Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Keeping The Faith In Hollywood!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Toronto Film Festival September 10-19, 2009

The 34th Annual Toronto Film Festival (TIFF) 2009 is scheduled to start Thursday, September 10th and run until Saturday, the 19th. I was lucky to attend the 31st TIFF in 2006 and saw many great films there including the premiere of Away From Her starring Julie Christie. She played an Alzheimer's patient in this film and she was nominated for an Oscar for her wonderful performance. I attended the red carpet and screening of this movie for free and I had a lovely time. Ms. Christie and the rest of the cast was in attendance for the premiere. Ms. Christie wore a grayish-pale blue dress with sequences and she looked very lovely. I was sitting directly below her and the cast in the theatre's viewing box and I got to see her reactions as we reacted to her performance.

I was lucky to get a free ticket for this event as I waited in the press of the crowd outside for an earlier movie premiere of Shut Up and Sing, a documentary about and attended by the Dixie Chicks. The film documents all the brouhaha that went on after the chicks made those controversial comments about then president George W. Bush. I knew I would meet some radical people at this event but I had just finished hours of lectures at a medical conference a few blocks away and I needed a diversion. Sure enough, some anti-war and anti-Bush Canadians were cheering the Dixie Chicks arrival very loudly. They carried signs and chanted anti-war slogans and they were trying to get a bit rowdy. It seems that this vocal group were also anti-deodorant and I had to stand down wind from them a bit.

The red carpet arrivals went inside and then it started to rain but a loyal crew of movie fans, like myself, stayed outside hoping to get a glimpse of someone famous. A sympathetic TIFF staffer came out and told us that the event was sold out but she gave us free tickets to the next event because of our commitment.

I also saw Infamous, the other Truman Capote film that had the misfortune of coming out after the Phillip C. Hoffman's take on the role. However, in comparison, I found Toby Jones's performance more realistic since his stature and movements are more in line with those of the actual Truman Capote's. Also, Daniel Craig was real "I wouldn't want to run in to you in a dark alley" scary and Sandra Bullock was her usual delightful self in a uncharacteristic turn as the down home if a bit intense take on the author of To Kill A Mocking Bird and friend of Capote, Harper Lee.

I attended the red carpet premiere of this movie also and that's how I ran into Sandra Bullock, literally! Actually, we ran into each other as the crowd for the premiere jumped the velvet ropes and mobbed Ms. Bullock mere feet from the theater door. Ms. Bullock and I both thought we were being attacked and we cowered together as the crowd pounced. Minutes earlier, Ms. Bullock was practically glowing in her chocolate and peach silk dress. She was working the crowd like a pro. She was waving and signing autographs real sweetly and she even hugged a few fans and stopped to take pictures with them. Some other fans and I were already inside in the lobby because we had tickets to the event, however we still were very impressed with how nice she looked and how nice she was with the fans. We talked amongst ourselves as we waited for her to enter the lobby.

Ms.Bullock entered the theater lobby to ohs and ahs over how nice she looked and our response only increased the closer she got to us. She waved at us and signed a few more autographs then she walked the last few yards of the red carpet, which was coincidentally directly towards me as I was in the front just behind the velvet rope. As she walked up, the shouts from the crowd increased to a crescendo and they pressed in slowly closer. Ms. Bullock waved cutely, smiled a mega-watt smile and did her trade mark crinkled nose at us and that's when the dam burst. The crowd erupted with a roar and pushed over the ropes to try to touch her, with me the only thing in their path. When the dust cleared and security restored order, a stunned Ms. Bullock stared at me and mouthed "what happened?". I shrugged "I don't know" in disbelief. They announce the beginning of the premier and Ms. Bullock races in to her seat for the introduction of the cast.

I posted a picture of me from that night and I think it shows the exact expression that was on my face when I encountered Sandra Bullock minutes later (lol). I stood next to Jessica Lange(King Kong), Tom Skerrit(Picket Fences) and Kathy Bates as they walked the red carpet at the premiere of Bonneville earlier that night. I cheered in support of Kathy Bates as she is a great actress but gets a bum rap about her size. And about that reported large size; Ms. Bates is very small in height (maybe 5'0") and is definitely overweight but she really was not that much bigger than the other women in the crowd but she is lots bigger than the rest of the women of the cast, especially Jessica Lange and Joan Allen who must be size 0-2.

See the films lined up for TIFF 2009 at

Learn more about the movie Infamous and watch Sandra Bullock in the slide show with some of the other TIFF arrivals that I saw at TIFF in 2006:

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