It's the second-to-last stop on the Fall film-festival circuit, after Venice and Telluride and before the carefully curated New York cinefeast — but the Toronto International Film Festival holds a special place in traveling festgoers hearts. It's a chance to catch up on the year's already lauded entries from Cannes, Berlin and, occasionally, Sundance. You don't need to fly to the nosebleed-altitude Colorado mountains to get there. It's the semi-official kick-off of the awards season, when prestige films start garnering buzz and truly bad Oscarbait get Bronx cheers. And its catch-all approach to programming (big studio releases, under-the-radar docs, deep-cut foreign-language movies, namebrand-auteur hat tips, a raucous Midnight Madness section — and starting this year, a TV sidebar) means fanatics get a well-balanced diet of visual gorging.
After poring through the fest's lineup with the intensity of Talmud scholars and breaking down everything from its Gala presentations to its "Platform" section, we've identified 25 movies we can't wait to check out at this year's TIFF, running from September 10th through the 20th. Some are major fall autumn releases that'll be coming soon to a theater near you; others are the kind of smaller treasures that you might not hear about otherwise. But all of them are reminders of why many of us head to the Great White North for 10 days every year: to sit down in the dark and emerge with our eyes opened to the world.