'Hustlers,' 'Harriet,' 'The Goldfinch,' 'Judy,' 'A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,' 'Joker,' and more among the films heading to TIFF

By Joey Nolfi
August 29, 2019 at 09:24 AM EDT

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.

David Lee/Netflix

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.

Claudette Barius/Netflix

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.”

Niko Tavernise/Warner Bros.

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.

GALAS 2019

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

American Woman – Semi Chellas | Canada Canadian Premiere

Blackbird – Roger Michell | United Kingdom World Premiere

The Burnt Orange Heresy – Giuseppe Capotondi |USA/United Kingdom North American Premiere

Clemency – Chinonye Chukwu | USA International Premiere

Ford v Ferrari – James Mangold | USA Canadian Premiere

The Goldfinch – John Crowley | USA World Premiere

Harriet – Kasi Lemmons | USA World Premiere

Hustlers – Lorene Scafaria | USA World Premiere

Joker – Todd Phillips | USA North American Premiere

Just Mercy – Destin Daniel Cretton | USA World Premiere

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band – Daniel Roher | Canada World Premiere

Ordinary Love – Lisa Barros D’Sa, Glenn Leyburn | United Kingdom World Premiere

Radioactive – Marjane Satrapi | United Kingdom World Premiere

The Sky Is Pink – Shonali Bose | India World Premiere

The Song of Names – François Girard | Canada World Premiere

True History of the Kelly Gang – Justin Kurzel | Australia World Premiere

Western Stars – Thom Zimny, Bruce Springsteen | USA World Premiere

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 2019

A Herdade – Tiago Guedes | Portugal North American Premiere

American Son – Kenny Leon | USA World Premiere

Bad Education – Cory Finley | USA World Premiere

Coming Home Again – Wayne Wang | USA/South Korea World Premiere

Deerskin (Le Daim) – Quentin Dupieux | France International Premiere

Dirt Music – Gregor Jordan | United Kingdom/Australia World Premiere

Dolemite Is My Name – Craig Brewer | USA World Premiere

The Elder One (Moothon) – Geetu Mohandas | India World Premiere

Ema – Pablo Larraín | Chile North American Premiere

Endings, Beginnings – Drake Doremus | USA World Premiere

Frankie – Ira Sachs | France/Portugal North American Premiere

The Friend – Gabriela Cowperthwaite | USA World Premiere

Greed – Michael Winterbottom | United Kingdom World Premiere

Guest of Honour – Atom Egoyan | Canada North American Premiere

Guns Akimbo – Jason Lei Howden| Germany/New Zealand World Premiere

Heroic Losers (La odisea de los giles) – Sebastian Borensztein | Argentina/Spain International Premiere

Honey Boy – Alma Har’el | USA International Premiere

Hope Gap – William Nicholson | United Kingdom World Premiere

How to Build a Girl – Coky Giedroyc | United Kingdom World Premiere

Human Capital – Marc Meyers | USA World Premiere

I Am Woman – Unjoo Moon | Australia World Premiere

Jojo Rabbit – Taika Waititi | USA World Premiere

Judy – Rupert Goold | United Kingdom Canadian Premiere

Jungleland – Max Winkler | USA World Premiere

Knives Out – Rian Johnson | USA World Premiere

La Belle Époque – Nicolas Bedos | France North American Premiere

The Laundromat – Steven Soderbergh | USA North American Premiere

The Lighthouse – Robert Eggers | USA North American Premiere

Lucy in the Sky – Noah Hawley | USA World Premiere

Lyrebird – Dan Friedkin |USA International Premiere

Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach | USA Canadian Premiere

Military Wives – Peter Cattaneo | United Kingdom World Premiere

Mosul – Matthew Michael Carnahan | USA North American Premiere

Motherless Brooklyn – Edward Norton | USA International Premiere

No.7 Cherry Lane – Yonfan | Hong Kong North American Premiere

The Other Lamb – Malgorzata Szumowska | Belgium/Ireland/USA World Premiere

Pain and Glory – Pedro Almodóvar | Spain Canadian Premiere

The Painted Bird – Václav Marhoul | Czech Republic/Ukraine/Slovakia North American Premiere

Parasite (Gisaengchung) – Bong Joon-ho | South Korea Canadian Premiere

Pelican Blood (Pelikanblut) – Katrin Gebbe | Germany/Bulgaria North American Premiere

The Personal History of David Copperfield – Armando Iannucci | United Kingdom World Premiere

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait de la jeune fille en feu) – Céline Sciamma | France Canadian Premiere

The Report – Scott Z. Burns | USA International Premiere

Saturday Fiction (Lan Xin Da Ju Yuan) – Lou Ye | China North American Premiere

Seberg – Benedict Andrews |USA/UnitedKingdom North American Premiere

Sibyl – Justine Triet | France/Belgium North American Premiere

SYNCHRONIC – Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson | USA World Premiere

The Truth (La vérité) – Hirokazu Kore-eda | France/Japan North American Premiere

The Two Popes – Fernando Meirelles | USA/United Kingdom/Italy/Argentina Canadian Premiere

Uncut Gems – Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie | USA International Premiere

Wasp Network – Olivier Assayas | France, Brazil, Spain, Belgium North American Premiere

Waves – Trey Edward Shults |USA International Premiere

Weathering With You – Makoto Shinkai | Japan North American Premiere

While at War (Mientras Dure La Guerra) – Alejandro Amenábar | Spain/Argentina World Premiere

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