The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is just days away from rolling out the red carpet on over 350 movies from around the world while welcoming a horde of over 200 celebrities to the city including Johnny Depp, Julianne Moore, Tom Hardy, Matt Damon, Eddie Redmayne, Susan Sarandon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Idris Elba. The fun kicks off on Thursday, September 10th with Jake Gyllenhaal’s film Demolition hosting the opening night film.
Over the next few days we will take time to spotlight some of the films on the Festival’s schedule further whetting the appetite for screenings big and small. Intestinal Fortitude will be on hand for no less than 20 of the films featured so be sure to check back daily to see our reviews and thoughts on the Festival as it progresses.
Today’s Spotlight: The Program
The average North American might not follow the sport of cycling with rabid interest but we all know the name – Lance Armstrong. A seven-time Tour de France champion and a cancer survivor, Armstrong was marveled and praised the world round. He was force on two wheels and his rebound from cancer to again win the most prestigious event on the sports cycling calendar as too good to be true.
Because it was.
Armstrong was defiant that he never took performance enhancing drugs or attempted to manipulate the drug and blood testing process. A decade after his first win he was found to be a fraud.
Director Stephen Fears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, High Fidelity) takes the reigns on the biopic The Program which has actor Ben Foster playing the heralded until disgraced Lance Armstrong and Chris O’Dowd as the journalist that fought for years to expose the man beloved and believed by all.
The TIFF guide book says The Program is “An intelligent treatment of a subject still embroiled in controversy” and describes the film as ‘exhilarating, unnerving and fascinating’.
The Program also stars Guillaume Canet (Tell No One), Dustin Hoffman (Straw Dogs) and Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) and has its World Premiere on September 13th at Roy Thompson Hall and again on September 14th at the Scotiabank Theatre and September 19th at Royal Winter Garden.