TIFF 03: ‘The Human Stain’ & ‘Veronica Guerin’

by W. Andrew Powell
TIFF 2003
TIFF 2003

There are just a couple of weeks to go before the 28th annual Toronto International Film Festival hits the city and two more Gala Presentations have been announced. Both Robert Benton‘s The Human Stain and Joel Schumacher‘s Veronica Guerin will make their North American and more films will be announced in the weeks to come!

Academy Award-winning director Robert Benton will debut The Human Stain as a North American premiere Gala Presentation this September at the 28th Toronto International Film Festival.

Starring Academy Award-winners Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman, the film also co-stars Academy Award nominees Gary Sinise, and Ed Harris. and is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Philip Roth.

The Human Stain is the story of one man’s bold attempt to reinvent himself and the relationship that pulls him closer to revealing the truth of his identity. As a promising college student, Coleman Silk’s (Hopkins) first love is shattered by a secret he has carried with him through his adult life.

Years later, as an esteemed professor, his career is ruined by false accusations. He embarks on a scandalous affair with the mysterious and troubled Faunia (Kidman) who resurrects a sense of passion that he felt in the past. When this perilous love is endangered by Faunia’s ex-husband (Harris), Coleman is faced with one final shot at redemption – he must expose his true identity before it is too late.

Set in 1998, when the United States was immersed in the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, The Human Stain is a journey of ambition, individualism, deceit and the yearning for love. The film probes the roles of identity and independence, race and prejudice, brutality and tenderness in the shaping of the American psyche.

Director Joel Schumacher‘s Veronica Guerin will make its North American premiere this September as a Gala Presentation at the 28th Toronto International Film Festival. Based on a true story, Veronica Guerin stars Cate Blanchett in the poignant portrayal of an Irish journalist who risked everything in search of the truth.

A gripping story directed by Joel Schumacher, Veronica Guerin takes a disarming look at Dublin in the mid-1990s, when the drug trade and those who controlled it made the city nothing short of a war zone.

The most fearsome opponent to these drug lords was not the police, but the courageous journalist Veronica Guerin (Blanchett), who covered the crime beat with unmatched intensity. As she investigated and exposed the drug pushers, Veronica Guerin delicately balanced her home and family against her responsibility to her readers and her country. Through her advances she became a national folk heroine to the people of Ireland.

A powerful and emotional film, Veronica Guerin gives a unique insight into a fascinating and complex aspect of the Irish conflict.

The 28th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 4-13, 2003 – find out more on the festival over at www.bell.ca/filmfest.

Stay tuned for more feature coverage from The GATE.

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