With less than a month to go before the 2012 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off, TIFF announced a number of additions to this year's roster of flicks yesterday, including the North American premiere of Spike Lee's Michael Jackson documentary and a Jeff Buckley biopic.
Bad 25 sees legendary filmmaker Spike Lee exploring both the creation of Michael Jackson's Bad album and the influence that the artist still has on others today. This celebration of the 25th anniversary of the album includes unseen footage -- some of which was shot by Jackson himself -- and interviews with artists like Mariah Carey and Sheryl Crow.
Greetings From Tim Buckley, which stars Gossip Girl's Penn Badgley, focuses on the days leading up to tragic cult hero Jeff Buckley's legendary performance at his father's tribute concert in 1991. While the film does not have the rights to the junior Buckley's music (another biopic, executive produced by Jeff's mom, Mary Guibert, is in the works), it does feature Anthrax's Frank Bello as underground punk legend Richard Hell and an acting turn by pop star Kate Nash, which should be enough to keep music lovers entertained.
On another musician-turned-actor note, Grammy-winning singer Macy Gray has a supporting role in the noir film The Paperboy (perhaps better known as "the movie where Nicole Kidman and Zac Efron do it"), which will make its North American debut at the festival.
And finally, TIFF is getting a little dose of wub wub, thanks to Spring Breakers, the Harmony Korine film that features a score by dubstep wunderkind Skrillex and stars James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and rapper Gucci Mane.
Bad 25, Greetings From Tim Buckley, The Paperboy and Spring Breakers join an impressive list of music-related flicks that have already been announced as part of this year's festival, including documentaries on Snoop Dogg (Reincarnated) and 30 Seconds to Mars (Artifact) as well as a musical staring written and directed by groundbreaking electroclash provocateur Peaches (Peaches Does Herself) and the latest film by horror director and musician Rob Zombie (The Lords of Salem).
TIFF 2012 runs from September 6-16.
In the future, time travel will be invented -- but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a "looper" - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up. <strong>Cast:</strong> Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano and Jeff Daniels.
When militants storm the U.S. embassy in 1979 Tehran, six Americans manage to slip away. Knowing it's only a matter of time before they are found, a CIA "exfiltration" specialist comes up with a plan to get them out of the country: a plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies <strong>Cast:</strong> Ben Affleck (also directing), Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Kyle Chandler.
'Hyde Park on Hudson'
In June 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Bill Murray) and his wife Eleanor host the King and Queen of England for a weekend at the Roosevelt home at Hyde Park on Hudson in upstate New York --- the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. <strong>Cast:</strong> Murray, Olivia Williams, Samuel West, Olivia Colman and Laura Linney.
'The Perks of Being a Wallflower'
Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, this is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. The film is a moving tale of love, loss, fear, hope and the unforgettable friends who help us through life. <strong>Cast: </strong>Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Nina Dobrev, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Rudd and Dylan McDermott.
This third collaboration of Keira Knightley with acclaimed director Joe Wright is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic love story, adapted from Leo Tolstoy's timeless novel. <strong>Cast:</strong> Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
'Silver Linings Playbook'
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own. <strong>Cast:</strong> Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker and Jacki Weaver.
'To the Wonder'
After visiting Mont Saint-Michel -- once known in France as the Wonder -- at the height of their love, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems soon arise. Marina makes the acquaintance of a priest and fellow exile who struggles with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane. An exploration of love in its many forms. <strong>Cast:</strong> Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams; Director: Terrence Malick.
'The Place Beyond the Pines'
Luke is a professional motorcycle rider who turns to bank robberies to support his newborn son. But when he crosses paths with a rookie police officer, their violent confrontation spirals into a tense generational feud. <strong>Cast:</strong> Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes.
'The Late Quartet'
When the beloved cellist of a world-renowned string quartet is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, the group's future suddenly hangs in the balance. <strong>Cast: </strong>Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mark Ivanir, Imogen Poots, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener.
'Ginger and Rosa'
London, 1962: Two teenage girls, Ginger and Rosa, are inseparable. They play truant together, discuss religion, politics and hairstyles, and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' frustrated domesticity. But as the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, the lifelong friendship of the two girls is threatened. <strong>Cast:</strong> Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Christina Hendricks, Annette Bening and Alessandro Nivola.
A playwright stages a suicide in an attempt to win back her ex, only to wind up in the custody of her gambling-addict mother. <strong>Cast:</strong> Kristen Wiig, Natasha Lyonne, Annette Bening, Darren Criss and Matt Dillon.
Based on a true story, this movie tells the unforgettable account of a family caught in the mayhem of one of the worst natural catastrophes of our time. True-life terror is tempered by the unexpected displays of compassion and simple kindness this family encounters during the darkest hours of their lives. <strong>Cast:</strong> Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast and Ewan McGregor.
The directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman, this is a high-drama comedy about temperamental divas and old grudges, passion and pride, romance and Rigoletto. <strong>Cast: </strong>Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins.