34th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Four
It’s day four of TIFF and the army of fans lined up around the city’s theatres had plenty of chances to yell.
Ashton Kutcher accompanied his wife, Demi Moore, to the premiere of The Joneses, which she stars in with David Duchovny, Glenne Headly and Amber Heard. Derrick Borte’s directorial debut is about a seemingly perfect family that moves into a new neighbourhood. What the neighbours don’t realize is that they’re a fake family sent in to hawk luxury products to consumers. The way product placement is going, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this concept in a documentary in a few years.
We also attended Mao’s Last Dancer, the latest from director Bruce Beresford. The film is based on the autobiography of Li Cunxin, a Chinese ballet dancer, and how he defected to follow his heart and his art. Chi Cao and Kyle MacLachlan walked the carpet along with the film’s inspiration, Li Cunxin.
The Road, directed by John Hillcoat and based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel, stars Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee as a father and son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic USA. As is the case in post-apocalyptic life, the duo most confront hardship, pillaging gangs, and the odd band of cannibals. Before hitting Toronto, the film screened at the Venice and Tellride festivals. Viggo Mortensen, who is always generous with the fans, once again proved that he’s a crowd favourite here in Toronto. I’m sure some of the fans would even forgive him for liking the Montreal Canadiens.
Speaking of Festival regulars, Atom Egoyan brought his Chloe to Roy Thomson Hall along with stars Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried. Moore plays a woman who suspects her husband (Liam Neeson) is cheating and hires an escort to test his fidelity. Sadly this film will always include the footnote that Neeson was working on it when he heard about the Mont Tremblant accident that killed his wife, Natasha Richardson.
Drew Barrymore, Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig and a team of other stars took to the carpet for Drew’s directorial debut Whip It. Juno’s Ellen Page plays Bliss Cavendar, a small-town misfit who rebels against her mothers wish for her to be in beauty pageants and ends up finding her niche as a member of a roller derby team.
The biggest screams of the night, however, seemed to be reserved for the arrival of Oprah at the screening of Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. Ms. Winfrey was joined by Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Sherri Shepperd, Paula Patton and the film’s effervescent star, Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe. The carpet also included the film’s director, Lee Daniels, and an unexpected visit by Robert De Niro.