The Toronto International Film Festival has just announced its initial line-up and it’s a blockbuster. This year will be a blockbuster.

What? You want some names?

How about these names:

George Clooney
Brad Pitt
U2 – the opening night gala

And SO many more.

I’m just trying to process the press release now so my thoughts might be all over the place but here’s a quick snapshot:

Clooney will present both The Descendents, directed by Alexander Payne, and his own film The Ides of March, also starring Ryan Gosling. The Ides of March is actually a gala presentation. Gosling too has two films at TIFF. His Drive will screen in Toronto as well.

Other galas include Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method with Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley; Luc Besson’s The Lady; Butter with Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman; Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz with Michelle Williams; and Moneyball directed by Bennett Miller, starring, yes, Brad Pitt.

It’s a gala. Which means the Brange. They will walk. In Toronto. Where they’ve caused riots. And if their gala is anywhere near George’s? Like the same weekend? And they all hook up and go out? Please. Please of course it’s Good for Gossip.

One more...

Gala, I mean.

Madonna’s film W.E. is getting a gala. Oh la.

And here begins Harvey Weinstein’s Oscar campaign. He’s says it’s good. Roger Friedman’s sources have said it’s good. I asked several people at Comic-Con this weekend who saw 5 minutes of it and they said it was good, “beautiful” even.

I’m looking at this list and already I have a headache thinking about coverage, and that’s only just the very, very beginning.

Here’s the list of a few select special presentations:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen will be featured in 50/50. Fernando Meirelles’s 360 stars Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz, and Ben Foster, and Jude is ALWAYS good to go in Toronto; Salma Hayek has Americano; and Ralph Fiennes and Spittle will undoubtedly attend the North American premiere of Coriolanus. Spittle will also be supporting Machine Gun Preacher. Two films in the festival? He’s definitely, definitely coming.

Did I mention the Jon Hamm?

Friends With Kids, written and directed by Jennifer Westfeldt, will have its world premiere in Toronto. And making it two for two, Blake Lively has a movie, Hick, also a world premiere.

Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty will be a TIFF world premiere and Pedro Almodovar will be presenting his The Skin I Live In with Antonio Banderas.

Finally, other notables include Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt which just panelled at Comic-Con, and We Need To Talk About Kevin which... when you see it, Tilda will blow you away.

No doubt I’ve missed several. And some of you know-it-all tightasses will be all over me for not examining many other films. This initial post however is about the Names. So many, many, MANY names. We have the next month to analyse everything else to death. But first, you need to go get your TIFF packages. This is not a year to skip.

Also – TIFF has promised more announcements and there are rumours that Johnny Depp’s Rum Diary could be coming too.


Johnny, George, Brad, Madonna, U2 all in one festival with the Jolie hanging around too?

See you in Toronto in September.

Attached – George Clooney heading out of LA yesterday. What do you think George Clooney listens to?

Photos from