Idris Elba is an actor of great talent, charisma and sex appeal. But in many ways his greatest achievements to date have been on television, in the crime dramas The Wire and Luther. Hollywood so far has given him only bit parts in franchise movies like Prometheus and the Thor series, voice work in animations like Zootropolis and Finding Dory, and a lead role in the hoped-for blockbuster The Dark Tower, which failed dramatically with both critics and audiences.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, he’s looking to change the narrative, with a supporting part in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game, and a lead role in The Mountain Between Us – a survival drama co-starring Kate Winslet. Critics like Molly’s Game but most of the critical discussion has been about Jessica Chastain and most reviews of The Mountain Between Us have been harsh.
The Mountain Between US is one of several films at TIFF directed by film-makers who’ve previously operated outside Hollywood who are now trying to make a go of it in Tinseltown. Its director is Hany Abu-Assad, the Palestinian film-maker behind acclaimed dramas such as Paradise Now, Omar and The Idol. Also at the festival is Mary Shelley by director Haifaa al-Masour, the first female film-maker to emerge from Saudi Arabia. Can Hollywood allow these film-makers their creative freedom?
Tom Brook talks about these issues with BBC Culture deputy editor Christian Blauvelt and film reporter Emma Jones. Watch the video above to find out more.
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