One of the most exciting events of the year in Toronto has finally arrived. TIFF 2021 begins this Thursday, September 9th, and the next two weeks will be chock-full of buzz-worthy movies and celebrity sightings. The festival has announced the biggest stars that will grace the red carpet at this year’s event, which will be a hybrid of online and in-person screenings at indoor, outdoor, and drive-in venues around the city.
Some of the most noteworthy stars include Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sigourney Weaver, Richard Jenkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, and Lily Rose-Depp, Dionne Warwick, and many more.
To get you even more excited about the festival, here are 7 of the highly-anticipated films premiering at TIFF 2021.
This film is directed by Theodore Melfi and stars Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, and Kevin Kline. Melissa plays Lilly, a woman who is struggling to hold it together after the loss of her baby. Lilly seeks help to process her grief as her husband recovers in a psychiatric clinic. This is a unique role for comedy queen McCarthy and seeing her venture into new territory is sure to be exciting.
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield star as Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, the power couple behind a multimillion-dollar televangelist empire. “Together, they refined the message and delivery of the prosperity gospel that would attract so many followers to their satellite network and Heritage USA theme park at the height of their success, before Jim’s conviction for defrauding viewers and donors in 1989,” says the film’s description. The film also paints an intimate portrait of Tammy Faye and tells the story of her early life.
Anything starring Naomi Watts has our attention, and this film sounds absolutely riveting. Watts plays a mother racing against time to save her son, who is caught in the middle of an attack by an active shooter at his high school. The film “plunges us headlong into a desperate scenario unfolding in real-time,” according to the description and we have chills just thinking about it.
The Power of the Dog
Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst star in this “hotly anticipated” film set in Montana in the 1920s. It’s an adaptation of Thomas Savage’s cult novel of the same name, and it tells the story of two rancher brothers whose lives are transformed by a widow and her son. It’s described as a “fascinating study of masculinity and internal torment,” directed by the renowned Jane Campion.
This sci-fi epic features an outstanding cast — Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, and Zendaya. It’s directed by Denis Villeneuve and it’s one of the most anticipated films of the year. Chalamet plays Paul Atreides, the heir to the throne of the universe’s most important planet. He is tasked with protecting the planet’s natural resource but must overcome a series of challenges to do so. Featuring “eye-popping action sequences set against dazzling vistas,” this film is a must-watch.
Dear Evan Hansen
This award-winning musical is officially coming to the big screen, starring Julianne Moore and Ben Platt and directed by Stephen Chbosky, who gave us The Perks of Being a Wallflower back at TIFF 2012. Platt plays a high school student with an anxiety disorder who creates a whole new life to get himself out of an awkward situation with his crush’s brother, as it all threatens to unravel at any minute.
Starring Keira Knightley and Lily-Rose Depp, this film takes you through a family Christmas dinner in the English countryside with a morbid twist — everyone is going to die. It’s a film that fuses dark comedy with existential angst, “rooted in brilliantly conceived characters and wry observations about class and social order,” says the description. And it’s directed by Camille Griffin, so you know it’ll be fascinating.