Venice kicks off the red-carpet fest trifecta with glitz and glamor, and Telluride drops a lot of hush-hush early looks at big-name titles — but the fall movie season really doesn’t officially start until the Toronto Film Festival kicks into high gear. A come-one-come-all mix of MVPs from Cannes and Berlin, potential Oscar-contenders, the occasional Hollywood tentpole, midnight movies, foreign-language and non-fiction flotsam and jetsam, some local flavor and whatever else can be fit into what’s always a 100-plus programming lineup, it can be a daunting task to see everything for those who head north every year. But it’s the fest that sets the pace for what you’ll be talking about movie-wise for the lead-up to Oscarapalooza next winter, as well as a great look back at what’s made an impact at other international cine-get-togethers. It remains a permanent fixture on critics and cinephiles’ calendars.
Out of the [counts number of movies in this year’s roster] roughly gajillion titles that will be showing at TIFF from September 6th to the 16th, we’ve singled out 30 that have us intrigued, curious and/or chomping at the bit to see. We’ll be filing a half dozen or so dispatches during the event over the next 10 days, but for now, here’s a preview of what’s pinging, very loudly, on our festgoing radar.