Lantana chosen to close the Toronto film festival
List of confirmed celebrities includes Mick Jagger
Jessica Lange, Harvey Keitel, Steve Martin, Glenn Close, John Cusack and
Mick Jagger are a few of the dozens of celebrities confirmed to attend this
year's Toronto International Film Festival, which begins in two weeks.
Along with the celebrity list and complete film lineup for the 26th annual
event, festival organizers yesterday announced that Lantana, from
Australian director Ray Lawrence (Bliss), will be the closing night gala.
The film, starring Geoffrey Rush and Barbara Hershey, is a psychological
thriller about a woman (Hershey) whose daughter is murdered and who
suspects her husband is being unfaithful.
Other new films announced yesterday include Taking Sides, from
Academy Award-winning director István Szabó (Sunshine), starring Harvey Keitel as an American officer
in U.S.-occupied Berlin after the Second World War; Serendipity, a romance with John Cusack and Kate
Beckinsale; and The Triumph of Love, a comedy with Mira Sorvino and Ben Kingsley.
Jagger, the 58-year-old Rolling Stones frontman, will attend the Toronto festival to promote Enigma, a
film he co-produced with Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels. Enigma, which stars Kate Winslet
and Dougray Scott, is a romantic thriller about code-breakers who diffused the threat of German U-boats
during the Second World War.
The final list of special presentations was also announced yesterday, including films with such stars as
Lange, Christina Ricci, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore and Billy Crudup.
Lange, Ricci and Heche all star in the world premiere of Prozac Nation, a film about a young woman
(Ricci) and her battle with depression. The film is based on the best-selling memoir by Elizabeth Wurtzel.
Moore and Crudup star in World Traveler, directed by Bart Freundlich (The Myth of Fingerprints). The film
is about a man who leaves home in distress and starts to travel. On the way, he meets a woman in
search of her son and realizes the good life he left behind.
Sidewalks of New York, the latest film from actor/director Ed Burns (She's the One, The Brothers
McMullen), will have its Canadian premiere at the Toronto festival. The film, a tale of mismatched
couples, stars Burns, Dennis Farina, Stanley Tucci and Heather Graham. Graham also appears in From
Hell, a film at this year's festival based on the infamous Jack the Ripper murder case.
David Mamet returns this year with Heist, a film starring Gene Hackman and Danny DeVito about a thief
who tries to negotiate himself through one last job.
Another special presentation with big-name actors is In the Bedroom, about an upper-middle-class Maine
couple involved in a tragedy, starring Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Marisa Tomei.
Who Is Cletis Tout?, a film about criminals who return to retrieve hidden diamonds, starring Christian
Slater, Portia de Rossi, Tim Allen and Richard Dreyfuss, also will have its world premiere at this year's
The festival will screen a total of 326 films this year, compared with 328 last year. Of those, 249 are
features and 77 are shorts. Twenty-seven of the feature films are Canadian, including the opening night
gala of Vancouver director Bruce Sweeney's Last Wedding, which was announced earlier. As well, 60%
of this year's feature films are in a language other than English. Thirty-two Asian films will be shown,
following the success at last year's event of Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
Festival director Piers Handling said that while there is no single theme at this year's event, a number of
smaller themes have cropped up -- from the nostalgia films of Baby Boomer filmmakers to teen angst
flicks and those that deal with personal loss.