Dhaka, July 24 (UNB) - An origin story about the Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix, a Mr. Rogers biopic with Tom Hanks and a film about strippers scamming Wall Street bankers with Jennifer Lopez and Cardi B are among the films premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, reports The Indian Express.
TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey and Executive Director Joana Vicente announced 16 gala selections and 37 in the special presentation category on Tuesday morning, including Todd Phillips’ Joker, Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers. Iranian-born director Marjane Satrapi’s Marie Curie film Radioactive, in which Rosamund Pike plays the groundbreaking physicist, will close the festival on September 14.
Bailey told The Associated Press that Joker is somewhat of a first for the festival.
“This is our first entry into the superhero world as far as I can remember,” he said. “But it’s a really original vision. It’s disturbing, utterly compelling, really gripping from start to finish. … And one of the most remarkable things is that Joaquin Phoenix, in a career of great performances, gives one of his very best.”
Other standout performances the programmers love are Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx in Destin Daniel Cretton’s civil rights drama Just Mercy, Meryl Streep in Steven Soderbergh’s investigative journalism drama The Laundromat, Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in Noah Baumbach’s divorce saga Marriage Story and Renee Zellweger in the Judy Garland biopic Judy.
“It’s one of those career-best performances,” Bailey said. “And that’s coming from a guy who absolutely loves ‘Jerry Maguire.’”
The Toronto selections often help define the looming awards race. Last year, TIFF’s audience award winner Green Book went on to win the best picture Oscar.
“It’s not the motivation, but it’s always great to be a launchpad for films that will be part of the awards conversation,” Vicente said.
And then of course there is Hustlers, with Lopez and Constance Wu, which Bailey said is “a great watch.”
“It feels like ‘Casino’ or ‘Goodfellas,’” he said. “But instead of gangsters killing, these are women just scamming these guys.”
Although films aren’t selected with any theme or agenda in mind, Bailey said some do emerge eventually.
“It became clear that although we’re living in a complicated, difficult world with a lot of conflict, a lot of the films that really resonated the most this year were ones that were about empathy, about reaching out and across borders to other people,” Bailey said. “Maybe most emblematic of that is ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,’ but also ‘Just Mercy,’ a really tough film about the death penalty … and ‘Jojo Rabbit.’”
Jojo Rabbit, from filmmaker Taika Waititi, is about a young member of a Hitler Youth group.
“But he grows, he changes, he learns,” Bailey said. “And you begin to feel at least some empathy for the possibility of change.”
Vicente added that it was “one of our favorites. It really surprises and we all kind of fell in love with it.”
The festival kicks off on September 5 with the previously announced opening-night film Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band. More films will be announced in the coming weeks.
Dhaka, July 24 (UNB) - Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift are the top contenders at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards, each scoring 10 nominations.
MTV announced on Tuesday that Grande and Swift will compete in eight of the same categories, including video of the year. Swift’s gay pride anthem “You Need to Calm Down” and Grande’s breezy hit about her breakups “thank u, next” are nominated for the top prize alongside Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy,” Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road,” 21 Savage and J. Cole’s “A Lot,” and Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker.”
Eilish, 17, came in second with nine nominations, including artist of the year. Other nominees are Grande, Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Halsey and Jonas Brothers.
Lil Nas X, whose “Old Town Road” tied the record for most weeks at No. 1 with 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart this week, earned eight nominations.
The 2019 VMAs will take place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on August 26. Post Malone was surprisingly snubbed. He received zero nominations despite dominating on streaming services, radio and the Billboard charts in the last year.
Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Oscar- and Grammy-winning hit “Shallow” picked up two nominations: song of the year and best collaboration. Boy band BTS earned four nominations, including a bid in the new best K-pop category.
And late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who posthumously won best male hip-hop artist and the Humanitarian Award at last month’s BET Awards, picked up a nomination for best hip hop for “Higher,” his song and video with DJ Khaled and John Legend.
Swift will drop her album, “Lover,” three days before the VMAs on August 23, making it likely that she will attend and possibly perform at the show. Scooter Braun, who now owns Swift’s music catalog, will likely be in attendance, too. He manages top nominee Grande as well as Justin Bieber, who earned a nomination for best collaboration with Ed Sheeran for “I Don’t Care.”
Comedian and actor Sebastian Maniscalco will host the 2019 VMAs. Fan-voting began on Tuesday at vma.mtv.com.
Nashville, Jul 24 (AP/UNb) — Americana singer-songwriter John Prine is postponing several shows this summer so he can have surgery to insert a stent to prevent a stroke.
A statement on Prine's website on Tuesday said Prine's doctors told him he had an elevated risk of stroke and he plans to have the surgery this week. Prine, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June, has previously also had surgeries for lung and neck cancer.
The 72-year-old has postponed his next eight shows starting with a July 28 concert at Red Rocks in Colorado through the Edmonton Folk Festival in Canada on August 11.
The Grammy-winning country folk icon from Kentucky is known for songs like "Angel From Montgomery," ''Sam Stone" and "Hello In There."
Beverly Hills, Jul 24 (AP/UNB) — The deep-sea explorer who discovered the wrecked Titanic is tackling an aviation mystery: Amelia Earhart's disappearance.
Robert Ballard and a National Geographic expedition will search for her plane next month near a Pacific Ocean atoll that's part of the Phoenix Islands.
Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan were attempting an around-the-world flight when their aircraft disappeared in July 1937, spawning years of searches and speculation.
Ballard and his team will use remotely operated underwater vehicles in their search, the National Geographic channel said Tuesday. An archaeological team will investigate a potential Earhart campsite with search dogs and DNA sampling.
The channel will air a two-hour special on Oct. 20. "Expedition Amelia" will include clues gathered by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery that led Ballard to the atoll, named Nikumaroro.
Westerly, Jul 24 (AP/UNB) — Police in Rhode Island have arrested an Iowa man they say intended to visit singer Taylor Swift's beachfront mansion in the state and was carrying a backpack containing a baseball bat and items commonly used in burglaries.
Westerly Chief Shawn Lacey tells The Sun of Westerly that 32-year-old David Page Liddle, of Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested Friday after residents reported a suspicious man at a boat yard near Swift's home.
Lacey says Liddle told officers he was looking to "catch up" with Swift because he knew her personally and she had agreed to help his singing career.
Security guards at Swift's mansion told police they had seen Liddle earlier outside the front gate.
Liddle was held on $10,000 bond at a court appearance Monday. No attorney was listed in online court records.