Wednesday, September 14, 2005

TIFF Entry #9: Stars at Large!

Today’s minimalist approach to festival journaling is brought to you courtesy of Margaret Cho and her hilarious (but really long!) Q&A session. I didn’t get home until after 11pm, and I’d like to be in bed around midnight, so this is going to have to be shorter than usual.

As such…

Movie one! North Country (5/8), starring Charlize Theron in an Oscar-bait role as a Minnesota miner who leads her fellow women-miners in a precedent-setting class-action, sexual-harassment lawsuit against the boorish owners of the mine. It’s based on a true story, it was well done (if a bit slow in sections) and director Niki Caro (Whale Rider) gave a very sweet introductory speech. She said she’d only finished the film a few days ago!

Movie two! Proof (6/8), starring Gwyneth Paltrow in an Oscar-bait role as the brilliant daughter of a recently deceased, brilliant-but-insane mathematician (Anthony Hopkins), who falls for one of her father’s former students (Jake Gyllenhaal), copes with her overbearing sister (Hope Davis) and claims to be the author of a groundbreaking mathematical proof no one believes is hers. It, too, was very well done, but based on a play and not on a real event. No one showed up for the screening, but actor Mark Feuerstein was there, standing in line alone with the rest of us, just checking out the movie. He was very tan.

Movie three! Backstage (5/8), a French drama about a teenage fan (Isild Le Besco) obsessed with a pop singer (Emmanuelle Segnier), who gets an eyeful of the harsh truths of celebrity (and, more specifically, the insecurities of same) when she finagles a way into the singer’s inner circle. Segnier and the director were in attendance, but so were some other famous folks. Gabriel Byrne wandered in, alone and looking for a seat, and sat behind me. Singer Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo sat a couple of rows ahead of me, and director Jason Reitman and his posse came in…played with their cell phones and Blackberrys, and then left before it was over.

Movie four! Bam Bam and Celeste (5/8), Margaret Cho’s self-described “fag and his fag-hag road movie” about a pair of misfit best friends (Cho and real-life good pal, Bruce Daniels), who flee Dekalb, Illinois, for the Big Apple and a shot on a TV makeover show. Almost all of the cast (the two leads + Alan Cumming, Elaine Hendrix and John Cho) showed up for the screening and, as mentioned, the post-film Q&A was delightful. Funny people generally make for more spirited sessions and having Cho (Margaret, not John) open the floor by saying, “Ask whatever the f**k you want!” set a lively tone.

The end! And a heads-up that tomorrow’s entry may be equally abbreviated – I have another late movie that will leave me pooped by the time I venture home.

Oh! And one correction to yesterday’s diary entry: I mistakenly said that Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t attend the Proof premiere, but he did. My apologies.

Dammit! It’s now after midnight and I still have teeth to brush! Ah well.

Celebrity Sightings: Niki Caro, Mark Feuerstein, Gabriel Byrne, Jim Cuddy, Jason Reitman, Margaret Cho, John Cho, Alan Cumming and Elaine Hendrix.

Roger Ebert Sightings: Yeah, we’re at the festival halfway mark and I have absolutely nothing to report.

Line Buzz: Mediocre buzz on The Mistress of Spices, some thumbs up for Opa! and good word of mouth for One Last Thing?.


Jennifer said...

Gah! (as Bridget Jones would say) I can't believe GABRIEL BYRNE sat behind you! That's huge! Did he kick your seat or anything? C'mon, there must be more to tell.

This one time he was on The Late Show, and he told a fantastic story about eating a ton of orange peels as a kid so he could stay home from school. Seems he turned kind of orange himself, and his parents weren't sure what to do, other than let him stay in bed. A guy with a story like that just HAS to be cool.

Vickie said...

He didn't sit in the seat directly behind me, but a few over. So I don't know if he's a seat kicker, but he stayed for the Q&A, which I thought was rather nice.