Hustlers, Harriet, The Goldfinch, Judy, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Joker, and more among the films heading to TIFF
UPDATE: The 2019 Toronto International Film Festival lineup just amped up its star wattage.
The Canadian event announced Tuesday several additions to its previously unveiled Special Presentations and Galas programs, including potential awards contenders like Netflix’s cinematic adaptation of Kerry Washington’s American Son stage play, Natalie Portman’s mind-bending sci-fi drama Lucy in the Sky, Trey Edward Shults’ relationship drama Waves, Kristen Stewart’s Jean Seberg biographical thriller, and The Aeronauts, which reunites The Theory of Everything stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in a reality-based historical tale about James Glaisher and Amelia Wren, who mounted epic ventures in a hot air balloon at the turn of the 20th century.
Also joining the festival as part of the Masters slate are legendary filmmaker Terrence Malick‘s A Hidden Life and Ken Loach’s Sorry We Missed You, while the festival’s Contemporary World Cinema slate adds Mati Diop’s Cannes breakout Atlantics: A Ghost Love Story, Ladj Ly’s Les Misérables, and Edward Burns’ familial drama Beneath the Blue Suburban Skies.
EARLIER: A crop of potential Oscar contenders is heading north.
The Toronto International Film Festival — one of the largest public film festivals in the world — has announced the first round of awards-bound titles joining its 2019 feature lineup, including new films from Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), John Crowley (The Goldfinch), Rian Johnson (Knives Out), and Todd Phillips (Joker) all joining the festival’s Galas and Special Presentations sections.
Among the world premieres on TIFF’s slate are Heller’s Tom Hanks-starring Mister Rogers-themed drama, Lemmons’ Harriet Tubman biopic (featuring Cynthia Erivo in the title role), Scafaria’s ensemble stripper revenge tale starring Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Cardi B, Julia Stiles, Lizzo, and more, as well as Taika Waititi’s World War II-era satire Jojo Rabbit, Noah Baumbach’s Scarlett Johansson-starring marital drama Marriage Story, and John Crowley’s big-screen adaptation of Donna Tartt’s novel The Goldfinch (with a cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Ansel Elgort, and Sarah Paulson).
Other awards-bound films like Joaquin Phoenix’s comic book-inspired drama Joker, Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland biopic, Netflix’s Meryl Streep-starring, Steven Soderbergh-directed Panama Papers comedy The Laundromat, and Adam Sandler’s Uncut Gems are all listed as either North American, International, or Canadian premieres, meaning they will bow at other fall festivals (particularly Telluride and/or Venice) before hitting TIFF.
TIFF is one of a handful of such fall cinema events widely seen as integral launching pads for films vying for voter attention in the awards season ahead. More so than its seasonal counterparts, however, TIFF has a further reputation for hosting glitzy galas for celebrity-focused, commercial-leaning pictures like The Magnificent Seven and Deepwater Horizon in 2016, as well as Jamie Lee Curtis-starring Halloween sequel last year.
In 2018, TIFF hosted screenings of Oscar-bound films like A Star Is Born, Roma, First Man, and Cold War, while eventual Best Picture champion Green Book took the largely non-competitive festival’s prestigious People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by public attendees. Across the last 10 years, nine of TIFF’s People’s Choice Award winners have gone on to receive a Best Picture nomination from the Academy, with three (The King’s Speech, 12 Years a Slave, and Green Book) winning.
“Some of the year’s biggest films will land in Toronto this September,” said Cameron Bailey, Co-Head and Artistic Director of TIFF, in a press statement. “We’re thrilled to unveil Galas and Special Presentations that bring the brightest lights in film to our Festival audience. Our new programming team has been hard at work for months to deliver the compelling stories, acclaimed filmmakers, and top onscreen talent that mark our two highest-profile sections.”
Other TIFF titles potentially vying for spots in the awards race this year include Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency (starring Alfre Woodard), Scott Z. Burns’ political thriller The Report (with Adam Driver and Annette Bening), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma’s critically lauded drama that took Cannes by storm earlier this year), Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, and Netflix’s drama Two Popes, centering around Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) and Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins).
TIFF 2019 runs from Sept. 5-15. Read on for titles joining the annual festival’s lineup in the Galas and Special Presentations programs, and check back on EW.com in the weeks ahead for future additions to the event’s program.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Marielle Heller | USA World Premiere
Abominable – Jill Culton | USA World Premiere
The Aeronauts – Tom Harper | United Kingdom Canadian Premiere