They arrive on different days, but in the movie biz, anything is possible. Pitt is due in Canada, sans Angelina Jolie, to hype Burn After Reading, his new Coen Brothers comedy with George Clooney. Aniston, meanwhile, will be talking up Management, a romantic comedy in which she’s wooed by Steve Zahn and Woody Harrelson.
But those are just two of the 249 feature films set to screen and a few of the stars – cue Dakota Fanning, Ricky Gervais and Charlize Theron – set to shine over the 10-day festival, which has come to serve Hollywood as the annual unofficial launch of the Oscar race.
Here is a short list of the films featuring younger stars that are among the most highly anticipated flicks at the festival:
• After scoring big at last year’s festival with Juno, Superbad‘s Michael Cera returns with Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. He plays a music-obsessed youth who finds love when he least expects it during a visit to New York City. The movie opens Oct. 3.
• In Rachel Getting Married, Anne Hathaway stars as a woman who, following a stint in rehab, returns to her idyllic Connecticut hometown for the wedding of her older sister Rachel. Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) directed the comedic family drama, which opens in limited markets Oct. 3.
• Keira Knightley again dons sumptuous period petticoats and gowns for her title role in The Duchess, a biopic about Georgiana Spencer, a scandalous 18th century English aristocrat. Her costars include Ralph Fiennes and Charlotte Rampling. It opens Sept. 19.
• Irishman Colin Farrell works on his New Yawk accent in Pride and Glory, a crime drama in which he and Edward Norton star as brothers who are NYPD cops. Family bonds are tested as they uncover something rotten in the Big Apple. The film, which was scheduled to open earlier this year, is now set for release Oct. 24.
• Wedding Crashers star Rachel McAdams teams up with Tim Robbins and Michael Peña in The Lucky Ones, a drama about three soldiers returning home to the U.S. after serving in Iraq. The film, due to open Sept. 26, has been sitting on the shelf for months after Hollywood became hesitant following the box office failure of several war-themed movies – Rendition, Lions for Lambs, Stop-Loss – in late 2007 and early 2008.
• Rising British heartthrob Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe and 21) portrays a young Irishman in Belfast in the 1980s who finds himself unintentionally caught between the British Army and the IRA in Fifty Dead Men Walking. Ben Kingsley and Rose McGowan costar. The film does not yet have a U.S. release date.