A flurry of galas announced for Toronto film fest

Aug 10, 2006 by Ian Evans

The 31st Toronto International Film Festival has added several more films to its gala list.

Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration looks at the trials and tribulations of acting in the film industry. It stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Fred Willard, Bob Balaban, Jennifer Coolidge, Rachael Harris, Jane Lynch, Jim Piddock, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins and Ricky Gervais.

Christopher N Rowley’s directorial debut, Bonneville, stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen as three strong women who spontaneously embark on a cross country road trip and discover the best of what life has to offer along the way.

Emilio Estevez’ Bobby will screen as a work-in-progress. Set against the tragic backdrop of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, the film examines that fateful day at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel through the eyes of its guests whose lives are forever changed. The cast includes Harry Belafonte, Nick Cannon, Emilio Estevez, Laurence Fishburne, Heather Graham, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Hunt, Joshua Jackson, Ashton Kutcher, Shia LaBeouf, Lindsay Lohan, William H. Macy, Demi Moore, Freddy Rodriguez, Martin Sheen, Christian Slater, Sharon Stone, and Elijah Wood.

Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver weaves together fantasy and reality in a compelling story of one family and the overwhelming power of motherhood that binds its three generations of women together. The film stars Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, and Chus Lampreave.

Besides the galas, the Special Presentations programme also added films to its lineup:

El Cantante, from Leon Ichaso, follows the life of salsa legend Hector Lavoe and stars Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez.

Marc Forster’s Stranger Than Fiction has novelist Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) trying to kill off her main character. The only problem is that Harold Crick (Will Ferrell) is a real man who realizes that his life is being controlled by someone else. The film also stars Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Queen Latifah.

Christina Ricci stars in Penelope, Mark Palansky’s modern-day fairy tale about love and self-acceptance. The film is produced by Reese Witherspoon, written by Leslie Caveny, and co-stars Catherine O’Hara, Richard E. Grant, and Peter Dinklage.

Tony Goldwyn directs The Last Kiss from director/writer Paul Haggis. A story about life, love, infidelity, forgiveness, marriage, friendship&ldots; and coming to grips with turning 30, it stars Zach Braff, Jacinda Barrett, Rachel Bilson, Blythe Danner and Tom Wilkinson.

David Von Ancken’s Seraphim Falls is an epic action thriller set five years after the end of the American Civil War. Deep within the cold mountains of the American West, Gideon (Pierce Brosnan) sits pensively in front of a fire, shocked back into reality by a bullet to the shoulder. So begins the initiation of Colonel Morsman Carver’s (Liam Neeson) excruciating and relentless revenge.

Venus teams director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi with actors Peter O’Toole and Leslie Phillips in a story about two old friends and veteran English actors who never got their big break.

Kenneth Branagh brings The Magic Flute to the festival, coinciding with the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Branagh brings one of the composer’s most beloved operas to the big screen, translating the score from Mozart’s native German into English, and replacing the fairytale world setting with that of the First World War.

Finally, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz star in Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, an odyssey of one man’s eternal struggle to save the woman he loves.

Stick with DigitalHit.com for our daily coverage of the festival, which runs from September 7th to the 17th.