HomeEntertainment‘Haunting In Venice’, ‘Dumb Money’, ‘Boy & The Heron’ – Deadline

‘Haunting In Venice’, ‘Dumb Money’, ‘Boy & The Heron’ – Deadline

UPDATED with latest: The Toronto Film Festival began September 7 in Ontario with opening-night movie The Boy and the Heron, from Oscar-winning filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. It kicks off a lineup for the fest’s 48th edition that includes world premieres of GameStop pic Dumb Money, Netflix’s Pain Hustlers, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, Kristin Scott Thomas’ Scarlett Johansson pic North Star, Chris Pine’s Poolman, Michael Keaton-directed Knox Goes Away, Anna Kendrick’s Woman of the Hour, Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils, Michael Winterbottom’s Shoshana, Grant Singer’s Reptile, Viggo Mortensen’s The Dead Don’t Hurt, Lee Tamahori’s The Convert and Alex Gibney’s doc In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon.

The fest also features new films from such celebrated directors as Alexander Payne, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Alice Rohrwacher and Richard Linklater.

Deadline is on the ground to watch all the key films. Below is a compilation of our reviews from the fest, which last year awarded Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans its People’s Choice Award for best film.

Click on the film titles below to read the reviews in full, and keep checking back as we add more movies throughout the fest, which runs through September 17.

American Fiction

Orion Pictures/T-Street

Section: Special Presentations
Director: Cord Jefferson
Cast: Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, Keith David, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown
Deadline’s takeaway: Perhaps the most impactful message American Fiction delivers is about personal agency in a world that often seeks to define the stories of others. The media’s myopic view of Black lives might never shift, but individuals have the power to set their own narratives and boundaries. 

Courtesy of TIFF

Section: Gala Presentations
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Cast: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Takuya Kimura
Deadline’s takeaway: The Boy and the Heron deals with complex themes that manifest with visual splendor. While it might not be Studio Ghibli’s strongest outing, it’s still an important one, and Miyazaki’s return after a decade-long hiatus serves as a reminder of the unique vision and artistry he brings to the world of animation.

'The Dead Don't Hurt' review

Hanway Films

Section: World Premiere
Director: Viggo Mortensen
Cast: Vicky Krieps, Viggo Mortensen, Solly McLeod, Garrett Dillahunt, Danny Huston, Ray McKinnon, Colin Morgan, W. Earl Brown, Atlas Green
Deadline’s takeaway: Mortensen has placed his story squarely in the western genre, but you really could lift it out and put it in many different settings and still have the same very human character study that stays with you long after credits roll. John Ford and Howard Hawks would love this movie.

Section: Midnight Madness
Director: Larry Charles
Cast: Megan Mullally, Megan Thee Stallion, Bowen Yang, Nathan Lane, Aaron Jackson, Josh Sharp
Deadline’s takeaway: As a viewer, I often wondered how the hell this got turned into the movie because it is so outrageous. Thankfully, it succeeds at being fun and funny because anything less would have amounted to torture.

Dumb Money trailer

Sony Pictures

Section: Gala Presentations
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley, Vincent D’Onofrio, America Ferrera, Nick Offerman, Anthony Ramos, Sebastian Stan
Deadline’s takeaway: This isn’t some cheap, ripped-from-the-headlines quickie but a top-quality film that its major studio is planning a large awards season campaign around. It deserves that consideration. And the casting could not be better. 

Gonzo Girl movie

Bobby Bukowski

Section: Discovery
Director: Patricia Arquette
Cast: Willem Dafoe, Camila Morrone, Patricia Arquette, Elizabeth Lail, Ray Nicholson, Leila George, James Urbaniak
Deadline’s takeaway: Although set in 1992, Arquette’s vision seems more in line with the ’70s style of filmmaking, particularly Robert Altman. Though not always hitting the bull’s-eye here she certainly comes close enough to signal a new career behind the camera.

The cast of His Three Daughters which had world premiere at Toronto Film Festival

Sam Levy

Section: Special Presentations
Director: Azazel Jacobs
Cast: Carrie Coon, Elizabeth Olsen, Natasha Lyonne, Jay O. Sanders, Jovan Adepo
Deadline’s takeaway: What makes this worthwhile, if not as engaging of other Azazel Jacobs films, are the performances of three superb actors who get to sink their teeth into dialogue-heavy roles, each emerging with a distinct and recognizable character.


Section: Special Presentations
Director: Kristin Scott Thomas
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Scarlett Johansson, Sienna Miller, Emily Beecham, Thibault De Montalembert, Freida Pinto, Joshua Maguire, James Fleet
Deadline’s takeaway: This is not a broad comedy in any sense: Thomas is a fan of French movies, Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters, Little Miss Sunshine, Marriage Story and others that are smart examples of the genre.

Section: Special Presentations
Director: Jessica Yu
Cast: Sandra Oh, Awkwafina, Will Ferrell, Holland Taylor and Jason Schwartzman
Deadline’s takeaway: Quiz Lady is a mixed bag, attempting to balance lots of themes, from family bonds to the nuances of Asian American culture. It serves as a reminder that even in tales that tread familiar ground, there are always elements that resonate and connect to the viewer. 

‘Wicked Little Letters’


Section: Special Presentations
Director: Thea Sharrock
Cast: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Anjana Vasan
Deadline’s takeaway: Plot is not the be-all and end-all here; the best thing about Sharrock’s film is not just Jonny Sweet’s deliciously profane script, it’s the fun that the cast has with it. There’s so much joy in the pigswill of the English language that these increasingly bizarre letters become characters in their own right. 

Section: Special Presentations
Director: Anna Kendrick
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Daniel Zovatto, Nicollette Robinson, Kathryn Gallagher, Kelley Jakie, Pete Holmes, Tony Hale
Deadline’s takeaway: ABC’s 20/20 devoted a full hour to the story of the cold-blooded killer who died in incarceration, but Kendrick’s directorial debut has more on its mind that just the facts.

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