7th September 2012

As the Paralympics wind to an end this weekend, film distributers are cranking up again with a flurry of new releases and premieres, plus of course two massive film festivals. The Venice International Film Festival finishes this weekend, while Toronto's kicks off - and both are premiering big new titles that are likely to dominate awards season.

Philip Seymour Hoffman looking smart

One of the most eagerly awaited films premiering at Venice was The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood). It's a drama about a Scientology-like cult whose leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) takes a drunk (Joaquin Phoenix) under his wing. Both are being tipped for Oscar nominations, and they were caught on camera on the lively red carpet in Venice, along with a phalanx of model-like starlets.

But looking at films we can actually see in our cinemas, this week's biggest premiere and release is Anna Karenina, which reunites Keira Knightley with director Joe Wright. Both were on-hand for a lavish premiere in London's Leicester Square, complete with chandeliers hanging from the trees. They were accompanied on the red carpet by costars Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The film opens this weekend in Britain and in November in America.

Meanwhile, the gritty new Dredd 3D action thriller premiered much more quietly in London, as star Karl Urban greeted fans at a special advance screening in London before the film's UK release this weekend. It hits America in two weeks.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking great

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival, the time-travel thriller Looper hits cinemas in the US and UK later this month. And the trailer looks seriously mind-bending, as Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a hitman whose targets are sent back in time from the future. Then his older self (Bruce Willis) is sent back for him to kill, but of course it doesn't go to plan. The trailer is terrific, so let's hope the film lives up to the hype.

Much further off (it opens next year) is Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which continues the fairy tale trend by casting Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as grown-up versions of the childhood story characters. The new trailer makes it look like a sassy, snappy action comedy that thankfully does something fun with the source material. Although it looks a bit overwrought and ridiculous too.

Rich Cline