This weekend, film lovers flock to Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival to catch sneak peeks of some of the next year's most anticipated films. Dozens of them are scored by ASCAP members and our global family of affiliated composers. Here's a rundown of the ASCAP composers behind the hottest films screening at Toronto - plus some of the ASCAP highlights from last week's Telluride Film Festival.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream - screening at Toronto
Composer: Elliot Goldenthal - elliotgoldenthal.com
An immersive cinematic record of director Julie Taymor’s virtuosic stage production of Shakespeare’s immortal fantasy.
Adult Beginners - screening at Toronto
Composer: Marcelo Zarvos - zarvos.com
Out of a job after a disastrous product launch, a big-city yuppie retreats to his suburban childhood home, in this heart-warming and hilarious film about crashing hard, coming home and waking up.
Boychoir - screening at Toronto
Composer: Brian Byrne - brianbyrnecomposer.com
A troubled eleven-year old boy at a prestigious East Coast music school clashes with the school’s demanding choir master (Dustin Hoffman), in this inspiring drama co-starring Kathy Bates, Josh Lucas, Debra Winger and Glee’s Kevin McHale.
The Cobbler - screening at Toronto
Composer: John Debney - johndebney.com
A lonely NYC shoe repairman (Adam Sandler) discovers a magical heirloom that allows him to “walk in another man’s shoes,” in this charming fantasy co-starring Dustin Hoffman, Steve Buscemi and Ellen Barkin.
The Drop - screening at Toronto
Composer: Marco Beltrami - marcobeltrami.com
A Brooklyn bartender finds himself caught between the cops and a crew of Chechen mobsters, in this gritty crime drama starring Tom Hardy, Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust & Bone), Noomi Rapace and the late, great James Gandolfini.
Escobar: Paradise Lost - screening at Toronto
Composer: Max Richter (PRS) - maxrichtermusic.com
An American surfer (Josh Hutcherson) meets the girl of his dreams - but gets a brutal (sur)reality check when he meets her uncle, Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro).
The Face of An Angel - screening at Toronto
Composer: Harry Escott (PRS) - twitter.com/harryescott
Kate Beckinsale and Daniel Brühl (Rush, Inglourious Basterds) star in this fictionalized version of the notorious Amanda Knox murder case from ever-adventurous director Michael Winterbottom (The Trip, In This World, 24 Hour Party People).
The Forger - screening at Toronto
Composer: Stephen Warbeck (PRS) - fabermusic.com/composers/stephen-warbeck
Released from prison so that he can spend time with his dying son (Tye Sheridan, Mud), an expect art forger (John Travolta) is coerced into participating in a major museum heist, in this dramatic thriller co-starring Christopher Plummer, Abigail Spencer and Jennifer Ehle.
Gemma Bovery - screening at Toronto
Composer: Bruno Coulais (SACEM) - brunocoulais.com
Gemma Arterton glows as the title character - a passionate young Englishwoman whose dull married life in a provincial Norman town steers her towards adultery - in this updating of Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary from French director Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel).
The Homesman - screened at Telluride
Composer: Marco Beltrami - marcobeltrami.com
A claim jumper and a pioneer woman team up to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa.
Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet - screening at Toronto
Composer: Gabriel Yared (SACEM) - gabrielyared.com
Director Roger Allers (The Lion King) assembled an array of internationally acclaimed animators to realized episodes from the classic text by the renowned Lebanese poet, which are woven into the tale of a mischievous young girl (voiced by Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis) who attempts to free an imprisoned poet (Liam Neeson).
Kill Me Three Times - screening at Toronto
Composer: Johnny Klimek - eckoproductions.com
A small Australian town becomes a hotbed of scheming, scamming, blackmail and murder in this blackly comic, sun-scorched neo-noir featuring a sterling cast that includes Simon Pegg, Alice Braga and Luke Hemsworth.
The Last Five Years - screening at Toronto
Composer: Jason Robert Brown - jasonrobertbrown.com
A struggling actress (Anna Kendrick) and her novelist lover (Jeremy Jordan) look back on the last half-decade of their relationship from very different viewpoints, in this adaptation of the hit Broadway musical from writer-director Richard LaGravenese.
Learning to Drive - screening at Toronto
Composer: Dhani Harrison (PRS) - thenewno2.com
After her husband leaves her, a Manhattan writer (Patricia Clarkson) finds solace in her biweekly lessons with a Sikh driving instructor (Ben Kingsley), in this adaptation of Katha Pollitt’s 2002 essay for The New Yorker.
Leviathan - screening at Toronto & Telluride
Composer: Philip Glass - philipglass.com
Lauded Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) won the Best Screenplay prize at Cannes for this painterly, primordial tale about a proud patriarch fighting to protect his family home from a corrupt local official.
The Little Death - screening at Toronto
Composer: Michael Yezerski (APRA) - michaelyezerski.com
This edgy ensemble comedy from first-time director Josh Lawson takes us inside the homes of seemingly straight-laced Australian suburbanite to reveal a gallery of kinds, fetishes, oddball turn-ons and pent-up repression let precariously loose.
Maps to the Stars - screening at Toronto
Composer: Howard Shore - howardshore.com
Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson star in this acidulous vision of Tinseltown from Canadian master David Cronenberg.
Merchants of Doubt - screening at Toronto & Telluride
Composer: Mark Adler - markadler.com
Documentarian Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.) investigates the shadowy world of professional skeptics, whose services are bought and paid for by corporations, think tanks and other special interests to cast doubt and delay public and governmental action on climate change.
Paper Planes - screening at Toronto
Composer: Nigel Westlake (APRA) - rimshot.com.au
In a small town in Western Australia, and estranged father and son (Sam Worthington and Ed Oxenbould) are brought back together as the boy prepares for the World Paper Plane Championships in Tokyo, in this touching family film.
The Reach - screening at Toronto
Composer: Dickon Hinchliffe (PRS) - dickon-hinchliffe.com
A high-rolling corporate shark (Michael Douglas) and his impoverished young guide (Jeremy Irvine, War Horse) play the most dangerous game during a hunting trip in the Mojave desert, in this lean, mean cat-and-mouse thriller.
Revenge of the Green Dragons - screening at Toronto
Composer: Mark Kilian - evolutionmusicpartners.com/composers/mark_kilian
Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, this dizzying, decade-spanning crime saga from Hong Kong directors Andrew Lau (Infernal Affairs) and Andrew Loo follows two best friends as they rise through the ranks of New York’s Chinese underworld in the 1980s.
Samba - screening at Toronto
Composer: Ludovico Einaudi (PRS) - ludovicoeinaudi.com
A recent migrant to France (Omar Sy) fights to stay in his adopted country with the help of a rookie immigration worker (Charlotte Gainsbourg), in this winning drama from the directors of the breakout hit Les Intouchables.
Shelter - screening at Toronto
Composer: James Lavelle - unkle.com
Homeless on the streets of New York, two people from very different worlds (Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Mackie) find strength and solace in each other, in the moving directorial debut by acclaimed actor Paul Bettany.
Sway - screening at Toronto
Composer: Pakk Hui - pakkhui.com
Three parallel love stories set in three different cities are set against some of the major international events of the last five years, in this ambitious, globe-spanning feature debut from director Rooth Tang.
Tales of the Grim Sleeper - screening at Toronto & Telluride
Composer: H. Scott Salinas - hscottsalinas.com
Perennially provocative documentarian Nick Broomfield (Aileen Wuornos: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Biggie and Tupac) digs into the case of the notorious serial killer known as the “Grim Sleeper,” who terrorized South Central Los Angeles over a span of twenty-five years.
The Theory of Everything - screening at Toronto
Composer: Jóhann Jóhansson (PRS) - johannjohannsson.com
While students at Cambridge, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne, Les Misérables) and Jane (Felicity Jones, The Invisible Woman) fall deeply in love. His earth-shattering diagnosis leads him to embark on his ambitious study of the nature of time with Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, in this moving adaptation of Jane Hawking’s memoir from Academy Award-winning director James Marsh (Man on Wire).
This Is Where I Leave You - screening at Toronto
Composer: Michael Giacchino - michaelgiacchinomusic.com
Whip-smart and irreverent, heartfelt and hilarious, This is Where I Leave You puts the fun back into funeral. Based on the novel by Jonathan Tropper — who also wrote the film's beautifully structured script — this ensemble comedy gathers together some of the best comic actors in the business to tell a lively story of mourning and mid-life crises.
Wet Bum - screening at Toronto
Composer: Brendan Canning (SOCAN) - brendancanning.com
A coming-of-age movie driven by sharp observations and a poetic sensitivity towards outcasts, first-time feature filmmaker Lindsay MacKay's Wet Bum is graced by an exceptional lead turn from 2014 TIFF Rising Star Julia Sarah Stone, whose performance is exquisitely crafted yet feels wonderfully devoid of guile.
Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes) - screening at Toronto & Telluride
Composer: Gustavo Santaolalla - imdb.com/name/nm0763395
Revenge is a dish best served wild. As its title suggests, Damian Szifron's latest feature, Wild Tales, is a compendium of outrageously bizarre stories, each more shocking and hilarious than the last. Blending subversive black comedy with dramatically loaded scenarios, Szifron skilfully weaves together six separate shorts, unlinked by narrative but unified by a violence that simmers on the cusp of explosion.
Get the full schedule for the Toronto International Film Festival at tiff.net/thefestival.
Visit the Telluride Film Festival online at telluridefilmfestival.org.