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TIFF ’10: The Road to Toronto starts “Here”

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: There are 21 days left until the 35th Toronto International Film Festival begins on Sept. 9. And while I’m eager for the cinematic feast to get going, I feel like I need another month to prepare, both mentally and physically.

But the fest waits for no man, so I’m gearing up, buckling down, and combing the staggering list of announced titles to make a must-see list.

Want to know what’s on it?

Our new feature, The Road to Toronto, previews the 20 films I’m most looking forward to seeing at this year’s TIFF. First and foremost, I’m a movie fanatic who hopes to be entertained. But I’ll also be watching with an eye toward the upcoming Oscar race, so I’ll go over each film’s prospects as I preview what looks to be the best of the fest.

And let me just say, this list was impossible to create. TIFF 2010 boasts an impressive selection of international titles from proven filmmakers and talented actors. I easily could have previewed 50 anticipated films, but as I mentioned, there’s just no time.

Our Road to Toronto 2010 starts, in no particular order, with:

I’m Still Here

The Plot: Casey Affleck’s cameras follow Joaquin Phoenix as the Oscar nominee quits acting, publically melts down, and tries to launch a hip-hop career.

The Cast: Joaquin Phoenix

The Director: The younger Affleck brother, making his feature-film debut.

The Scoop: We still remember the beard, the sunglasses, and Phoenix’s bizarre behavior. Now we’ll get to see if the strange happenings on late-night television talk shows and the publicity circuit for “Two Lovers” was legitimate, or part of an elaborate hoax cooked up by Affleck and his star.

Awards Potential: It’s possible Affleck’s picture could pole-vault him into a Best Documentary race that’s usually populated by international entries.

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