Ask anybody who’s been making the trek to the Great White North every September for the Toronto International Film Festival for a while to define what, exactly, the annual event represents, besides 11 days (September 4th-14th) of gorging on movies, and you’ll get a dozen different answers. Is it the official start of the awards season, when studios drag out the big guns (The Judge, Wild, The Theory of Everything) and the fall’s prestige films start building up hype? Is it a chance to check out the cream of Cannes’ crop, as well as some of the best of Sundance (Whiplash, The Guest) and beyond? Is this where you go to see the latest high-fiber documentaries? Or the high-calorie midnight-movie offerings from around the globe? Or bleeding edge of experimental shorts and boundary-pushing “Wavelength” features? Or….
Yes, yes, yes, and yes: TIFF is indeed all of those things, which is why adventurous movie lovers keep making the trek every year. You do get to see the pacesetters early on, true — but you also get a well-rounded diet of everything under the cinematic sun, there for the perusing and picking should you want the whole experience. Our round-up of the best of this year’s fest will go up next week, but until then, here are 25 movies we’re looking forward to checking out, or in a few cases, seeing again. The viewing begins now.