Entertainment & Arts

Toronto Film Festival: The Judge will be opening film

Robert Downey Jr, Robert Duvall Image copyright Tiff
Image caption Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall play father and son in The Judge

The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall, has been announced as the opening film at this year's Toronto Film Festival (TIFF).

The film directed by David Dobkin will open the event on 4 September.

Festival director Piers Handling described it as "a moving, textured story about family, duty and the way we remember our past".

In recent years, TIFF has gained a reputation for being a key indicator of Oscar success.

Previous winners of its audience award have gone on to win best picture including last year's 12 Years a Slave, Slumdog Millionaire and The King's Speech.

In The Judge Downey Jr plays a big city lawyer who returns to his hometown when his father, the town's judge and played by Duvall, is suspected of murder.

Cameron Bailey, artistic director for TIFF said: "Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall are terrific in the film, and David Dobkin guides the entire cast to rich, satisfying performances."

The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.

Dobkin said he brought his first film Clay Pigeons to Toronto, "so 15 years later to actually be on opening night with The Judge is incredibly special and thrilling".

World premieres

Image copyright TIFF
Image caption Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones star in Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything

The festival will include 13 gala and 46 special presentations.

Among the films already announced are a trio of major British films that will receive their world premieres.

Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything, starring Eddie Redmayne, will have a gala premiere.

The Riot Club, a big screen adaptation of the hit play Posh, an Oxford University-set thriller will also debut at Toronto.

While Alan Rickman's period drama A Little Chaos, starring Kate Winslet, will close the festival.

It sees Winslet play a landscaper invited to design one of the fountains at the Palace of Versailles, with director Rickman also co-starring as King Louis XIV.

Other films to receive world premieres at the festival include the film adaptation of 1980s TV show The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington, and Reese Witherspoon drama Wild, directed by Dallas Buyers Club's Jean-Marc Vallee.

Two biopics will have their premieres - Love & Mercy, about The Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson starring Paul Dano, and Pawn Sacrifice, which stars Tobey Maguire as chess legend Bobby Fischer.

Other films to be screened include Richard Gere in homeless drama Time Out of Mind, Michael Douglas in thriller The Reach and Kevin Costner in racial drama Black and White.

The 39th edition of TIFF runs from 4 - 14 September.

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