‘Precious’ takes Toronto’s People’s Choice

Posted by · 12:59 pm · September 19th, 2009

I’m a bit out of pocket down south so a fleeting post is all I can offer the history-making moment that is ‘Precious’ winning Toronto’s audience prize. No other film has taken the audience award at both Sundance and Toronto, I believe, but this miraculous film’s Oscar trajectory has been written for months. Congrats to […]

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TORONTO: Wrap up

Posted by · 6:56 am · September 19th, 2009

And so it ends. The last of the press screenings have winded down, the final Gala is tonight, and the awards are on the way, ending this year;s Toronto International Film Festival. This year’s fest was terrific, one of the better festivals, though still not as strong as 2007, which for me was the greatest […]

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INTERVIEW: Steven Soderbergh

Posted by · 10:14 am · September 18th, 2009

Toronto Film Festival Steven Soderbergh freely admits how much luck has played into his career, beginning with winning the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1989, the victory that launched his career and his first major work, “sex, lies and videotape.” “First of all the film was not supposed to be part of the competition […]

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TORONTO: ‘Whip It,’ ‘Valhalla Rising’

Posted by · 12:42 pm · September 17th, 2009

More from the fest… “Whip It” (***) Skinny Milly Miller.  I remember that name from the roller derby shows on Saturday afternoons in the 1970s. My grandfather loved sports of any kind and when there was nothing else, it was roller derby he would watch, and invite me to do so with him. I loved […]

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TORONTO: Douglas tops in the tedious ‘Solitary Man’

Posted by · 8:14 am · September 17th, 2009

People tend to forget that Michael Douglas won his first Academy Award not as an actor but as a producer, bringing the classic film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” to the screen in 1975. His father Kirk had given him the project after years of trying to get the things going and Michael went […]

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TORONTO: Michael Caine, ‘Harry Brown’ and Oscar

Posted by · 1:03 pm · September 16th, 2009

Michael Caine has won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor twice, the first time for his performance in Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters,”and the second for Lasse Hallström’s “The Cider House Rules.”  Among others, he ousted Tom Cruises’s brilliant performance in “Magnolia” with the latter. Beloved within the business, Caine is considered an […]

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INTERVIEW: Clive Owen

Posted by · 7:05 am · September 16th, 2009

Toronto Film Festival “I have two lives, mate,” Clive Owen says with clear-eyed certainty. “My work, and when I am done, my home life. There is no question to me which is more important. My wife and children are everything to me.” Owen is as intense in person as he is in some of the […]

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INTERVIEW: Robert Duvall

Posted by · 4:27 pm · September 15th, 2009

Toronto Film Festival Sitting down with Robert Duvall is more than a little intimidating. The man does not suffer fools, nor does he have a lot of time for small talk or stupid questions. He likes to talk, but he also likes an informed conversation.  As he nears 80, he is still a force of […]

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TORONTO: More on ‘The Road’

Posted by · 8:20 am · September 15th, 2009

There were some complaints in yesterday’s Toronto thread that I wasn’t specific enough as to why I enjoyed John Hillcoat’s “The Road,” so let me make it clear. The film captures, miraculously, in its performances and its images, a profound sense of loss, both for what was and for what will never be. Trees fall […]

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TORONTO: ‘The Road,’ ‘Bad Lieutenant,’ ‘Chloe’

Posted by · 2:27 pm · September 14th, 2009

(Please note, as opposed to Kris and Guy, I tend to grade films on a 5-star scale.) Loads to catch up on today and some interviews still to write up. First off, I have to confess that I disagree with Kris’s review of “The Road,” respectfully of course, and I think I have a reason […]

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TORONTO: Duvall the talk of the fest — shades of 1997

Posted by · 2:01 pm · September 13th, 2009

You know a film is hot when it is the subject of conversation in the screening, in the press room, and in the hallways of the hotels where the press junkets and meetings are being held.  In 1997, “The Apostle,” the exquisite film directed, written by and starring Robert Duvall, was the talk of the […]

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TORONTO: ‘The Informant!,’ ‘Jennifer’s Body,’ ‘Up in the Air,’ ‘Hugh Hefner’

Posted by · 2:43 pm · September 12th, 2009

(Please note, as opposed to Kris and Guy, I tend to grade films on a 5-star scale.) Day two of the festival is always among the busiest because the major studios are here and they want you to see their films. Movies with buzz coming out of Toronto quite often end up in the Oscar […]

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TORONTO: Settling in, ‘Antichrist’

Posted by · 9:41 am · September 11th, 2009

I left home at 6:30am yesterday to make an early check-in to my hotel at 8:30.  One bummer, my youngest daughter, Ariana, has a flu bug and I hate leaving Sherri with her on her own. She assured me it was cool, so I managed to get out the door without being overwhelmed with guilt. […]

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THE LISTS: Top 10 memories from TIFF

Posted by · 8:01 am · September 8th, 2009

One of the joys of my life is the 10 days in September I spend at the Toronto International Film Festival, bringing the film world to our city, the world press, and enough stars to take over Hollywood. The little festival that could, as it was known in the 1970s and early-1980s, The Festival of […]

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Previewing the 34th annual Toronto fest

Posted by · 7:25 am · September 4th, 2009

In less than a week I will kiss my wife and kids goodbye and head into Toronto, about 50 miles away, for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Twelve years ago my wife and I found it makes no sense for me to attend the festival for 16 to 18 hours and then try to […]

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‘The Road’ and others set for TIFF

Posted by · 9:03 am · August 13th, 2009

Right now, all is right with the world. The Toronto International Film Festival has confirmed that John Hillcoat’s “The Road,” the film I am looking forward to most this year, is going to be here in the Special Presentation Program. Yes!! I have been waiting for this film since reading that amazing book in three […]

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‘Young Victoria’ to close TIFF, Egoyan’s ‘Chloe’ added

Posted by · 5:16 pm · August 4th, 2009

Toronto is obviously digging the corsets this year. Weeks after Jon Amiel’s Charles Darwin biopic “Creation” was announced as the opening film of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, fest organizers have revealed that Jean-Marc Vallée’s “The Young Victoria” will close proceedings. This choice of bookends gives an odd symmetry to the festival schedule: both […]

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Herzog, Moore, Coens plan a stop at TIFF

Posted by · 11:05 am · July 28th, 2009

Some exciting announcements out of Toronto today (still no “Road”).  The festival is shaping up to be very, very cool this year. The film I am most excited about, announced today, is Werner Herzog’s remake “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” with Nicolas Cage in the role that Harvey Keitel made legendary. No in […]

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