When the Toronto International Film Festival kicks off in a little over two days, here’s how it begins; with Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition.

The perpetually undervalued Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a man whose wife is killed in a car accident. Though wildly successful in his professional life, he’s not particularly happy, and when his spouse is suddenly killed, it forces him to reassess everything — and then to literally demolish his house.

That’s about all the trailer provides, but here’s the synopsis from the TIFF website:

New York investment banker Davis Mitchell (Gyllenhaal) is sleepwalking through a life of easy success when a horrible car crash wakes him with a start. His lovely wife, Julia, is killed. Friends and family gather round to console him, but Davis seems to feel nothing. Seemingly unfazed by his loss yet preoccupied by his inability to retrieve a candy bar from a hospital vending machine, Davis takes to writing absurdly protracted — and increasingly confessional — letters of complaint to the Champion Vending Machine Company. Those letters are answered by Karen (Watts), a mysterious, eccentric Champion employee. Davis' letters somehow resonate with Karen. As Davis finds himself undertaking a campaign of random acts of destruction, dismantling everything from household appliances to an office washroom stall, he and Karen forge a strange and beautiful alliance. Both put their own interests at risk — but what they discover in the aftermath may prove far more valuable.

That reveals Naomi Watts’ role in the film, as the woman who receives Gyllenhaal’s angry letter. Interestingly, she doesn’t appear at all in this trailer. As described above, her part doesn’t necessarily sound like a spoiler; I’m not sure why she was left out (other than an attempt to keep the focus squarely on Gyllenhaal).

Vallée’s been on a prestige film hot streak; his last two movies, Dallas Buyers Club and Wild, combined for eight Oscar nominations and three wins, including acting awards for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. Demolition looks like another great showcase for a star, and perhaps an opportunity for Gyllenhaal to once and for all silence the naysayers who claim he’s the weaker Gyllenhaal sibling. Curiously, even though Demolition has Oscar-bait written all over it, it’s currently scheduled to open next year, on April 8.

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