The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr and Robert Duvall, opened this year's Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) today.
Festival director Piers Handling described the film, directed by David Dobkin, 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. The film also stars Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton.
Among the films already announced, is a trio of major British films that will receive their world premieres. Stephen Hawking's 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. 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 other 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 September 4 - 14.