For those of us who are obsessed with movies, fall means a slew of new films to drool over and is typically seen as the start of Oscar season. The Toronto Film Festival (September 4-14) is typically a pretty good indication of how the Academy Awards will play out, letting everyone know ahead of time which flicks are the best and which are big disappointments. Though other festivals have started to take some of TIFF's spotlight, forcing the festival to share film premieres, it's still a pretty big deal—even without the competitive nature of fests like Cannes. They may not give tons of awards, but TIFF does give a People's Choice Award that's voted on by the audience and in the past has been a pretty big indication of which flicks could end up Best Picture nominees at the Oscars. Besides, we don't have to see The Imitation Game to know that Benedict Cumberbatch is already being pinpointed for a Best Actor nom or that Reese Witherspoon will probably be up getting a Best Actress nom for Wild.
Regardless as to whether the following films are actually making their worldwide debut at TIFF or have already screened elsewhere, these are the 12 titles we are the most excited to see.
Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Michaël R. Roskam
Writers: Dennis Lehane (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (short story Animal Rescue)
Stars: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini
Storyline: Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living—no matter the cost.
Photo Courtesy of Odd Lot Entertainment
Director: Jon Stewart
Writers: Jon Stewart (screenplay), Maziar Bahari (book), Aimee Molloy (book)
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Golshifteh Farahani
Storyline: A journalist (Gael García Bernal) is detained in Iran for more than 100 days and brutally interrogated in prison.
Photo Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
Director: Theodore Melfi
Writer: Theodore Melfi (screenplay)
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Bill Murray
Storyline: A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic, war veteran (Bill Murray) who lives next door.
Photo Courtesy of Columbia TriStar
Director: Liv Ullmann
Writers: August Strindberg (play), Liv Ullmann (screenplay)
Stars: Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Storyline: Over the course of a midsummer night in Fermanagh in 1890, an unsettled daughter of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy (Jessica Chastain) encourages her father's valet (Colin Farrell) to seduce her.
Photo Courtesy of The Weinstein Company
The Imitation Game
Director: Morten Tyldum
Writers: Andrew Hodges (book), Graham Moore (screenplay)
Stars: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Storyline: English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), helps crack the Enigma code during World War II.
Photo Courtesy of Treehouse Films
Black and White
Director: Mike Binder
Writer: Mike Binder
Stars: Kevin Costner, Jennifer Ehle, Anthony Mackie, Octavia Spencer
Storyline: A grieving widower (Kevin Costner) is drawn into a custody battle over his granddaughter, whom he helped raise her entire life.
Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Productions
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Writers: Nick Hornby, Cheryl Strayed (memoir)
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gaby Hoffmann
Storyline: A chronicle of one woman's 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.
Photo Courtesy of Warner Brothers
Director: David Dobkin
Writers: Nick Schenk (screenplay), Bill Dubuque (screenplay)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Billy Bob Thornton
Storyline: Big city lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) returns to his childhood home where his father (Robert Duvall), the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth and, along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.
Photo Courtesy of Scott Rudin Productions
While We’re Young
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Stars: Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts, Ben Stiller, Adam Driver
Storyline: An uptight documentary filmmaker (Ben Stiller) and his wife (Naomi Watts) find their lives loosened up a bit after befriending a free-spirited younger couple.
Photo Courtesy of Gail Katz Productions
Director: Edward Zwick
Writers: Steven Knight, Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson
Stars: Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, Tobey Maguire
Storyline: American chess champion Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) prepares for a legendary match-up against Russian Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber).
Photo Courtesy of Pot Boiler Productions
A Little Chaos
Director: Alan Rickman
Writer: Alison Deegan
Stars: Kate Winslet, Helen McCrory, Alan Rickman
Storyline: A female landscape-gardener (Kate Winslet) is awarded the esteemed assignment to construct the grand gardens at Versailles, a gilt-edged position which thrusts her to the very center of the court of King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman).
Photo Courtesy of Bold Films
Director: Dan Gilroy
Writer: Dan Gilroy
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
Storyline: A young man (Jake Gyllenhaal) stumbles upon the underground world of L.A. freelance crime journalism.