TIFF: Ramanujan biopic and The Martian

I called it! I am either psychic or saavy:  Dev Patel will star as Srinivasa Ramanujan in the upcoming biopic The Man Who Knew Infinity, which will be one of the highly sought after galas at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. I actually called for Patel to play Ramanujan in an earlier post… I swear I had no idea about the film!

Ramanujan is one of the most romantic figures in the history of mathematics. He was self-taught, and caught the attention of Hardy at Cambridge (played by Jeremy Irons in the movie). He died at only 32 but produced thousands of results in number theory and analysis. The movie is based on the biography by Robert Kanigel.

infinity

Movies with STEM themes seem to be prominent at TIFF in recent years, as Hollywood seems to be realizing that mathematicians and scientists make compelling protagonists. Another major premier at TIFF this year is The Martian, based on the novel by Andy Weir.  I had just finished the novel when I heard about the motion picture, starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and Kristen Wiig. The book is centred on an astronaut stranded on Mars, and his efforts to stay alive using science and engineering while he waits to be rescued. The Martian is an awesome read, and I have high hopes for the movie.

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There are also some galas with LGBTQ themes, including Freeheld and Stonewall.  Overall, it looks like another exciting roster at TIFF this year.

Anthony Bonato

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