The Witch” earned raves at Cannes. The psychological drama stars Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe.

“The Personal History of David Copperfield”

10 TIFF musts: Standouts from the festival’s first batch of films | Buffalo Magazine

“Veep” creator Armando Iannucci follows 2017’s darkly hilarious “Death of Stalin” with a Dickens adaptation starring the ultra-talented Dev Patel and Tilda Swinton.

“Uncut Gems”

There is an argument to be made that “Good Time” directors Josh and Benny Safdie are the most compelling young filmmaking duo in cinema. Their latest stars Adam Sandler (!) as a New York jeweler.


Related read: Your last-minute guide to the Toronto International Film Festival


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