As I wrote when I posted the new images from “Mr. Nobody” and “The White Ribbon”, the Toronto Film Festival starts in a few weeks and like every year, the Festival is loaded with plenty of world premieres. While I had planned on attending this year’s festival as a member of the working press, due to my deciding to attend too late, I missed the cut for getting a press badge. However, I’m still going, and hope to be able to report on the films and interview a lot of the people attending.
Anyway, with the festival gearing up to start, I’ve been provided with a lot of new images from the films premiering. So after the jump take a look at images from Jane Campion’s “Bright Star”, “Creation”, “Defendor”, and “Solitary Man”.
Film info and synopsis’ from the TIFF Website:
Bright Star, would I were steadfast as thou art –
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night,
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature’s patient sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth’s human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors-
No-yet still steadfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow’d upon my fair love’s ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever-or else swoon to death.
—– John Keats -1819
John Keats, the romantic poet, wrote the love poem “Bright Star” for his 18 year-old next door neighbour Fanny Brawne. This is the story of their first love.
Featuring riveting, impassioned performances from real-life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly, Creation is a profoundly humanist rendering of the story of a man whose scientific ideas famously and irrevocably changed the world.
It’s 1858 and Charles Darwin (Bettany) has returned from his far-flung geological explorations on the HMS Beagle to settle into a quiet life in the British countryside. He begins work on On the Origin of Species, destined to become perhaps the most widely read book of natural science. In it, he outlines his theory of evolution through natural selection, inspired by discoveries about the transmutation of species that dispelled the prevailing religious beliefs of the day. After receiving a twenty-page letter from Alfred Russel Wallace describing similar theories, Darwin forges on to finish and publish his work. Met with instant success, the book enacts a paradigm shift within Darwin’s lifetime, inaugurating a new era in biological science.
Rather than simply recount these well-known details of Darwin’s life, however, director Jon Amiel explores the hypothesis that history is written more by the inner workings of the human heart than by a strict adherence to scientific fact. Darwin and his religious, God-fearing wife, Emma (Connelly), lost their first daughter, Annie (a feisty and charming Martha West), to illness when she was nine years old. Darwin fought to overcome his guilt and grief while trying to cope with his increasing estrangement from Emma, who in turn watched with sadness and horror as her husband grew more ill by the day and distanced himself from his four remaining children.
Principal Cast: Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Kat Dennings, Sandra Oh, Michael Kelly
When night falls and danger emerges from the shadows of Hammer Town’s alleyways, Defendor is the only man who stands between us and the drug-ravaged streets. He is the last bastion of decency, the last honourable man: he is Defendor! But he is also Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson), a simple man who lives in the workshop of the construction company that employs him to hold traffic signs. Arthur is a self-made superhero who runs afoul of the law when he lays a beating on an undercover cop, Chuck Dooney (Elias Koteas), who was abusing a young prostitute named Kat (Kat Dennings). Always the hero, Arthur takes Kat to his secret hideout hoping she can help him find his arch-nemesis, the diabolical Captain Industry. Mistakenly convinced that Captain Industry killed his mother, Arthur has made it his mission to track down this enemy at all costs. But in order to do so, he must first overcome his most difficult challenge ever: convincing the court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Park (Sandra Oh) that he’s sane enough to be on the streets.
Principal Cast: Michael Douglas, Mary-Louise Parker, Susan Sarandon, Jenna Fischer, Danny DeVito, Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg
Brian Koppelman and David Levien have been best friends for twenty-seven years and filmmaking partners for the past thirteen. Together they have cowritten the screenplays for Rounders, Ocean’s Thirteen, Runaway Jury, and The Girlfriend Experience among others. Solitary Man, which Koppelman wrote, marks the second time the duo has gotten behind the camera to direct a feature film. As producers Koppelman and Levien are distinguished by The Illusionist, The Lucky Ones, and Interview With The Assassin as well as the television series “Tilt” which they also created.
Michael Douglas stars as a car magnate with a runaway libido, a former owner of a car dealership chain whose career and marriage were destroyed by his business and romantic indiscretions.