Wednesday 22 November 2017

British talent bid for Oscars at Toronto International Film Festival

Some of the world’s biggest names in film are heading to the Canadian festival.

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

By Sam Blewett, Press Association in Toronto

British talent will join some of the world’s biggest film stars as they descend upon Toronto to hone their Oscars campaigns.

Some 35 UK-involved productions are heading to the Toronto International Film Festival (Tiff), starting Thursday.

And Andy Serkis, Angelina Jolie and George Clooney are among the most familiar on-screen talent making their directorial debuts.

The Canadian festival is key for generating Oscar buzz with La La Land last year winning Tiff’s highest honour, the People’s Choice Award, and Moonlight screening there before basking in Academy Awards glory.

Serkis, best known as The Lord Of The Rings’ Gollum, will debut to the world his first outing in the director’s chair with Breathe, starring Claire Foy and Andrew Garfield.

Mary Shelley, a biopic about the Frankenstein author, will also get its world premiere with cast members Maisie Williams, from Game Of Thrones, and Douglas Booth attending.

Other world premieres include The Mountain Between Us, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, and The Current War, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland and Nicholas Hoult.

The Thick Of It creator Armando Iannucci will also debut his latest satire, The Death Of Stalin.

British director Joe Wright, known for Atonement, will show political drama Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman starring as Winston Churchill.

Judi Dench will head to the festival with Victoria & Abdul, in which she once again plays the 19th-century monarch, and Helen Mirren attends with The Leisure Seeker.

Jolie will showcase First They Killed My Father, the account of living under Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge which she also co-wrote, and Clooney will screen his crime comedy Suburbicon.

Tiff opens with Borg/McEnroe starring the mercurial actor Shia LaBeouf as fiery tennis great John McEnroe.

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs until September 17.

Press Association

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