“How to Blow Up a Pipeline”
Writer/director Daniel Goldhaber comes to Toronto this year with what sounds like it could be one of this year’s timeliest thrillers. At what point, does climate activism require drastic action? Haven’t we passed that point already given the consistent flow of stories about the state of the world? Goldhaber adapts the novel by Andreas Malm about an activist (Ariela Barer) who thinks we crossed that line long ago and is willing to turn to sabotage and violence to change the world. This project’s potential blend of character study, action thriller, and social commentary makes it one of the most intriguing of this year’s TIFF program. Premieres 9/10.
Pay attention, A24 hive. The beloved distributors have a smaller-than-average presence at this year’s fest, but one of their most interesting projects is this directorial debut from Elegance Bratton that will be a part of this year’s opening night. Bratton tells a story based on his own life, chronicling the emotional saga of a young man who joins the Marine Corps after being kicked out of his own home when he was only 16 by his homophobic mother. Jeremy Pope stars in a film that also boasts moving supporting turns from Bokeem Woodbine and Gabrielle Union. TIFF calls this “a heartfelt love letter to survival and staying true to oneself despite adversity on all fronts.” This could be one of the most powerful films of the year. Premieres 9/8.
“The Lost King”
Stephen Frears doesn’t get enough love. Sure, not all of his dramas work, but he’s been relatively consistent for almost four decades now, helming flicks such as “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Grifters,” “Mrs. Henderson Presents,” “Philomena,” and many more—and most of his movies play TIFF. The hard-working British director comes to Toronto this year with one of his best leading ladies in Sally Hawkins, who plays a writer who becomes obsessed with discovering the location of the remains of Richard III and even working to rehabilitate his reputation. Frears is an underrated director of performance, especially actresses, and so there’s a ton of potential in seeing how he collaborates with the wonderful Ms. Hawkins. Premieres 9/9.