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Toronto

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    Video: John Turturro Talks Naples Music Doc Passione

    Italian-American actor-director John Turturro is beloved by the Italians—Venice Fest audiences treat him like a huge star. In fact, ill-fated Romance and Cigarettes, which was caught in the backdraft at the end of United Artists, was such a hit in Italy that financeers stepped up to hire Turturro to direct a doc about the music of Naples. Passione is not unlike Fatih Akin’s Crossing the Bridge: it’s a “musical adventure” showcasing the music, old and new, of Naples, via a mix of old footage and new performances by the city’s top artists. The film was exhilarating, and more than one moviegoer walked out of the theater humming. I also admired T...

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    TIFF: National Geographic's Battsek Acquires The First Grader

    With his first fall festival buy since he took over National Geographic Films, ex-Miramax president Daniel Battsek has acquired U.S. rights for Toronto and Telluride title The First Grader. Battsek had been looking for just the right movie that would fit into the National Geographic mandate to revea...

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    The King's Speech Wins TIFF Audience Award

    News that will make Harvey Weinstein's day is that not only did Tom Hooper's The King's Speech leapfrog to Oscar-casters' front-runner lists after its warm media reception at the Toronto International Film Festival, but it won the coveted People's Choice award as well. That's a remarkable feat.

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    TIFF: Genre Films Sell in Toronto Buying Spree

    As TIFF wound down, the weekend sale of Will Ferrell's $6 million dark comedy Everything Must Go to Lionsgate/Roadside marked a more frenetic Toronto sales market than last year, when many sales took months to close. Horror film Insidious also sold, to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions Group, probably for 2011 Screen Gems release. "It's a genre distributor's wet dream," says IM Global's Stuart Ford, who wasn't worried about landing North American distribs for these and two more titles at Toronto this year--all were modestly-budgeted and pre-sold in foreign territories. "The market is still challenging, but healthier than it was a year ago. There's ...

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    Oscar Talk: Post-Toronto, 127 Hours, King's Speech, Social Network, I'm Still Here

    In Contention's Kris Tapley and I talked in the same city for this week's Oscar Talk. He's seen Catfish and The Social Network; I saw a bunch of new movies in Venice and Toronto including I'm Still Here, Rabbit Hole, Beginners, and I Saw the Devil.

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    TIFF Buy: Oscilloscope Acquires Meek's Cutoff

    Oscilloscope, the same distrib that opened Kelly Reichardt's 2008 film, Wendy and Lucy, starring Michelle Williams, will also handle the North American release of her most recent Venice/Toronto entry, the western Meek's Cutoff, starring Williams, Will Patton, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan...

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    TIFF Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer Review, and Alex Gibney Talks

    Alex Gibney's hugely entertaining Eliot Spitzer doc, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Elliot Spitzer, is a leading contender for this year's doc Oscar. The movie is full of surprises. In my flip cam interview with Gibney (below) he explains how the story he tells turned out far different from what he ...

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    TIFF Interview: Inarritu Expected Biutiful, Starring Bardem, to "Provoke Extreme Reactions"

    Biutiful, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's long-awaited follow-up to Babel (which scored seven Oscar nominations in 2007 including best picture), came into Toronto with a stateside distrib (Lionsgate's Roadside Attractions), and played well here. Javier Bardem's performance as a down-and-out psychic in...

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    Toronto Diary: Meek's Cutoff and Mysteries of Lisbon Are Snoozes; SUPER is Rousing

    After Meredith Brody's sustained Toronto pace of viewing and reviewing films, I felt compelled to take her to dinner, where we were joined by our pals Bernie and Martin, who scored a table at one of Toronto's finest, Nota Bene, after which she composed her latest missive (in which she's tougher on M...

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    Lionsgate Goes for Oscar Gold on Rabbit Hole, Starring Kidman

    Lionsgate is diving back into the Oscar race--this is the studio that delivered the Oscar-winning Precious--by acquiring North American rights to John Cameron Mitchell's Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest, which debuted in Toronto September 13. The movie, adapted by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s from his Pulitzer-prize-winning play, went over well with critics here. Kidman’s Blossom Films developed and produced the film, which tells the story of two parents grieving the loss of their four-year-old boy in an accident. It's a tour-de-force role for Kidman, who won the best actress Oscar for The Hours. An Osc...

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