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Day One: 38th Toronto International Film Festival

Day One

2013 Toronto blazes with star names in films that offer strong story content on real-life events and real-life people. This 38th Toronto edition is the last major window for Oscar contenders. Well in the lead are Toronto’s line-up of star power.

The opening night spotlight is on Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate, which dramatises much-headlined Julian Assange, the Internet upstart who created the 21st century’s most fiercely debated news-leaking website. The film stars Daniel Brühl and Benedict Cumberbacth as a couple of wellliked Brits who become overnight sensations as the cult names, Potter and Holmes, respectively.

Benedict Cumberbatch features in two other hot Oscar-hued Toronto films. One is director John Wells’ August: Osage County, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tracy Letts, with him playing opposite mega names, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep. Then there’s Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, with Cumberbatch back again, lending support to Chiwetel Ejiofor alongside Brad Pitt, Alfre Woodward and Michael Fassbender. Oscar buzz also surrounds Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón's 3D sci-film on an engineer (Sandra Bullock) and an astronaut (George Clooney) who get caught in a shuttle accident and must survive while adrift in space. Dallas Buyer’s Club, starring Matthew McConaughey, is the true story of a man who by sheer chance becomes an AIDS advocate. Rush is a bio-pic on Ron Howard’s Formula One. Parkland looks closely on the day that President John F Kennedy was assassinated. Atom Egoyan's Devil's Knot, a sinister study of child murder, starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. The soughtafter Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom has Idris Elba playing the legendary South African political giant.

In the film Kill Your Darlings directed by John Krokidas, Daniel Radcliffe plays the poet Allen Ginsberg, and Dane DeHaan is the Beat Generation muse and murderer Lucien Carr. Both these young actors star in three films apiece in Toronto. And two other notable performers, Mia Wasikowska and the ever-present James Franco, each feature in three festival features.

It will be a star-studded parade on Toronto’s red carpet for sure this year. 

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