Each day at the Toronto International Film Festival (September 9-19), indieWIRE is publishing a frequently updated dispatch from Toronto.
4:30pm: Today’s “Hot Topics” Today at the Filmmaker’s Lounge for Live at the Lounge with indieWIRE’s Hot Topics segment, The National Post‘s Shinan Govani stopped by to talk with Eugene Hernandez about the best parties thus far at TIFF and what we have to look forward to this week. A few of Govani’s highlights included attending “The King’s Speech” star Colin Firth’s 50th birthday party, meeting and discussing the brown, leather vest which Bill Murray was wearing and Megan Fox’s trip to the Royal Ontario Museum. Govani shared his views on how to talk to celebrities and how to stay relevant as a social commentator in the age of Twitter and live blogging. Up next for Govani: partying with Bruce Springsteen. Check out clips of today’s Hot Topics here and here. [Margot Keith]
2:00pm: Winona Ryder Talks “Swan” “I’ve been asked about ambition before and I don’t feel that ambitious because I started so young and because it was very fun,” Winona Ryder said at the press conference for “Black Swan” this morning. Ryder and co-star Natalie Portman had been asked about the pressures they felt by being in the public eye since they were children, a pressure that is mirrored in “Swan,” which debuted in Toronto last night. “But to be looked at and judged and read something about yourself and you think ‘okay, that’s who I am and that’s who I should be.’ It gets very confusing and it could drive a person crazy.” Check out video from the talk here. [Peter Knegt]
12:30pm: Eric Kohn on “Essential Killing” “So little happens in Jerzy Skolimowski’s ‘Essential Killing’ that it barely exists as a movie,” Kohn writes. “Instead, the story of an escaped Taliban fighter (Vincent Gallo) wandering through the forests of Europe meanders along as a succession of scenes. At times engrossing and not without palpable suspense, it nonetheless amounts to a provocative doodle.” Read the full review here.
11:45am: “Potiche” Cast In Toronto “As a movie goer, I have to say that I love comedies. I love seeing the energy of the actors and I just love comedy because life is not funny enough,” French actress – and icon – Catherine Deneuve said with a beaming smile Monday afternoon in Toronto. She is starring in director Francois Ozon’s latest, “Potiche,” screening here as a Gala. Check out Brian Brooks’ full story on the press conference here.
10:30am: “Barney’s Version” Cast and Director Chat
“There was nothing I didn’t like about the character,” Paul Giamatti said at the press conference for “Barney’s Version” yesterday. “It was so fun to get the chance to play this impulsive man’s life out. I’m not like him – I’m a wimp.” Based on the novel by Mordecai Richler, the film follows Barney Panofsky (Giamatti) a romantic, impulsive and blunt Jewish philanderer from Montreal, and the many women in his life, including his three wives played by Lefevre, Driver, and Pike. Check out Nigel Smith’s full report from the press conference here.
9:30am: Kohn Reviews Both Morris and Herzog
Werner Herzog and Errol Morris faced off yesterday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox by interviewing each other, and now indieWIRE critic Eric Kohn gives his takes on the films that each director are here in Toronto for: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” and “Tabloid.”
“In recent years, Werner Herzog’s sly observations on the ways the universe in wondrously strange documentaries such as ‘Grizzly Man’ and ‘Encounters at the End of the World’ have taken on cult status apart from his existing place in the history of German cinema,” Kohn writes of “Dreams.” “Viral videos contain uncanny imitations of the filmmaker’s distinct Bavarian accent reading every children’s classic from ‘Where’s Waldo?’ to ‘Curious George.’ The reality is that Herzog could make the phonebook sound interesting, but he usually aims much higher than that. His latest non-fiction outing, ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams,’ proves that point again: It’s an extraordinary production feat that transcends his personal whims while giving them room to shine. Read more here.
“The enjoyably wacky scenario of Errol Morris’s ‘Tabloid’ is cookie cutter material for the documentarian, but Morris wields his personalized cookie cutter like a pro,” Kohn writes of “Tabloid.” “Doing penance for the grim, sterile polemics of ‘Standard Operating Procedure,’ Morris bounces back with the sort of phenomenally surreal weird-but-true tale expected of him. The result is not a major work, but still a wildly funny portrait that succeeds at inducing the incredulity Morris always seeks out.” Read more.
9:15am: Todd McCarthy On “Hereafter” Todd McCarthy wrote of Clint Eastwood’s latest: “Eastwood and Morgan are not pushing an agenda of belief here, but neither are they out to debunk or scoff; nor, to their possible commercial detriment, are they intent upon tantalizing or spooking the audience n the manner of “The Sixth Sense.” Instead, they are refreshingly open-minded on a subject it is easy to feel superior to but difficult to rule out with absolute certainty.” Read more.
9:00am: “Rabbit Hole” Premieres To Strong Reaction John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole” had its world premiere last night at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre, and reactions seemed to be generally quite warm – particularly for Nicole Kidman’s performance as a mother grieving the loss of her son. More on the film, and a clip from the film’s introduction at the Elgin last night, can be found here [Peter Knegt].