Can you believe it's been a full 365 days (or so) since Toronto was flooded with the creme de la creme of TV and film? Of course you can, because that's how time works. But in case you, like me, have been a bit out of the loop in terms of what movies to see and which will make the biggest impact, we've rounded up the biggest five; the ones you should stand in rush lines for right now (even if you can't get into the official premiere). Trust us: then we can all gather here and say "I told you so!" when they're nominated for Academy Awards.
I will never be embarrassed the way I was about not seeing The Help again.
1. August: Osage County
Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Abigal Breslin
Plot: Based on the Pulitzer-winning play by Tracy Letts, the movie revolves around a mother with cancer, and the dysfunctional family surrounding her, following the death of another family member. Frankly, with Meryl Streep in the lead, this film is a must, must, must-see, or you will be banned from TIFF forever (or so we've made up to stress how must-see this movie is). Or at the very least, use it as part of a drinking game: whenever Benedict Cumberbatch shows up in a TIFF film, enjoy a beverage. (This is just one of three.)
2. You Are Here
Starring: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler
Plot: Wilson and Galifianakis head back to their hometown to pick up an inheritance, but they don't get it before Wilson's sister (played by Amy Poehler) comes into the picture. The best part? This comedy is directed by Mad Men creator/director Matthew Weiner, so not only will this script be (likely) beautifully written, it'll be a chance to see what Matthew Weiner can do when he: a) directs movies, and b) gets comedic.
3. Enough Said
Starring: James Gandolfini, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Catherine Keener
Plot: Too late, Louis-Dreyfus realizes Gandolfini is pal Keener's ex (who she's been constantly badmouthing) in this comedy from director Nicole Holofcener. However, a good cast and story isn't the only draw: this was Gandolfini's last big credit before passing away in June, making this a must-see for anyone who loves laughter and the late actor.
4. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Starring: Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela
Plot: We've seen Idria Elba as BBC's Luther, as the straight-laced captain in Pacific Rim, and as the boss of Jim's nightmares in The Office a few years ago. Now, we'll get to see him as Nelson Mandela in the Harvey Weinstein-steered picture, which should propel him into the A-list realm (or at least earn him a Golden Globe or Academy Award nomination). Bonus: You'll know I'm in your screening if you hear someone going on and on about he should be the new James Bond.
5. Devil's Knot
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth, Amy Ryan, Dane DeHaan
Plot: We know Reese Witherspoon can get dramatic onscreen thanks to her turn as June Carter in 2005's Walk the Line, and Devil's Knot will be an opportunity for her to prove that all over again. Revolving around the true case of the West Memphis Three (who were wrongfully convicted of murder via Satanism), Witherspoon plays the victim's mother, Pam Hobbs, who believes the teen trio are innocent. Speckled with dream a dream cast (anything Colin Firth touches turns to gold, and we know this), this could not only be an important film for Witherspoon, but an important film in terms of mob thinking.
Why can't these movies just be available for us all to see right this minute. WHY.