Hot off its victory as the Winner of the People’s Choice Award at TIFF ’13, Steve McQueen‘s Oscar Contender 12 Years a Slave soon gets a release, starting with Toronto first. Both Fox Searchlight Canada and Mr. Will Wong would like Readers to experience first the Film everyone’s raving about emphatically!
The Screening takes place the week of October 14, 2013. Final time/venue to be announced.
In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender), as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon‘s chance meeting with a Canadian Abolitionist (Brad Pitt) will forever alter his life. Based on the Book by Solomon Northup.
12 Years a Slave also stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti and Lupita Nyong’o.
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With great sadness, we must say farewell to another TIFF. And with fatigue, a limp in my right foot and great pain in my neck today after a gruelling run these past 11 days, I look back at the happy times, the regrets and what TIFF ’14 might hold. Despite all these mixed emotions, I know it won’t be long before I’m begging for more! I live for the Toronto International Film Festival – the greatest in Film Festival the World – and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
Here’s a look back at some of the Highlights for me of the Festival in Compiled Lists:
MR. WILL’S MOST GRACIOUS 10
Anyone who encountered these Stars up-close and personal during TIFF ’13 can vouch that they deserve a warm round of applause for the respect, appreciation and courtesy they’ve shown our City. Whether it be Jessica Chastain‘s consistent grace and humility towards her Fans, Brad Pitt‘s surprise Red Carpet appearance in which he took several Photos with Fans at the 12 Years a Slave Premiere, Hugh Jackman stopping in the rain outside the Press Conference for Prisoners to meet and great all his Supporters individually – these Stars understand exactly what the Festival is all about for us Fans!
1. Jessica Chastain
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Tom Hiddleston
4. Daniel Radcliffe
5.. Brad Pitt
6. Josh Brolin
7. Hugh Jackman
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Nicolas Cage
10. Emma Thompson
MR. WILL’S SUCCESSFUL 6
These six Films gained a great amount of buzz and momentum coming out of TIFF ’13 in advance of their forthcoming Awards Season Best Picture Campaigns. Sadly, August: Osage Country didn’t wind up getting critical love universally (I enjoyed it much!) hoped for, but it still remains a major Contender in the Acting categories – especially for a heartbreakingly-absent Queen Meryl Streep.
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Labor Day
3. Dallas Buyers Club
MR. WILL’S EMERGING 5
These five up-and coming Stars caused quite a stir wherever they spotted around TIFF ’13. This time next year, expect to know them pretty much on a first name-basis.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Emilia Clarke
3. Daniel Brühl
4. Jai Courtney
5. Taylor Schilling
MR. WILL’S NAUGHTY LIST
Although we try to keep things positive here, we remain hopeful that next time these Stars visit our City, they show us a bit more Fan Appreciation – not just only when the Cameras are on – than they showed this year. Little things like picking-up a Sharpie or taking time to pose for Photos with Fans, or maybe not distancing themselves a 15 feet from the Barricades where their Fans had queued for hours to see them, would be a first step. In all fairness, some had hyper-assertive Handlers or lateness to blame.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Mila Kunis
5. Emilia Clarke
MR. WILL’S FASHIONABLE 5
These Stars certainly made a Statement whether it be out and about in our City or on the Red Carpet. I still cannot get over Kitsch‘s gray-on-gray Suit he wore at the Premiere of The Grand Seduction and certainly was a bit obsessed with Toni Collette‘s new Bangs. Julia Roberts was a Vision in her Dolce & Gabbana Dress at the Premiere of August: Osage County too, but my favourite look was Sandra Bullock at the Gravity Premiere in Narciso Rodriguez!
1. Sandra Bullock
2. Julia Roberts
3. Taylor Kitsch
4. Toni Collette
5. Jessica Chastain
And who exactly did Mr. Will got a Photo-with at TIFF ’13?
Ben Cotton, Dane Cook, Jason Reitman, Josh Brolin, Nicole Kidman, Anika Noni Rose, Bill Condon, Donnie Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg, Jack Huston, Tom Arnold, John Torturro, Lauren Lee Smith, Sami Gayle, Mary Walsh, Saoirse Ronan, Michael C. Hall, Tye Sheridan, Katie Boland, Aaron Abrams, Kelly Rowan, Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Schilling, Effie Exarchopoulos, Dan Stevens, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander, Tom Hiddleston, deadmau5, Carice Van Houten, Tom Welling, Vanessa Paradis, Michael Bolton, Alice Cooper, Taylor Kitsch, Toni Collette, Dakota Fanning, Jai Courtney, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Jared Harris, Adelaide Kane, James Lafferty, Jennifer Morrison, David Arquette, Alfre Woodard, Ryan Kwanten, Catherine O’Hara, Mark Boone Junior, Will Forte, Emma Thompson, Cara Gee, Demian Bichir, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Alfonso Cuaron, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Thompson (again!), Lea Seydoux, Robert Baker, Amanda Walsh, Adam Driver, Keanu Reeves and Nicolas Cage.
To re-visit some of the amazing names that I snapped in the City over the Festival, click here.
To read some of my Reviews of the Films that premiered at TIFF ’13, click here. More Reviews to come over the next day or two as I play catch-up after all the madness.
…until next year, Wongsters!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos taken on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
It’s only Day One of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and already our City is lit bright on Star Power alone. Although all eyes are on the Opening Night Gala, of Bill Condon‘s The Fifth Estate over at Roy Thomson Hall, several Stars were spotted out today, a taste of the excitement to come over the course of the next eleven days.
Benedict Cumberbatch undoubtedly has thrust himself into the Spotlight as Hollywood’s Next “It” Boy and with three Films at TIFF ’13, he has commanded attention from all. The Star of Box Office Hit Star Trek Into Darkness, was spotted at a Cocktail Party prior to heading to his Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall. Although not many Fans got their coveted Photos with him nor Autographs signed, citing fatigue, Cumberbatch was ever dapper in a Tuxedo and in good spirits at the star-studded Afterparty for The Fifth Estate.
TIFF‘s relationship with Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has been noted and although the Pacific Rim Director really is in town to prep upcoming Series, The Strain, he is known to partake in TIFF Festivities. Don’t be surprised if he’s sitting next to you at a Screening this weekend!
Canadian Actress Cara Gee recently was named one of TIFF‘s Rising Stars for 2013 starring in Empire of Dirt. The stunning Beauty was seen mingling tonight at The Fifth Estate‘s Afterparty with EE BAFTA Rising Star Award-winning Actress Juno Temple (seen second below) who left her with some supportive parting words. The always delightful Temple stars in Horns opposite Daniel Radcliffe, premiering later tonight.
We spotted Daniel Brühl arriving in Toronto just yesterday and although he was a little Fan-shy then, he delivered upon his promise at the Roy Thomson Hall Red Carpet Premiere for The Fifth Estate and also again at the Afterparty for the Film. He will continue to be in the City for the next week, promoting also Ron Howard‘s Rush in which he stars as Formula 1 Driver Niki Lauda.
An absolute vision of beauty, Swedish Actress Alicia Vikander stunned in an elegant green floral print dress at the Premiere for The Fifth Estate in which she plays the important role of Anke, Wife of WikiLeaks Spokesperson Daniel Berg (Brühl). In addition to being amazing to Fans, she also will be starring in eagerly-awaited Fantasy Seventh Son next, making her one to look out for.
Dutch Actress Carice van Houten has gained a Cult Following thanks to her work as Melisandre on HBO‘s Game of Thrones. Her star continues to rise on an international level, starring in The Fifth Estate as Birgitta Jónsdóttir and she was delightful with Fans. After the Afterparty for the Film she was the only Cast member amazing enough to greet Fans from the Patio of the Venue.
Downton Abbey Fans will rejoice that handsome Star Dan Stevens (Dan Crawley) is at TIFF ’13 after all for The Fifth Estate! The British Star was amazingly nice to stop for Fans both at the Airport today, arriving just hours before his Red Carper Premiere and again at the Event itself!
We wouldn’t be in Toronto without a shout-out to our amazing Homegrown Talent. World-famous DJ and Producer Deadmau5 was spotted out and about tonight at The Fifth Estate Afterparty with his new Girlfriend, Actress/Singer Sophie Tweed-Simmons (Daughter of Gene). The latter of course got to ride “Shotgun” in his new Ferrari 458 Italia as the zoomed off into the night.
They don’t come any classier than the brilliant Tom Hiddleston and he couldn’t have been any more kind to his Fans thus far in his TIFF ’13 visit for Only Lovers Left Alive. The British Star known best for his work in The Avengers/Thor as Loki, graciously zipped his way through the large crowd of Fans at Ryerson Theatre tonight, signing as many Autographs as fast as he could. Our Snap I will reveal at a later date, I being one of the few to get one!
It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Anton Yelchin at TIFF, but he remains a true Gentleman and also a name just below the radar still. The Actor who filmed Charlie Bartlett here in Toronto back in 2007, stars alongside Hiddleston in Vampire-ThrillerOnly Lovers Left Alive as one of the few Human Characters, Ian. As always, he was outstanding to his Supporters at the Premiere.
Although we met her this Summer in Toronto filming David Cronenberg‘s Maps to the Stars, Rising Star Mia Wasikowska always is a pleasure to see and she is fully supporting her three Films at the Festival this year: The Double, Tracks and of course Only Lovers Left Alive. She was a vision in red at the Ryerson Theatre Red Carpet but unfortunately several Fans were left disappointed as she zipped by into the theatre. Better luck next time?
An unexpected name tonight at The Fifth Estate Afterparty was Colin Hanks, who was a late confirmation for Historical-Drama Parkland. The Son of Tom who was recently in the City filming No Stranger Than Love, has a shot at being back at TIFF ’14 with that Romantic-Comedy. Although opting to be low-key, he still obliged for Fans looking for a Photo, taking the Selfie himself.
Tom Welling, known best for playing Clark Kent on Smallville also was a surprise at the Afterparty for The Fifth Estate, here to present Parkland tomorrow night at Roy Thomson Hall. Set on the day President John F. Kennedy died, he plays his Right-Hand Man, Roy Kellerman.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos taken on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
There is absolutely no way this isn’t going to be amazing. Based on the Award-winning Play August: Osage County, The Weinstein Co. just released this brand new Trailer for this upcoming Film Adaptation. It centers around three strong-willed Women brought back to the Midwest after a Crisis takes place, reuniting them with the dysfunctional Woman who raised them; John Wells (Shameless, ER) directs.
Take a deep breath. The Cast includes: Julia Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Cooper, Sam Shepard and of course, MERYL STREEP!
August: Osage County looks to deliver tons of sass and lands in theatres November 8, 2013.
Watch the Trailer:
Those of you attending TIFF ’13 can see it first: Monday, September 9, 2013 – Roy Thomson Hall at 6:30 PM Tuesday, September 10, 2013 – Visa Screening Room (Elgin) at 11:00 AM
(Photo/video credit: The Weinstein Co./eOne Films)
At long last the TIFF ’13 Guest List has been announced and among the Marquee names we can expect to see in Toronto in two weeks are phenomenal! Although speak of Brad Pitt and George Clooney making appearances here didn’t amount to much more than rumour, this year the Female Contingent shines brightest with several of Hollywood’s A-List set to present their latest Oscar Vehicles here.
Among the Celebrities expected this year are:
Emilia Clarke, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Tom Felton, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Scarlett Johansson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Sarah Gadon, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Mike Myers, Emma Thompson, Kristen Wiig, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Amy Poehler, Keanu Reeves, Kate Winslet, Adam Driver, Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Owen Wilson, Ralph Fiennes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Gyllenhaal, JudeLaw, Jessica Chastain, Jai Courtney, Mila Kunis, Pierce Brosnan, Sandra Bullock, Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth, Idris Elba, Ed Harris, Michael C. Hall, Annette Benning, James McAvoy, Liam Neeson, Steven Soderbergh, Ben Foster, Anton Yelchin, Maria Bello, Jennifer Garner, Nicolas Cage, Daniel Brühl, Tom Hiddleston, Jack Huston, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Lange, Melissa Leo, Adam Levine, Catherine O’Hara, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Berenger, Tom Wilkinson, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Clive Owen, Zach Galifianakis, Emily Watson, John Hawkes, Alan Rickman, Toni Collette, Josh Brolin, Alice Cooper, Tiger Chen, Rebecca Hall, Will Forte, Kevin Zegers, Taylor Kitsch, Juliette Binoche, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard, James Hetfield, Thomas Haden Church, Tim Robbins, Glenn Close, Dakota Fanning, Philip Glass and several more!
Keep checking back here as the Toronto International Film Festival makes additions as we get closer to Thursday, September 5, 2013 when TIFF ’13 kicks-off! The Festival runs till Sunday, September 15, 2013.
The official Schedule has been announced and you can now start planning your Festival right here. Download the Official Schedule right here!
Single Tickets go on sale on Sunday, September 1, 2013 on TIFF‘s Website here.
Things are about to get real exciting around here! Happy TIFF, indeed!
With TIFF ’13 just two weeks away, a brand new Poster for Opening Night Gala Film, The Fifth Estate has just been released. After having reviewed it just last week, I’d say it just about captures its mood perfectly – chilly, gray, modern and industrial. The Fifth Estate is directed by Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga, Dreamgirls) and sees a release on Friday, October 18, 2013.
Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a Dramatic Thriller based on real events, The Fifth Estate reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. The Story begins as WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team up to become underground watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows Whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of Government secrets and Corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?
A Dramatic Thriller based on real events, The Fifth Estate reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization.
See the brand new Official Poster below:
If you are looking to see The Fifth Estate (a term used to describe Citizen Journalism) at TIFF ’13, you have two chances on the evening of Thursday, September 5, 2013 at both Roy Thomson Hall and Elgin Theatre (VISA Screening Room).
See who’s coming to town this TIFF, in addition to Cumberbatch and Brühl, right here!
(Photo credit: DreamWorks Pictures/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
At long last a Trailer finally has surfaced for Oscar Contender, THE FIFTH ESTATE! Although it’s not out till October 18, 2013 – meaning Benedict Cumberbatch will have two Movies out on one day, meaning that he could well join the likes of Jessica Chastain, having the distinction of starring in the Top Two Films at the Box Office on one weekend!
Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a Dramatic-Thriller based on real events, THE FIFTH ESTATE reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st Century’s most fiercely debated organization. The Story begins as WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) team-up to become underground Watchdogs of the privileged and powerful. On a shoestring, they create a platform that allows Whistleblowers to anonymously leak covert data, shining a light on the dark recesses of government secrets and corporate crimes. Soon, they are breaking more hard news than the world’s most legendary media organizations combined. But when Assange and Berg gain access to the biggest trove of confidential intelligence documents in U.S. history, they battle each other and a defining question of our time: what are the costs of keeping secrets in a free society—and what are the costs of exposing them?
The Fifth Estate also stars: Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Peter Capaldi, Carice van Houten, Dan Stevens, with Stanley Tucci and Laura Linney
Watch the Trailer below:
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
Although we don’t know for sure, I’m almost certain this will be at TIFF ’13 this September as it would be the perfect Launching Pad for its Oscar Campaign. Everything about the Drama 12 Years a Slave says Awards and a brand new Trailer just surfaced today for it! How can we resist the Canadian connection this Story and above all, Brad Pitt playing one of us?
12 YEARS A SLAVE is based on an incredible true Story of one Man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent Slave Owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian Abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.
Solomon Northrup Day celebrates its 15th Anniversary on Saturday, July 20, 2013.
The Drama also stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodard, Chris Chalk, Taran Killam and Bill Camp; Steve McQueen directs.
Watch the Trailer below:
Fox Searchlight releases 12 Years a Slave on October 18, 2013.
Could we ask for anything more? Careful not to give too much away still, this brand new Trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim has just been released, focussing almost exclusively on the War between Monsters and Robots. In a scintillating display of Action, Destruction and neon-lit Chaos, this Toronto-filmed Action-Adventure looks to deliver on every scale in a big way.
Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, Clifton Collins Jr. and Idris Elba star.
Watch the Trailer below:
And while we’re on it, news has just surfaced that del Toro‘s next Feature Crimson Peak will begin production in Toronto July 2014. Let’s roll-out the Welcome Mat for Emma Stone, Jessica Chastain, Benedict Cumberbatch and once again Hunnam!
Warner Bros. releases Pacific Rim on July 12, 2013.
We all know Guillermo del Toro loves Toronto, but he really walks the walk in a recent Chat with Collider where he confirms that his next couple Projects are slated to Film in Toronto. Call this City del Toronto if you will. With his epic Pacific Rim, filmed here last Winter, recently greenlit for a Sequel we learned that both his upcoming FX TV Series, based upon his and Chuck Hogan‘sTrilogy of the same name The Strain, begins filming later this year throughout early next year. It is set in a World where Vampires rule and Humans are enslaved. Following that, the likes of Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone Mia Wasikowska, Benedict CumberbatchTom Hiddleston and again Charlie Hunnam (who stars in Pacific Rim also) may be here as early as next Spring to begin Production on Crimson Peak.
“We’re shooting The Strain in Toronto, Crimson Peak in Toronto, and I love Toronto so much. We’re basically moving there for a couple of years at least. It also has the best cinematheque in the world, the Lightbox. TIFF is amazing, and I’m doing a Hitchcock series every December there. We’re going to do it every December for films by Hitchcock, talking to the audience about them, and doing a little class if you would. It’s a great community.”.
About Crimson Peak, del Toro is v. vague, but does reveal to Total Film:
“It’s the turn of the century. So it’s at the turn of the century and half of the movie takes place in America, and the other half takes place in a crumbling mansion in Cumbria (Northwest England). And basically it’s a ghost story and gothic romance, trying to subvert the rules of the usual gothic romance.”.
Not only did I get to work on Pacific Rim for a week last year doing Background Work, I caught-up with del Toro last Winter as he hosted one of those mentioned Alfred Hitchock Master Classes at TIFF Bell Lightbox. Here’s a hint, he quite literally loves that Building and adores Luma, dining there frequently.
Although some finishing touches were applied early March in Toronto with Re-shoots, Warner Bros. at long last releases Pacific Rim on July 12, 2013. I’ll be posting a Post about my week on-set following the release – stay tuned!