LOS ANGELES (AP) — Music is highlighting next month’s Toronto International Film Festival, with a Michael Jackson documentary from Spike Lee and a closing-night film featuring Vanessa Redgrave as a terminally ill choir singer.
Lee’s documentary Bad 25 marks the 25th anniversary of Jackson’s 1987 album Bad. The film features footage shot by Jackson himself, along with interviews with such stars and music producers as Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Sheryl Crow and L.A. Reid.
Organizers announced Tuesday that Redgrave’s Song for Marion will close the Toronto festival, which runs Sept. 6 to 16 and is one of the key cinema gatherings that kick off Hollywood’s fall movie lineup and Academy Awards season.
KIDMAN IN FLORIDA
Toronto planners announced dozens of other films for the festival’s 11-day run, among them Peter Webber's Emperor, starring Tommy Lee Jones as Gen. Douglas MacArthur in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat in World War II; Dante Ariola’s Arthur Newman, a romance with Colin Firth and Emily Blunt centered on a former golf hot shot who became a notorious choker on the pro circuit; and Brian De Palma’s Passion, an erotic thriller featuring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace.
Other Toronto highlights include Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy, a murder tale set in 1960s Florida that stars Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack and Zac Efron; Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, with James Franco, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens in a tale of college girls on a wild vacation; Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the story of a World War II Navy veteran drawn into a cult by a charismatic leader; and Scott McGehee and David iegel’s What Maisie Knew, with Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan in an adaptation of a Henry James tale about a girl caught in a custody battle.
Among previously announced films at Toronto are the opening-night premiere Looper, a sci-fi thriller starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Blunt; Keira Knightley's Leo Tolstoy adaptation Anna Karenina, featuring Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson; Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage rescue saga Argo, co-starring Bryan Cranston and John Goodman; and Robert Redford’s fugitive manhunt tale The Company You Keep, co-starring Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon and Terrence Howard.
FROM SLUM TO OSCAR
Along with the Venice and Telluride festivals that precede it, Toronto typically is a prime launch spot for many Oscar contenders. Among past Oscar winners that played the festival were The King's Speech, The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and Crash.