'The Judge' to Open TIFF

Photo courtesy of TIFF
Here’s a surprise! The Toronto International Film Festival announced the selection for its Opening Night film today and the film is a film that was already announced. David Dobkin’s The Judge, which appeared in Tuesday’s first wave of Galas and Special Presentation selections for the 2014 festival, will open TIFF on September 4th. Perhaps, as speculated earlier this week, the delay was simply a matter of technicalities. “The stars aligned and we are thrilled to announce that we will kick off the Festival with The Judge,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF in a statement released by the Festival. “David Dobkin has delivered a moving, textured story about family, duty and the way we remember our past. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to this year’s event.” TIFF Artistic Director Cameron Bailey added, “We always want to deliver for our audience and we can't think of a better way than kicking things off with The Judge. Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall are terrific in the film, and David Dobkin guides the entire cast to rich, satisfying performances.”

The Judge features many of the key elements that TIFF-goers have noted as plum ingredients for Opening Night. The audience-friendly film opens theatrically on October 10th from Warner Bros. Pictures and stars Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard and Billy Bob Thornton. The film is one of the titles from Tuesday’s announcement that Oscar watchers will keep an eye at the festival, especially for the performances from Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall in the acting races. The film also marks a return to the festival for director David Dobkin, whose Clay Pigeons premiered at TIFF ’98, and perhaps notes a serious career-turn following a string of successful comedies like Wedding Crashers and Shanghai Knights.

Synopsis: Big city lawyer Hank Palmer returns to his childhood home where his estranged father, the town's judge, is suspected of murder. Hank sets out to discover the truth, and along the way reconnects with the family he walked away from years before.

The Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4-14.
Please visit www.tiff.net for more information.

*On a related note, I just learned that I received media accreditation to the festival this year, so it’s been a very good day for TIFF news! I’ll be contributing to Point of View again as I did during Hot Docs, so make sure to give them a follow!