TIFF 2018: Chris Pine’s Netflix film Outlaw King to open fest

David Mackenzie's historical drama, produced by Netflix and starring Chris Pine as Robert The Bruce, will open this year's festival. And there's some other stuff coming too.

David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King will open the 43rd Toronto International Film Festival on September 6.

The historical drama, which stars Wonder Woman’s Chris Pine as Robert The Bruce alongside Godzilla’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Lady Macbeth’s Florence Pugh, will be the first Scottish production to open TIFF. It’s also the first Netflix feature to open the festival, so we’ll be hearing about that for a while.

The festival also named Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy as this year’s closing night gala. Directed by Justin Kelly, the drama stars Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart as Laura Albert Savannah Koop, the women who convinced the world they were hardscrabble author JT LeRoy … for a little while, at least.

The two world premieres were among dozens of new titles announced today, along with two more galas – The Lie, a thriller from The Killing creator Veena Sud starring Peter Sarsgaard and Joey King, and Peter Farrelly’s Green Book, a period drama starring Viggo Mortensen, Linda Cardellini and Mahershala Ali – and the complete Contemporary World Cinema, Wavelengths and Masters programs.

Among the newly announced special presentations: Joel Edgerton’s much-anticipated Boy Erased, starring Lucas Hedges as a young man forced into gay conversion therapy the world premieres of Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid90s and Maryam Keshavarz’s Viper Club, which stars Susan Sarandon as a nurse trying to pressure the American government into helping her son (Matt Bomer) after he’s abducted by terrorists on the other side of the globe. We’ll also see new films from TIFF veterans Louis Garrel (A Faithful Man) Paul Greengrass (22 July), Chen Kaige (Legend Of The Demon Cat, presented in a director’s cut), Naomi Kawase (Vision) Sebastián Leilo (Gloria Bell) Jeremy Saulnier (Hold The Dark) and Thomas Vinterberg (Kursk).

Speaking of TIFF veterans, the Masters program is bursting with new work by old favourites from all over the globe: world premieres from Algeria’s Merzak Allouache (Divine Wind) and Italy’s Paolo Sorrentino (Loro), and new features from Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan (The Wild Pear Tree) France’s Jean-Luc Godard (The Image Book), South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo (Hotel By The River) England’s Mike Leigh (Peterloo), Iran’s Jafar Panahi (3 Faces), Germany’s Christian Petzold (Transit) Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas (Our Time), Japan’s Shinya Tsukamoto (Killing), and China’s Jia Zhang-ke (Ash Is Purest White).

Still piling on titles, TIFF announced another 47 features in its Contemporary World Cinema program – 27 of which are world premieres. The list will make your nose bleed, but highlights include Katherine Jerkovic’s Roads In February, a Canada-Uruguay production starring Arlen Aguayo-Stewart as a young woman confronting some painful truths while visiting her grandmother in Uruguay Radu Jude’s I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians, an essay film about Romania’s denial of the Holocaust, and Rosie, an Irish drama about a newly homeless family directed by Paddy Breathnach and written by Roddy Doyle another Irish film, Lance Daly’s Black 47, stars Animal Kingdom’s James Frecheville as a deserter trying to make his way home during the Great Famine.

Also screening under the CWC banner: Wolfgang Fischer’s Styx, a Berlin Film Festival award-winner starring Susanne Wolf as a sailor who comes to the aid of a boat of refugees Natalya Meschaninova’s Core Of The World, about a young veterinarian drawn into the lives of the family that employs him to care for their hunting dogs, and Avi Nesher’s The Other Story, a drama about two Israeli women looking to break out of their rigid lives.

The festival also revealed its Wavelengths program, showcasing the year’s more experimental filmmaking. Among the 43 titles announced are new features from James Benning (L. Cohen), Ulrich Köhler (In My Room), Roberto Minervini (What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire?) and Wang Bing (Dead Souls, an eight-hour documentary), new shorts from Ben Rivers (TREES DOWN HERE) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Blue) and a “cinematic experiment” about textiles and patterns by Jodie Mack (The Grand Bizarre). Mack also has a short in the program, Hoarders Without Borders.

RAY & LIZ, the feature debut from British photographer Richard Billingham, is an autobiographical drama starring Justin Salinger and Ella Smith (and Patrick Romer and Deridre Kelly) as fictionalized versions of Billingham’s parents Sergei Loznitsa’s The Trial uses found footage to reconstitute a show trial from the Stalin era. Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night was hailed at Cannes for its technical virtuosity, while Mariano Llinás’s The Flower, a drama in the works for nearly a decade, comes with its own bragging rights: at 14 hours, it’s the longest film ever produced in Argentina, and the longest film screening at TIFF 2018. Plan your schedule accordingly.

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 to September 16, 2018. The full schedule will be released August 21. More information on this year’s programming is available at the festival’s website.

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