38th Toronto International Film Festival Coverage: Day Two

Friday, September 6th, 2013 by Ian Evans

Jason Reitman, Scott Thompson, Dakota Fanning, Jesse Eisenberg, Dane Cook, Marc-Andre Grondin, Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Wilde, Josh Brolin, Jordan Hayes and Jarrod Einsohn

Day Two and it’s a busy day for us with coverage of The Railway Man, Parkland, Cannibal, Prisoners and Jason Reitman’s live read of the Boogie Night’s script.

This is the second year that Reitman has hosted a live table read of a screenplay, starting off with last year’s read of American Beauty. The read featured Jesse Eisenberg as Dirk Diggler, Josh Brolin as director Jack Horner, Dakota Fanning as Rollergirl, Olivia Wilde as Amber Waves, Jason Sudekis as Buck Swope and Dane Cook as Reed Rothchild. Kids in the Hall comedy great Scott Thompson played the part of The Colonel.

Colin Firth routinely spends his birthday (September 10th) at the Toronto festival and this year won’t be any different as the British actor has a couple of films here. The first is Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man. Based on Eric Lomax’s autobiography, the film stars Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Hiroyuki Sanada and Jeremy Irvine. Firth plays Lomax, who was tortured as POW in a Japanese camp during WWII. Years later, he tracks down one of his tormentors to confront him and give himself closure. Lomax’s widow, Patti, was in attendance, as was the woman who played her, Nicole Kidman.

Heading over to the Winter Garden Theatre, we covered Cannibal, from director Manuel Martin Cuenca. The film stars Antonio de la Torre as a quiet man who is secretly a cannibal and the bizarre romance he develops with the twin sister of one of his victims (Olimpia Melinte). Cuenca had previously been at the festival in 2010 with the film Half of Oscar.

Cannibal was followed by the VISA Screening Room premiere of Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners, a thriller about the abduction of two young girls and the events that unfold as the search continues. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the detective on the case, whose methodical investigation moves too slow for the father (Hugh Jackman) of one of the girls. The question arises if his vigilante acts will help or hinder justice. Villeneuve told reporters on the carpet that he was deeply touched by the trust Jackman gave him in telling this story, a script that writer Aaron Guzikowski described as a tightly-wound thriller.

Finally, we ended the night back at Roy Thomson Hall for the gala premiere of Parkland, Peter Landesman’s look at the time immediately following the shooting of JFK. The film stars Zac Efron as the young surgeon that had to deal with the president at Parkland Memorial Hospital and Paul Giamatti as Abraham Zapruder, who shot the famous 8mm film that caught the fatal shots. Landesman said that the film focuses on the people involved in the events, so rather than being a broad story about events and theories that everyone already knows, it gave him the latitude to look at how such a large event can affect people’s lives on a personal level; a surgeon with his most important patient ever, a businessman who possesses a key piece of evidence. Actor Colin Hanks said he really liked the way the story took this massive, complex story that’s in the history books and funnels it down to a very human, simple moment in time. Giamatti echoed those words, telling reporters that it humanizes the event because in the scope of it all, we tend to forget that there were real people who were deeply affected and emotionally scarred because of what happened on that day in Dallas.

TIFF Day Two Photo Galleries