LOS ANGELES (AP) – The blockbuster summer movie season is still going strong, but the Toronto International Film Festival provided a peek Tuesday at some of the movies and performances that could help set the tone for the upcoming awards season.
One of the fall’s most hyped films, Ridley Scott’s space epic “The Martian,” starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain, will have its world premiere at the festival in advance of its Oct. 2 release.
Other premieres in the biopic heavy schedule include “The Program,” Stephen Frears’ film on Lance Armstrong starring Ben Foster as the disgraced athlete; Jay Roach’s “Trumbo,” with Bryan Cranston as the blacklisted screenwriter; and Peter Sollett’s fact-based, marriage rights drama “Freeheld,” with last year’s best actress winner Julianne Moore and Ellen Page.
The festival will kick off its 40th year Sept. 10 with the romantic drama “Demolition,” starring Naomi Watts and Jake Gyllenhaal.
“Demolition,” from “Dallas Buyers Club” director Jean-Marc Vallée, is not set for release until April and will not be among award contenders later this year.
In addition to Foster’s turn as Armstrong, other powerhouse performances are expected from Eddie Redmayne as the transgender artist Lili Elbe in Tom Hooper’s “The Danish Girl,” and Johnny Depp, who takes an unglamorous, sinister turn as notorious gangster Whitey Bulger in Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass.”
“Black Mass” will first screen at the Venice Film Festival a week before the Toronto event.
“The Theory of Everything,” which won Redmayne a best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking, showed at Toronto last year.
Other anticipated titles include Roland Emmerich’s “Stonewall,” about 1969 riots; Cary Fukunaga’s Netflix drama “Beasts of No Nation”; the Catholic Church abuse scandal film “Spotlight,” with Rachel McAdams and Michael Keaton; and Michael Moore’s documentary “Where to Invade Next.”
Denis Villeneuve’s border drama “Sicaro,” starring Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro, premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival and will screen in Toronto in advance of its Sept. 18 release. Jacques Audiard’s Palme d’Or winner “Dheepan” will also play.
More films, including the closing night selection, will be announced in the coming weeks. The festival runs through Sept. 20 and features more than 300 films.
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