Films by Darren Aronofsky, Angelina Jolie and Guillermo del Toro top a quality-over-quantity lineup

Matt Damon, left, and George Clooney promote "Suburbicon" at CinemaCon. (Angela Weiss / AFP/Getty Images)
Matt Damon, left, and George Clooney promote "Suburbicon" at CinemaCon. (Angela Weiss / AFP/Getty Images)

The Toronto International Film Festival will slim down its lineup this year by about 20%, hoping to remove some of the bloat that lately has made the festival a comprehensive but dizzying affair.

But if the quantity of the films has decreased, the quality of the included filmmakers has not. New movies by Darren Aronofsky (the genre tale “Mother!”), Alexander Payne (magical-realist class picture “Downsizing”) and Guillermo del Toro (creature-feature drama “The Shape of Water”) will all play the post-Labor Day gathering. So will films by Wim Wenders (romantic drama “Submergence”) and Stephen Frears (immigrant-themed royals tale “Victoria and Abdul”).

The festival also will showcase a number of movies from prominent actors turned directors, organizers announced Tuesday. Among them are George Clooney’s home-invasion race critique “Suburbicon” featuring Matt Damon (he does double duty with “Downsizing”); Angelina Jolie’s fact-based Khmer Rouge drama “First They Killed My Father,” a Cambodian production rooted in native culture; Greta Gerwig’s California comedy “Lady Bird” starring Saoirse Ronan as the title character; and Andy Serkis’ “Breathe,” about the real-life polio activist Robin Cavendish, played by Andrew Garfield.

Organizers this year are reacting to a view of recent festivals that Toronto can be overwhelming for participants and yield diminishing returns for studios; executives annually scramble to lobby for the best slots and worry their movies will be overshadowed by competitors’ titles.

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