Sunday, September 11, 2005

TIFF Entry #7: Imagine Déjà Vu!

There’s nothing like trying to navigate Toronto’s transit system at 7:45am on a Sunday. Subways don’t start running until 9am, so those of us commuting to the fest are stuck riding the surface routes…a colorful experience, to say the least, when you’re trucking along with folks still buzzed from their late-night out. Walking is an option, sort of, depending on where you’re early-morning screening is taking place, but the people you run into on foot are even sketchier than those using “the better way.”


I started the day with the comedy Thank You For Smoking (7/8), the directorial debut of Jason Reitman (son of Ivan). Aaron Eckhart stars as Nick Naylor, a tobacco lobbyist and “Sultan of Spin,” who fronts the Academy of Tobacco Studies and is the spokeman for a smoke-full America. Based on the novel by Christopher Buckley, Smoking skewers the ideology at its core and makes for a biting satire that has a distinct anti-smoking undertone. The supporting cast includes Maria Bello and SNL alum David Koechner (he’s the guy I saw on the street yesterday!) as, respectively, a liquor lobbyist and gun-toting NRA type; William H. Macy as Nick’s nemesis, a flustered senator from Vermont; and (gag) Katie Holmes as a libidinous journalist profiling Nick in an article and nailing him at home.

The movie is sharp, smart and very funny. Jason Reitman arrived to introduce the film (no small feat for a 9:15am screening on a Sunday!), and returned afterwards for a Q&A…with Aaron Eckhart! They were both entertaining, and I think everyone in the audience was pleasantly surprised that they both showed.

I had a two-hour gap between movies, so I went home to eat, check email and watch a few press conferences. I tuned in for Brokeback Mountain, which was plagued by horrible sound – I had to crrrrrrank the volume on my TV and Jake was still barely audible. No doubt terrifying the cast was everyone’s favorite troll-like moderator, who’s returned for another year with longer hair and an even surlier mood. Thankfully, TIFF is spreading out moderator duties amongst several people, so at least Henri won’t be tormenting all the visiting glitterati.

My second film was…Imagine Me & You. Yes, again. I couldn’t resist. And I’m glad I saw it a second time. It was worth the effort and it gave me a chance to watch the film through less manic eyes. Happily, it was just as good the second time around.

I high-tailed over to the Ryerson afterwards for my final film of the day, The Mistress of Spices (4/8), an ethereal British film co-starring Aishwarya Rai and Dylan McDermott. It’s the big-screen adaptation of the novel of the same name, and centers on a magical woman (Rai), who runs an Oakland spice shop where she dispenses advice, guidance and essential spices to an array of local customers while adhering to the strict “rules” set out by her mentor (namely: don’t ever set foot outside the store and don’t ever touch the skin of another person). But things change when she meets Doug (McDermott), becomes distracted by budding feelings and copes with the consequences of both. The film is gorgeously shot and nice enough, overall, but was a little dull.

A somewhat sluggish Dylan McDermott was among the players who attended the screening (along with the director, the novelist and co-producer Gurinder Chadha), but it was explained that his wife had just had a baby several days ago. So perhaps he’s a little tired.

Tomorrow, the four-movie days begin (and don’t end until the fest is over)…along with a mini-heatwave that will send temperatures into the high-80s and low-90s at least until Wednesday. Time to break out the flip-flops!

Celebrity Sightings: Aaron Eckhart, Jason Reitman, Gurinder Chadha, Dylan McDermott and Padma Lakshmi.

Roger Ebert Sightings: I promised myself I wouldn’t panic if I didn’t see him over the weekend… *gulp*

Line Buzz: Mediocre reviews for Neverwas, so-so buzz for Seven Swords and a couple of people crapping all over Shadowboxer, which I’ll be seeing on Friday.


Linda said...

Vickie, speaking of Imagine Me & You again (which I'm sure you will be for a long time), I couldn't help but notice that one of the leads was none other than Piper Perabo. This would be the same Piper whose resume includes starring roles in Coyote Ugly and Lost and Delirious. Vickie, those movies blew. (But then again, maybe you were one of the folks that LIKED those movies!) I'm just saying, I need some more convincing that maybe her talents have, oh I don't know, evolved.

Vickie said...


As a matter of fact, I liked BOTH of those movies. And I like Piper Perabo, in general! And I love Lena Headey!!!

So there.


Linda said...

Yeah, see? ;D

Lena Headey is currently in The Brothers Grimm, without a lot to do expect be the token woman in the film (in the best Monty Python filmmaking tradition). So if you like her, you might want to watch her run around in the woods, killing evil witches and such. ;)

Vickie said...

Yes, but now, you said THAT movie why would I see it?

I'd much rather watch "Coyote Ugly" again. Or dig up one of Lena's other gay-gal roles.

Unless she has lots of screen time in "Grimm." If so, I'll be in line.

nbgirl said...


I too am a Piper Perabo fan, and have you to thank for that.

Imagine You & Me sounds fantastic. I fear I'll have to wait for the DVD release, I doubt it will hit the big screens of New Brunswick.

Vickie said...

Don't be so sure, dude. ;-)

If Fox Searchlight handles distribution in Canada, it should get out to the east coast, even if only in one theater somewhere...if not NB, then Halifax at least. I hope.

I think.

nbgirl said...

I hope you're right Vic.

I enjoyed reading all your comments this year, even though the Fest wasn't as good for you as it usually is.

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