TIFF 13 – Toronto International Film Festival gets Cumberbatch-ed – by Julide Tanriverdi

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An ad for the Toronto International Film Festival (in short TIFF) says “Find out who this Benedict Cumberbatch guy is”

Indeed, the 38th festival which kicks off on September 5th will introduce the British actor to everyone who missed the big hype during summer when he was seen as the villain in Star Trek Into Darkness.

The Sherlock star with a massive fan following has not one, but three movies among the 366 films – 288 features, 78 shorts – Featured at TIFF.

Among the Cumberbatch batch of three, is the opening movie, The Fifth Estate, directed by Bill Condon.

In it, Cumberbatch plays Wiki-Leaks founder Julian Assange. The geat cast includes Daniel Bruhl, Stanley Tucci Laura Linney and yes, Peter Capaldi (the new Doctor Who).

With Bradley Manning’s recent sentencing, Edward Snowden’s ongoing drama and The Guardian’s hard drives destroyed this week, this movie”s release is brilliantly timed. It should attract a lot of attention considering the polarizing nature of Assange and the film’s hot button topic.

The other Cumberbatch vehicles are August: Osage County, John Wells’ adaptation of the Pulitzer price winning play by Tracy Letts (who also wrote the screenplay) in which Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts also star.

And in Steve McQueen’s fact-based period-drama 12 Years a Slave, Cumberbatch has another chance to show his acting chops alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.

But the Cumberbatch batch isn’t the only Oscar-bait that TIFF has to offer:

  • Another BBC-favorite, Luther star Idris Elba plays the main character in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
  • Jean-Marc Vallee’s Dallas Buyers Club got some notice since its star Matthew McConaughey has lost a lot of weight to portray a man with AIDS in 1985 (co-star is Jared Leto).
  • Daniel Radcliffe can be seen in the anticipated Killing The Darlings (he is playing Alan Ginsberg), directed by John Krokidas. It was shown in Sundance.
  • while director Alexandre Aja’s supernatural thriller Horns will have its world premiere.
  • Atom Egoyan returns with Devil’s Knot, starring Reese Witherspoon, Mereiile Enos, Colin Firth and Stephen Moyer.

  • Nicole Holofcener’s comedy Enough Said is James Gandolfini’s last film (with Toni Collette, Julia-Louis Dreyfuss and Catherine Keener
  • Jason Reitman’s Labor Day is described as a dramedy and stars Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.

Additionally, some actors will show their directorial debuts: Mike Myers’ mew documentary Supermench: The Legend of Shep Gordon is programmed, along with Keanu Reeves’ Man Of Thai Chi and Jason Bateman’s Bad Words.

TIFF’s closing night belongs to Daniel Schecters’s Life of Crime. It is a adaptation of the work of author Elmore Leonard, who recently died at the age of 87. The film stars John Hawkes, Tim Robbins, Mos Def and Jennifer Aniston.

These are just a few of the highlights at TIFF 2013, selected from among a program that boasts 146 world premieres from 70 countries.

Please check the TIFF Website for full program details. The festival runs through September 15th.

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