Updated at: 07/24/2013 2:05 AM
By JAKE COYLE
(AP) NEW YORK - The Toronto International Film Festival will open with the WikiLeaks drama "The Fifth Estate" and showcase the much-anticipated adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play "August: Osage County."
The Toronto Film Festival, which runs Sept. 5-15, has long been viewed as a launching pad for Hollywood’s fall season and its Academy Awards contenders. Recent best picture winners "Argo" and "The King’s Speech" both had premieres in Toronto. This year’s lineup, much of which was announced Tuesday, figures to be no different, with a slate featuring films starring George Clooney, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.
Bill Condon’s "The Fifth Estate," which stars Benedict Cumberbach as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, will kick off the festival Sept. 5. John Wells’ "August: Osage County," which stars Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, was among the 16 galas announced.
Premiering will be 1980s AIDS drama "Dallas Buyers Club," directed by Jean-Marc Vallee and starring McConaughey as a Texas man who fights his HIV diagnosis by procuring medications himself. The performance could top McConaughey’s recent resurgence in films like "Mud," "Magic Mike" and "Bernie."
Toronto festival director Piers Handling said the 38th Toronto Film Festival has "a powerhouse lineup" featuring films that "capture the mood of the times."
In "The Railway Man," directed by Jonathan Leplitzky, Firth stars as a British World War II prisoner who, years later, pursues his captor. Kidman co-stars.
Other premieres include Steve McQueen’s slavery tale "12 Years a Slave"; Ron Howard’s Formula 1 drama "Rush"; and "Labor Day," Jason Reitman’s adaption of Joyce Maynard’s novel, starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin.
Also premiering will be "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner’s feature film first, "You Are Here," a road trip comedy starring Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis.
The festival will premiere at least one notable posthumous release: the romantic comedy "Enough Said," which features one of James Gandolfini’s final performances. And while it was not announced Tuesday, "All the Wrong Reasons," which co-stars the late "Glee" actor Cory Monteith, is reportedly heading to Toronto.
Mike Meyers and Jason Bateman will premiere their respective directorial debuts. Meyers will unveil his "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon" about the talent manager who represented Alice Cooper, Luther Vandross, Michael Douglas and others. Bateman will premiere his spelling bee comedy "Bad Words." Ralph Fiennes, who first directed the 2011 Shakespeare adaptation "Coriolanus," will bring his "The Invisible Woman," based on Claire Tomalin’s book, about Charles Dickens (Fiennes) and his secret lover (Felicity Jones).
"Gravity," which is opening the Venice Film Festival, also will stop in Toronto. The thriller, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, stars Clooney and Bullock as astronauts stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed.
The festival will close with a comic crime story starring Jennifer Aniston and John Hawkes: "Life of Crime," based on Elmore Leonard’s "The Switch."
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jake_coyle
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)