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The Toronto International Film Festival has announced that the drama All the King's Men, starring Sean Penn, will receive a red-carpet world premiere at the 31st edition of the fest, which runs September 7-16. Also slated for a world premiere at TIFF is Bernard and Doris, which stars Susan Sarandon and Ralph Fiennes; Agnieszka Holland's Copying Beethoven and the romantic comedy The Pleasure of Your Company, starring Jason Biggs (American Wedding) and Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers).
Steven Zaillian's All the King's Men, an adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's novel of the same name, features Penn as Willie Stark, a charismatic Southern politician bound as much to idealism as to corruption and a lust for power. The Sony Pictures film also stars Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Anthony Hopkins. Fittingly, the movie was shot in Louisiana; Penn Warren based his novel in part on the populist Louisiana governor Huey P. Long. Patricia Clarkson, James Gandolfini, and Mark Ruffalo round out the cast.
Also bound for Toronto, as part of the Contemporary World Cinema sidebar, is the Ed Harris film Copying Beethoven, a period drama in which Diane Kruger plays a young music student working alongside the brilliant yet belligerent German composer as he tries to complete his Ninth Symphony. The film has yet to snag U.S. distribution.
Toronto is also giving a Special Presentation slot to Bob Balaban's Bernard and Doris, which stars Sarandon as Doris Duke, the rich tobacco heiress who died in 1993 and surprised everyone by leaving her entire estate to her gay Irish butler, played by Fiennes. Also part of the Special Presentation showcase will be writer-actor Michael Ian Black's directorial debut, The Pleasure of Your Company. The festival will announce additional film titles in the coming weeks. (Etan Vlessing, Reuters)