10 under-the-radar TIFF18 entries

Including Jonah Hill’s directorial debut and the latest starring roles for Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman



Julianne Moore in GLORIA BELL

Still courtesy of TIFF

 

The lineup for the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, running from September 6 to 16, is nearly complete. That means the full schedule will be announced in a matter of days (August 21), the opening night selection is official (David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine), and the Twitter buzz is deafening.

 

There are some clear biggies — I covered many of these a few weeks ago — and a few frown-inducing omissions. (Where are you, Suspiria, The Favourite, and Mary, Queen of Scots?) But there is so much to be excited about in the #TIFF18 roster. Here are ten under-the-radar films to consider seeing at TIFF18, or to make note of for future viewing. 

 

In Fabric: Peter Strickland’s The Duke of Burgundy was one of the strangest, most mesmerizing films at the 2014 festival. His latest feature, a horror-drama making its world premiere at TIFF18, “follows the surge of misfortunes afflicting customers who come into contact with a bewitched dress at an eerie department store.” Yes, I’m in.

 

Gloria Bell: English-language remakes of acclaimed foreign films are hit or miss. Here’s hoping that A Fantastic Woman director Sebastián Lelio’s remake of his 2013 international hit, Gloria, falls in the hit column. Oscar winner Julianne Moore plays a middle-aged divorcee looking for love.

 

Hold the Dark: If you’ve seen Blue Ruin or Green Room, you know Jeremy Saulnier is adept at creating intense viewing experiences. His latest, a thriller about a missing child in Alaska, stars Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keough, and Jeffrey Wright.

 

Mid90s: Jonah Hill, director? Indeed. For his directorial debut, the Superbad and Moneyball star tells the story of teenager and his skateboarder friends. The cast includes Manchester by the Sea and Lady Bird standout Lucas Hedges.

 

Teen Spirit: Actor Max Minghella (The Social Network, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale) follows in the footsteps of his late-father as he moves behind the camera for a TIFF world premiere. Elle Fanning plays a teenager dreaming of pop stardom.

 

The Image Book: Jean-Luc Godard is back, with a film TIFF describes as a “provocative collage film essay.” The New Wave icon’s last two features, 2010’s Film Socialisme and 2014’s Goodbye to Language, were astonishingly ambitious — and, of course, very difficult.

 

Ray & Liz: Critics at the Locarno Film Festival raved about thus U.K. entry from photographer Richard Billingham. This autobiographical feature is noteworthy for being shot on 16mm.

 

Destroyer: Can film starring Nicole Kidman really count as “under-the-radar”? In the case of Destroyer, perhaps it can. Little is known about this Platform program selection from Karyn Kusama (director of the slow-burn horror film The Invitation). Kidman plays an LAPD detective taking on a new case.

 

Her Smell: Certainly the, um, most memorably-titled entry in this year’s festival, Alex Ross Perry’s drama about a self-destructive musician stars Mad Men and Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss. It’s making its world premiere in Toronto as part of the Platform program.

 

Sunset: Director László Nemes follows up the Oscar-winning Son of Saul — a standout from TIFF15 — with the story of a woman’s quest to discover her past.

 

Check back for more TIFF18 analysis leading up the the festival, and follow Christopher Schobert on Twitter @FilmSwoon.

 

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