Toronto 2011 in 60 Seconds: After-Party Glow, Two Reviews, One Trailer, and "A Very Naked Festival"

Toronto 2011 in 60 Seconds: After-Party Glow, Two Reviews, One Trailer, and "A Very Naked Festival"

Sep 12, 2011


Jason Statham and Yvonne Strahovski
Robert De Niro may have worn sneakers to the Saturday afternoon screening of Killer Elite, but Jason Statham looked dressed to the nines with co-star Yvonne Strahovski at the after-party gathering. (Above; Photo credit: Oscar Mach/ Clive Owen showed up as well; De Niro didn't make it. Perhaps he was on his way back to New York for duties in connection with the various 9/11 memorial ceremonies. 
James Franco bought three pieces of art from 13-year-old Macy Armstrong. The young woman created the pieces in tribute to the actor, and was very excited: "He looked at me, he spoke to me, and I’m pretty sure we mentally got married!”
W.E. director Madonna (in the past she sang a little, too, we hear) swept into town and endured a press conference with -- shudder! -- journalists and photographers present. Festival volunteers were also present, and were given very specific instructions, according to The Globe and Mail: "About eight volunteers were told to turn and stand facing the wall, so that the star could walk down a hallway without them looking at her." Well! (See first item under "Hashtag Highlights," below.)
Spotted on the red carpet: Gerard Butler, Rachel Weisz, Val Kilmer, Ethan Hawke, Elizabeth Olson, Geoffrey Rush, and Dave Matthews. 
Friends With Kids
Monika Bartyzel examined Friends With Kids (above), the directorial debut of actress / writer Jennifer Westfeldt, and deemed it "her most daring setup and her most mainstream offering to date." Westfeldt stars along with Adam Scott, Maya Rudolph, Chris O'Dowd, Kristen Wiig, Megan Fox, Edward Burns, and Jon Hamm. 
Our Ms. Bartyzel also went back in time with Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs, directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Close's performance succeeds in "elevating a period piece about gender and class into wonderfully heartfelt and complex work." The film is set in 19th century Dublin, Ireland, and Close plays a woman who poses as a man; Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass) portrays a young man who poses as a superhero pretending to be a woman, while Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) is a young maid who falls down a rabbit hole … no, no, that's not right; but the is "a wonderful surprise," so read the review to find out why. 
Alison Nastasi posted a trailer for Lovely Molly, which is playing at the festival, and provided context on the new horror movie from Eduardo Sanchez (The Blair Witch Project): "The story centers around the newly married Molly Reynolds who pays her abandoned, isolated family home a visit. Nightmares from the past and a malevolent being threaten to consume her and blur the lines of psychosis and possession." It looks very … creepy. 
@cameron_tiff: "At W.E. intro Madonna gave huge shout-out to the #TIFF11 volunteers in orange T-shirts."
@jianghomeshi: "More Werner Herzog(ism) on #Q today: 'There are 4000 film festivals around the world...but only 3 or 4 really good films each year.'" 
@colliderfrosty: "YOU'RE NEXT is a hugely commerical horror/thriller that was worthy of the #tiff11 buzz. A studio should buy it asap."
@Tyler_Kyte: "Just bummed a smoke off of Sean Penn. That dude is legit! #TIFF"
Sleeping Beauty
"TIFF 2011 is a very naked festival indeed," reports Johanna Schneller for The Globe and Mail. "There are more unabashedly nude people on screen than there are in a communal shower at the YMCA after an aqua-aerobics class." (The picture accompanying the story is from Sleeping Beauty, starring Emily Browning, which international movie publicity law requires that we reproduce above.)
"Buyers are lining up for the more commercial-looking movies on display at Toronto," according to Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. She identified Friends With Kids and The Oranges, plus Midnight Madness titles The Raid and The Incident as the most likely prospects for deals. She also rounded up a sampling of reviews. 
"This is my first time at TIFF," says Alicia Van Couvering at Filmmaker Magazine, "and I have to admit, it is a puzzle." It's not just the prospect of figuring out which of hundreds of films to see; it's also the transportation system: "It is de rigeur to show up to a screening at the AMC Theatres panting and sweating." 
David Hudson at Mubi rounds up reviews for Terence Davies' The Deep Blue Sea and Fernando Meirelles' 360, which are both world premiering in Toronto and will bookend the BFI London Film Festival in October. The former received a more positive reaction than the latter. 
Continuing our "review roundup" theme for today, Emily Rome of 24 Frames (Los Angeles Times) collected reactions to "the occasionally 3-D" production Twixt, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. She comments that the title "sounds like a candy bar, but critics at the Toronto International Film Festival are not too sweet on the filmmaker’s loosely autobiographical vampire story."  You can also relive the good times from Coppola's panel at Comic-Con in July. 

Categories: Film Festivals, Indie
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