Toronto Film Festival LogoToday I finally found some time to sit down and sift through the 352 official selections of the 2007 Toronto Film Festival. Many hours later, I present to you 65 must see movies at the Toronto International Film Festival. I did the work so that you don’t have to. So why should you care about these films if you’re not making the trip up to Canada in September?

In 1998, Variety acknowledged that the Toronto International Film Festival “is second only to Cannes in terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity.” Roger Ebert has also said that “although Cannes is still larger, Toronto is more useful and more important….”

Toronto is essentially a preview of which Independent to mid-sized film releases might be big in the next five months. The festival is considered a launch pad for many studios to begin “Oscar-buzz” for their films.

How do I know that you should see these movies? Well, in most cases I don’t. I have seen some press screenings of a couple of the films listed below (Valley of Elah, My Kid Could Paint That…) and can personally recommend them. But for the most part, I have no idea. I have cobbled this list from an exhaustive day of research. Some of the films I chose because of the director, writer, or cast. Others because of the plot synopsis.

When a review was available, I read it. If a trailer was available, I watched it. I’ve included films that were recommended to me by trusted friends. Some films that I missed but were highly reviewed at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival (Son of Rambow, The Savages).

I must offer this disclaimer: I tend to be attracted to American, British and Japanese cinema to a fault. I do have a handful of picks outside my comfort realm, but if you’re looking for more “Worldly” selections, you might have to look elsewhere.

It should also be noted that some of the films (especially in the Gala and special presentation sections) will hit theaters within the next two months. Some films even hit theaters days within the festival’s conclusion. I put these movies on the list because they are movies of interest. But you, like me, might want to hold off on some of these flicks until they hit your city next month. For me, there are some films that I won’t be able to resist like Across The Universe and No Country for Old Men. I know they come out sooner rather than later, but I need to see them sooner. I’ve noted the release dates of films that are opening in the next two months, just so you have that information.

I’ll be at the festival for nine and a half days, so chances are, I won’t be able to see all of these films. The reality is, I won’t see even half of these films. I’ll be doing some interviews, so I’ve lowered my goal to around 30 movies, which most people would still consider extreme (that’s at least three movies each day of the festival).

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In The Valley of Elah Movie Poster

In The Valley of Elah PosterWarner Independent has released this new poster for Paul Haggis’ (Crash) In The Valley of Elah (movie trailer).

His new drama is inspired by the true-life case of a retired Army veteran (Tommy Lee Jones) who discovers his son was killed by his own platoon members after they returned stateside but failed to shake battlefield mentality. To be fair, this is director/screenwriter Paul Haggis’s eagerly anticipated follow up to the Oscar-winning 2004 indie-hit Crash. The other films I mentioned above he wrote but didn’t direct. The film is based on an article from Playboy Magazine (who knew they had articles?) written by Mark Boal. Haggis’ fictionalized version also stars Charlize Theron, James Franco, Susan Sarandon, and Josh Brolin. Looks like it has potential. Click on the poster to the right to enlarge.

For me Paul Haggis has been off and on. I thought Million Dollar Baby was okay if not overrated, I loved Crash, Casino Royale, and Letters From Iwo Jima. I liked The Last Kiss more than most, and somewhat disliked Flags of our Fathers. I’m seeing this movie this week, and I’ve heard great things thus far.

Transformers

Warner Independent has released 15 new photos from Paul Haggis new film In the Valley of Elah (movie trailer). For me Paul Haggis has been off and on. I thought Million Dollar Baby was okay if not overrated, I loved Crash, Casino Royale, and Letters From Iwo Jima. I liked The Last Kiss, and somewhat disliked Flags of our Fathers.

His new drama is inspired by the true-life case of a retired Army veteran (played here by Tommy Lee Jones) who discovers his son was killed by his own platoon members after they returned stateside but failed to shake battlefield mentality. To be fair, this is director/screenwriter Paul Haggis’s eagerly anticipated follow up to the Oscar-winning 2004 indie-hit Crash. The other films I mentioned above he wrote but didn’t direct. The film is based on an article from Playboy Magazine (who knew they had articles?) written by Mark Boal. Haggis’ fictionalized version also stars Charlize Theron, James Franco, Susan Sarandon, and Josh Brolin. Looks like it has potential. Check out the photos after the jump.
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 In the Valley of Elah

Warner Independent has released the movie trailer for Paul Haggis new film In the Valley of Elah. For me Paul Haggis has been off and on. I thought Million Dollar Baby was okay if not overrated, I loved Crash, Casino Royale, and Letters From Iwo Jima. I liked The Last Kiss, and hated Flags of our Fathers.

His new drama is inspired by the true-life case of a retired Army veteran (played here by Tommy Lee Jones) who discovers his son was killed by his own platoon members after they returned stateside but failed to shake battlefield mentality. To be fair, this is director/screenwriter Paul Haggis’s eagerly anticipated follow up to the Oscar-winning 2004 indie-hit Crash. The other films I mentioned above he wrote but didn’t direct. The film is based on an article from Playboy Magazine (who knew they had articles?) written by Mark Boal. Haggis’ fictionalized version also stars Charlize Theron, James Franco, Susan Sarandon, and Josh Brolin. Looks like it has potential. Check out the trailer at MSN.com

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