Toronto International Film Festival 2013 Picks

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

It’s that time again, the Toronto International Film Festival rears its head and Toronto is preparing for paparazzi, celebrities, and creators. At this morning’s press conference, several movies were announced, with many more promised. Here’s our pick of the must-sees announced so far.

The Fifth Estate

Based on the life and history of controversial journalist Julian Assange and the website Wikileaks, The Fifth Estate opens TIFF and stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek into darkness, Sherlock, almost every movie at TIFF) as Assange. Already controversial (Assange himself has publicly denounced the film and personally asked Cumberbatch not to take the job), it’s a timely movie that should provoke debate on the nature of the internet, democracy and information.

Cold Eyes

Also known as Stakeout, Cold Eyes has dominated the box office in its native South Korea. A remake of the Hong Kong Eye in the Sky, it revolves around a team of surveillance specialists trying to track a criminal gang. Starring Sol Kyung-Go, Jung Woo-sung and Han Hyo-joo, it’s an old-fashioned cat-and-mouse, cops’n’robbers story. Possibly best viewed as a thematic counter-point to The Fifth Estate, but a very different movie in tone.

Mandela: Long walk to freedom

Based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography of the same title, Long Walk to Freedom tells the story of Nelson Mandela, as he moves from revolutionary to leader. Starring Idris Elba (Pacific Rim, Thor) as Mandela, and directed by Justin Chadwick (Bleak House, The Other Boleyn Girl) this is one you don’t want to miss.

Mary Queen of Scots

Something for the history buffs. Mary Queen of Scots, based on the novel Maria Stuart by Stefan Zweig, stars Camille Rutherford as the three times widowed and doomed Queen of Scotland. Directed by Thomas Sumbach, it looks fantastic, with some great set design and costuming. Recommended for the history nerds.


Known for its terrifying trailer, Gravity concerns itself with the plight of two astronauts when their space walk goes horribly wrong. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), if you’re looking for terror and spectacle, here you go. Stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

12 years a slave

Based on the true story of Solomon Northup (played here by Chiwetel Ejifor, Salt, American Gangster), this is going to be the one to beat. Born a free man, and a renowned violin player, Northup was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Seperated from his family, friends and comfortable way of life, he refuses to give in to despair and vows to regain his freedom. He spent 12 years under the whip. With Michael Fassbender (Hunger, Prometheus), Benedict Cumberbatch and Brad Pitt, and directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame), initial positive reaction got the release date moved from late December to October. Possibly movie of the festival.

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