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The Most Exciting Films Premiering at TIFF 2014

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Jul 22, 2014 | 3:22pm EDT

The Imitation GameThe Weinstein Company

Sundance is long gone, Cannes sailed away months ago, and both Tribeca and the Los Angeles Film Festivals have cleared away until next year. But when one major film festival ends, another starts putting its lineup together, and this time, it's Canada's time to shine. The Toronto International Film Festival, which will run from September 4 until the 14, has unveiled the list of titles they'll be premiering this year, and it's packed with under-the-radar indies, highly anticipated returns from accliamed directors, and of course, several likely awards contenders. But with nearly 60 films all making their debut in Toronto this fall, it can be hard to pick out the good from the bad and the exciting from the ones you've probably seen before. In an attempt to simplify the decision-making process for you, we've highlighted some of the most exciting films to hit north of the border this fall. 

The Imitation Game
Who’s Involved: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kiera Knightley, Matthew Goode and Charles Dance star
What It’s About: The British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who helped the Allies win WWII by cracking German codes, and was then prosecuted by the government for being homosexual.
Thoughts: Finally, a cast good enough to convince you that math is interesting for two hours.

The Last Five Years  
Who’s Involved:
Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan
What It’s About: A musical that tells the story of a married couple’s five-year relationship – his perspective runs from the day they met to when it all fell apart, and hers from the end back to the beginning.
Thoughts: The perfect example as to why you should pay attention when your theater nerd friend tries plays you cast recordings.  

Foxcatcher 
Who’s Involved:
Bennett Miller directs; Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, and Mark Ruffalo star
What It’s About: Based on a true story, it follows two championship wrestler brothers and the tragic consequences that they face after getting involved with an eccentric millionaire coach.
Thoughts: We really are going to have to come up with the Tatum equivalent of “McConaissance” sometime soon.

A Little Chaos
Who’s Involved:
Alan Rickman directs; Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci and Rickman star
What It’s About: A landscape gardener finds herself struggling with the politics of Louis XIV’s court and her own demons after she’s hired to work at the Garden of Versailles.  
Thoughts: You had us at “Rickman.”

The Riot Club  
Who’s Involved:
Lone Scherfig directs; Sam Claflin, Max Irons, Natalie Dormer and Jessica Brown-Findlay star
What It’s About: A privileged young man is inducted into the “Riot’s Club,” an exclusive, wild group of young men full of debauchery and bad behavior, during his first year at Oxford.
Thoughts: Look! It’s that guy from that thing! And that girl, from that other thing! I like them. They should be in more things.

Before We Go  
Who’s Involved: 
Chris Evans directs; Evans and Alice Eve star 
What It’s About: Two strangers bond over the course of one night in Manhattan, and the conflicts in their lives allow them to explore more about each other and themselves. 
Thoughts: Captain America is directing movies now!

This Is Where I Leave YouWarner Bros. Pictures

This Is Where I Leave You  
Who’s Involved:
Shawn Levy directs; Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Adam Driver, Connie Britton and Jane Fonda star
What It’s About: Four adult siblings return to their childhood home after their father dies. Dysfunction and hijinks ensue.
Thoughts: Does Driver say “outer space” in this? Can we re-write the script so that he does?

Men, Women and Children
Who’s Involved: Jason Reitman directs; Jennifer Garner, Adam Sandler and Judy Greer star
What It’s About: A group of parents and children navigate the way the Internet has changed their relationships and lives.
Thoughts: Well, it’s got be better than Labor Day, right?

Miss Julie  
Who’s Involved:
Liv Ullman directs; Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell star
What It’s About: Set over the course of one night in the 1880s, an aristocratic woman and her father’s valet struggle for power.
Thoughts: Should we also be thinking about the “Farrellissance?”

Nightcrawler 
Who’s Involved:
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, and Bill Paxton star
What It’s About: An ambitious journalist becomes involved with the world of LA nighttime journalism, and the line between spectator and perpetrator becomes blurred.
Thoughts: Oh, so this isn’t an X-Men solo film? That’s slightly disappointing.

Rosewater
Who’s Involved:
Jon Stewart directs; Gael Garcia Bernal stars
What It’s About: The true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, who appeared on The Daily Show before being imprisoned for five months by the Iranian government.
Thoughts: This is the movie that gave us Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, and for that we shall always be grateful.

The Theory of Everything
Who’s Involved:
Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson, and David Thewlis star
What It’s About: The life and relationship of world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Wilde from their first meeting at Cambridge through Hawking’s diagnosis through their numerous accomplishments.
Thoughts: Oscar Season 2014: Alan Turing vs. Stephen Hawking in The Battle of the British Genius Biopics.

Whiplash

Who’s Involved:
Damien Chazelle directs; Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons star
What It’s About: An ambitious jazz drummer who enrolls at a prestigious music conservatory, but must endure the brutal, intense tutelage of a brilliant, drill sergeant-like teacher in order to achieve greatness.
Thoughts: Look, we’ll stop talking about this one once it finally comes out, and not a moment sooner, okay?

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