TIFF United Kingdom Film Spotlight: Colette and Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy

In anticipation of TIFF 2018, the D’Alessio Team is taking the time to highlight the most sought-after films chosen by their supporting countries that will be screened at this year’s TIFF.  We will be rolling out these spotlights in a series highlighting each countries picks. In our first feature spotlighting the top films coming out of the UK, our team has selected Colette and Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy.    


Keira Knightly stars in this historical drama about an eponymous French novelist who was is known as the best French writer in history.  The film tracks the beginnings of Colette’s success at the hands of her husband who falsely took credit for her debut. The film tackles themes of the battle for identity, equality, and self-determination at the dawn of the the feminist age of the 1800’s.  

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette has come to be known as a celebrated French writer and gay icon.  The film takes on the historical Colette’s effervescent energy and fearlessness. The film unapologetically tells the story of Colette humble beginning and tumultuous climb to being the beacon to women’s empowerment in France.

“She was a pioneer. She wrote about many things for the first time and with such honesty, wit, and bravery that I just couldn’t help but feel attracted to her voice as a writer. It’s very powerful” says Wash Westmoreland.

We meet Colette (Keira Knightly) as a teenage girl in the Burgundian countryside where she has grown an unusual attachment to Willy (Dominic West), charming older Parisian publishers.  He soon takes her as his bride and moves her to Paris. In the wake of his difficulties with writing, Colette jots down her school stories. He publishes her stories and becomes an immediate success.  In his success, he does not credit her, which in turn starts to place a divide between her and her husband. Colette’s fight over creative ownership defies gender roles and drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression.

The film is directed by Wash Westmoreland, from a screenplay by Westmoreland, Rebecca Lenkiewics, and Richard Glatzer. Colette reunites the producing team being Carol, Number 9 Films, and Killer Films.  It stars Keira Knightly, Dominic West, Eleanor Tomlinson and Denise Gough.  

The runtime of the film is 112 minutes.  TIFF’s preview of the movie can be found here.

Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy

Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy is the latest from writer-director Justin Kelly, the filmmaker behind King Cobra and I Am Michael.  In this true story, a young woman (Kristen Stewart) spends years playing the public role of Jeremiah “Terminator” LeRoy, an enigmatic and celebrated literary personal created by her sister-in-law (Laura Dern).  Albert recruited her sister-in-law Savannah Knoop (Stewart) to play Leroy in public appearances.

The film is based on Knoop’s 2008 tell-all memoir “Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy”.  Albert and her alter-ego Leroy were the subjects of Jeff Feuerzeig’s acclaimed 2016 documentary “Author: The JT LeRoy Story,” which tracked the rise of Leroy and how the fake person became a celebrity obsession.

“With Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy, Justin Kelly brings to the screen a truly unbelievable story that captivated a nation,” said Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of TIFF. “The storytelling is powerful and the characters are vivid, really evoking the idea that you have to see it to believe it.”

The runtime of the film is 108 minutes.  TIFF’s preview of the movie can be found here.

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