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TIFF: Movie Heaven

Boise Weekly heads to the Toronto International Film Festival


Boise Weekly readers are so smart. They always seem to know which films are Oscar-bound long before the casual moviegoer. Right about this time last year, they were reading how a soon-to-be released action thriller would be the film to beat at the 2013 Academy Awards. Two years ago, they were buzzing about a silent black-and-white comedy that would soon gain critical acclaim. Three years ago, they were privy to an interview with the star, director and screenwriter of a film about King George VI's stuttering problem. Of course, we're talking about Oscar's last three Best Pictures: Argo, The Artist and The King's Speech. BW reported from each premiere, trumpeting their acclaim from previous editions of the Toronto International Film Festival, a fall firehose of movies which shoots hundreds of films at fans and critics in rapid succession.

Customs and Immigration officials would have a problem if we tried wedging you into our suitcases, but we like to think that our readers are along for the ride each September when we head north to TIFF. And while there are 288 features this year--the majority of them world premieres--there are only so many films we can see during the 10-day screenfest (FYI, on most days we see five, no less than four).

This year, we're particularly excited to grab an aisle seat to see The Fifth Estate, with Benedict Cumberbatch starring as Julian Assange in the story of WikiLeaks; the amazing Idris Elba (TV's Luther) in the title role of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Rush, Oscar winner Ron Howard's film on formula one car racing; George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in Gravity, a thriller about being lost in deep space; and the controversial Blue is the Warmest Color, which set this year's Cannes Film Festival aflame with its scenes of extreme intimacy.

Also on our must-watch list:

12 Years as a Slave: Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt in the story of a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery.

August: Osage County: Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts in the film version of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner.

Devil's Knot: Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon in director Atom Egoyan's telling of the West Memphis Three.

The Invisible Woman: Ralph Fiennes in the story of Charles Dickens' mysterious relationship with a married woman.

The Railway Man: Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in the story of redemption for a prisoner of war.

You Are Here: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis and Amy Poehler in a new comedy.

We'll be overdosing on popcorn and blogging from TIFF until mid-September. Look for our coverage at