Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee’s Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper, will open the 40th edition of the Toronto Film Festival. The fest announced its first titles today at a news conference presided over by TIFF director and chief executive Piers Handling and artistic director Cameron Bailey. The 40th edition of the festival kicks runs September 10-20 and will include a host of special events marking the four decades of the festival.
Demolition follows an investment banker who, struggling to understand his emotional disconnect after the tragic death of his wife, begins to tear apart his life in an effort to see where he went wrong and is ultimately rescued by a woman he meets in a chance encounter.
Of the 15 Galas and 34 Special Presentations announced, this initial lineup includes films from directors such as Ridley Scott, Michael Moore, Deepa Mehta, Lenny Abrahamson, Brian Helgeland, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, Jason Bateman, Cary Fukunaga, Catherine Corsini, Stephen Frears, Tom Hooper, Hany Abu-Assad, Meghna Gulzar, Terence Davies, Jonás Cuarón, Julie Delpy, Rebecca Miller and Johnnie To.
Making a return after an absence of six years is Moore, whose Where To Invade Next is sure to provoke with its geopolitical satire. Other world premieres include Scott’s The Martian, Frears’ Lance Armstrong drama The Program and Kate Winslet-starrer The Dressmaker.
TIFF seems to have relaxed rules about North American premieres only receiving the plum opening weekend slots, although it appears the best venues will be prioritized for world and North American premieres.
“We are celebrating our 40th anniversary in 2015 and this first round of films offers a taste of the incredible lineup at this year’s festival,” said Handling. “Made by both established and emerging filmmakers from around the world, these films offer a global snapshot of our times.”
“This year we are thrilled to share a diverse array of filmmakers from Australia, India, France, China, the United Kingdom and the U.S.,” said Bailey. “We look forward to sharing these fantastic films with Toronto audiences — the most engaged and enthusiastic in the world.”
DEMOLITION – OPENING NIGHT FILM
Jean-Marc Vallée, USA (World Premiere)
In Demolition, a successful investment banker, Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two strangers form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.
Source: DEADLINE | HOLLYWOOD