Each day at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19), indieWIRE is publishing a frequently updated dispatch from Toronto.
3:00pm: Franco Talks “127 Hours” It’s an amazing story,” James Franco said of “127 Hours,” Danny Boyle’s take on the story of Aron Ralston (Franco), a mountain climber who had to amputate his own arm after becoming trapped under a boulder. Franco stopped by the Toronto Film Festival Filmmaker Lounge this afternoon to chat about the film, which previewed at the Telluride Film Festival last week and is making its official premiere this Sunday night in Toronto. Read about the talk here. [Peter Knegt]
11:25am: Happy 50th Birthday, Colin Firth Tom Hooper’s “The King’s Speech” had its official premiere last night at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto after being suggested as a very strong awards contender from its Telluride screenings. Those suggestions should only accelerate from here on in. Telling the story of the relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and an unorthodox speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush), “Speech” easily won over the Toronto audience, culminating with a lengthy and uproarious standing ovation (read Todd McCarthy’s review of the film here/
The reception made for a nice birthday present for Mr. Firth, who is at this point the definite favorite for a best actor Oscar. The actor turned 50 yesterday, a fact “Speech” director Hooper made sure the audience at Roy Thompson Hall was well aware of.
“Colin Firth doesn’t know this, but the reason you’re all here tonight is that we’re celebrating his birthday,” he said. “I just said come over to the Roy Thompson Hall, have a little coffee and a chat.. I’m very grateful you’re all in on the secret and kept it so well. So forgive me if Colin looks a little startled.”
This cued Firth walking on stage, and the entire Roy Thompson Hall singing him “Happy Birthday.” Check out video here. [Peter Knegt]
10:15am: Live with indieWIRE! Today kicks off day two of Live at the Lounge with indieWIRE. For yesterday’s Hot Topics, Anne Thompson, Eric Kohn and Brian Brooks dished on what to see at TIFF this year, and what they’re most looking forward to. Thompson just got back from Venice, and raved on “Black Swan,” and “Never Let Me Go.” She wasn’t so fond of Casey Affleck’s directorial debut “I’m Still Here,” which is also screening at TIFF.
Today James Franco will be popping in to discuss Danny Boyle’s follow up to “Slumdog Millionaire,” “127 Hours.” Following that two producers of James Gunn’s “Super,” Ted Hope and Miranda Bailey,” will make an appearance at the new Filmmaker’s Lounge. The film had it world premiere last night as part of TIFF’s Midnight Madness series at the Ryerson Theater. [Nigel M. Smith]
9:30am: Not So Super for “Passion Play” Before “Super” screened, the stars and director of “Passion Play” turned out at the Ryerson Theater for the film’s world premiere. Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox, Kelly Lynch, Bill Murray (!) and director/writer Mitch Glazer all walked the red carpet and greeted the packed house. The drama marks Glazer’s directorial debut, and the result is one of the oddest and most unconvincing love stories to come around in quite some time. Rourke plays Nate, a down and out jazz musician, who falls for a circus beauty that sports a pair of wings (Fox). Murray makes a rare appearance as sadistic businessman, who tries to tear them apart. Fox stands out in her most dramatic role to date, but the love story never gains momentum due to the jaw-dropping absurdity of the premise. [Nigel M. Smith]
9:15am: “Hereafter” Trailer Hits The Web Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” – which details three interconnected people dealing with death – is having its first screening in Toronto today for press and industry. Word should start trickling out late afternoon. But in the meantime, the film’s trailer was released today and suggests to expect something quite different than most Eastwood offerings. [Peter Knegt]
9:00am: Super Night for “Super” Following last night’s Midnight Madness world premiere of James Gunn’s “Super,” MovieLine is raving, gushing: “if there’s any early favorite on that list of bidding-war candidates coming out of Toronto, this would probably be the one.” They also went on to call the Ellen Page starrer an “instant cult classic.” The Freeman over at Ain’t It Cool News concurs, stating: “this film is pure movie magic, it has everything, gore, comedy, violence, hot ladies, hell of a lot of heart, story and it’s got something to say.” [Nigel M. Smith]