Bong Joon-Ho fans accustomed to seeing Memories Of Murder and Parasite star Song Kang-ho in twisted genre fare will see a different side of him in Broker. The new film from Shoplifters director Kore-eda (a Japanese artist making his South Korean film debut) is about Korea’s illegal baby trade, with Kang-ho playing a broker keen on helping orphaned children find a home, for a profit.
After years of cult recognition (Billy On The Street, Difficult People), voice work (The Lion King, Bob’s Burgers) and scene-stealing supporting parts (Parks And Recreation), the multitalented Billy Eichner finally gets a star-making comedy. He’s co-written and stars opposite Canuck Luke Macfarlane in this bromantic comedy about two gay men with major commitment issues. After Fire Island and the recent series Uncoupled, it’s refreshing to finally see queer people play queer character
Jennifer Lawrence and Bryan Tyree Henry star in a drama about a soldier returning home from Afghanistan with a brain injury. We don’t know much else about the feature debut from Maid director Neugebauer. But we’re extremely curious to see what Lawrence opted to make instead of Amsterdam, the big awards-season movie from her Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell. Half of Hollywood’s A-listers are in Amsterdam, from Christian Bale to Margot Robbie, despite the director’s reputation for being toxic and abusive. Lawrence, who starred in Russell’s last three movies, sat out his latest and instead appears here playing a woman presumably suffering from PTSD.
Decision To Leave
Old Boy director Park’s latest is a noirish, Hitchcockian romance starring Park Hae-il as a Busan detective who gets entangled with a Chinese immigrant widow (Tang Wei) who may have offed her husband. It’s been six years since Park was at TIFF, the longest gap since he made his festival debut 20 years ago with the now classic Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance.
The Eternal Daughter
British director Hogg follows up her playful, tender and revealing Souvenir films with a ghost story predictably starring her muse, Tilda Swinton. The film is about a woman returning to a haunted family manor alongside her elderly mother to confront secrets from the past.
It’s hard to believe that the most influential filmmaker on the planet has never had a movie premiere before at TIFF. But this one seems close to Spielberg’s heart – and worth the wait. It’s a semi-autobiographical tale of a boy growing up in post-war Arizona from age seven to 18. Spielberg co-wrote the film with Tony Kushner, who wrote his West Side Story, Munich and Lincoln. Another bonus? The TIFF reunion of Take This Waltz stars Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen, who play the main character’s mother and uncle.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
After murder mystery Knives Out, which debuted at TIFF in 2019, grossed $300+ million, sequels were inevitable, and director Johnson made a pact with Netflix to deliver two more. The plot details on this first one have been kept under wraps, but Daniel Craig returns again as gentleman detective Benoit Blanc, who goes to Greece to solve a mystery involving a whole new set of suspects. The cast includes Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr and Kate Hudson.
Wendell & Wild
Selick’s first feature since 2009’s Coraline finds him collaborating with Jordan Peele, which means we’re getting some stop-motion animation with soul. The Get Out and Nope filmmaker co-wrote the screenplay about demon brothers and joins the voice cast along with Lyric Ross, Keegan-Michael Key and Angela Bassett.
The internet was abuzz a few weeks ago when advance photos of The Whale were released featuring an almost unrecognizable Brendan Fraser. He plays Charlie, a reclusive English teacher who tries to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter (Stranger Things’s Sadie Sink). Playwright Samuel D. Hunter has adapted his own excellent play, which took place in one run-down room in Idaho. But expect Aronofsky to expand on this intimate, psychologically layered material and make it deeply cinematic.
Mennonite women hole up in a hayloft and grapple with a fight-or-flight decision after discovering the men in their community are repeatedly tranquilizing and assaulting them. That’s the set-up in Polley’s adaptation of Miriam Toews’s novel, which casts Rooney Mara, Claire Foy and Jessie Buckley as the women leading an expansive, incisive and confrontational #meToo conversation.