Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Demolition kickstarts Toronto fest
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Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Demolition kickstarts Toronto fest

The Toronto International Film Festival got off to a star-studded start with the screening to Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Demolition. The film also stars Naomi Watts.

world cinema Updated: Sep 13, 2015 21:35 IST
TIFF,Toronto International Film Festival,Jake Gyllenhaal Demolition
Jake Gyllenhaal arrives on the red carpet for his new film Demolition during the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 10, 2015. TIFF runs from September 10-20. (Reuters)

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) opened on Thursday with the premiere of Jake Gyllenhaal-starrer Demolition, the story of a banker whose life changes after the death of his wife. The line-up at TIFF 2015 has an impressive list of films which includes topical movies on transgender youth and gay rights among the usual Oscar hopefuls.

Now in its 40th year, the 10-day festival has become a key launching pad for Hollywood's award season, with films like 12 Years a Slave, The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire all gaining critical momentum at the event before going on to win the Academy Award for best picture.

The festival started with the world premiere of Demolition, starring Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts.

Watch Demolition trailer here:

Directed by Canadian Jean-Marc Vallee, it tells the story of an investment banker whose life unravels following the death of his wife. An unlikely connection with a vending machine company employee, played by Watts, helps him rebuild.

Vallee previously won praise for Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. Gyllenhaal said, to give the movie a realistic feel, the director allowed him to tear apart a house during one of his character's key scenes.

Read: Meghna Gulzar's Talvar to be screened at Toronto Film Fest

"It was incredibly cathartic. You feel like a kid," he told Reuters in a red carpet interview ahead of the premiere. Thursday also saw the world premiere of Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next, in which the Fahrenheit 9/11 director looks at what former US President Dwight Eisenhower described as the military-industrial complex.

Watch Micheal Moore's Where to Invade Next teaser here:

"It's what happened to the United States by not listening to Dwight Eisenhower, by not listening to his warning," Moore said.

The festival, which runs from September 10 to 20, will go on to screen nearly 300 feature films from more than 70 countries.

Notable themes this year include the political and legal battles fought for gay rights, the subject of two movies in the festival's high-profile gala programme.

Roland Emmerich, best known for Hollywood blockbusters like The Day After Tomorrow, directs Stonewall, a drama about the 1969 New York riots which became a landmark event in North America's gay rights movement.

Read: A flavour of India as Toronto film festival celebrates 40 years

Freeheld stars Ellen Page and Julianne Moore, fresh off winning an Oscar for last year's Still Alice, in the true story Laurel Hester. Dying of cancer, the New Jersey police officer fought a legal battle to pass her pension benefits on to her same-sex partner.

The festival will also screen the world premiere of About Ray, which stars Elle Fanning as a teenager whose decision to transition from female to male triggers family turmoil.

First Published: Sep 11, 2015 16:31 IST