July 24, 2012 |
The Toronto International Film Festival has chosen "Looper," director Rian Johnson's "thinking-man actioner" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, to open its 10-day event starting Sept. 6. The film stars Gordon-Levitt as a time-traveling hired gun who's been assigned the task of killing his future self (Willis). It's the second year in a row that the organization has opted for a non-Canadian movie as the first film of the prestigious event, and it's the second time Johnson has had a film screen at Toronto.
May 13, 2012 |
It was September 2010 and anticipation for Dustin Lance Black's directorial debut at the Toronto International Film Festival was running high. A year earlier, the "Milk" screenwriter had made a splash at the Oscars with his moving acceptance speech touching on the difficulty of growing up gay, transforming him into a hero for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Now, his Southern-set film, "What's Wrong With Virginia" - starring Jennifer Connelly and Ed Harris - was unspooling in Toronto's special presentation section alongside the works of Danny Boyle, John Sayles and Clint Eastwood.
March 12, 2012
'Salmon Fishing' catches on "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen" reeled in a healthy number of moviegoers at the box office this last weekend. The drama about a scientist and a consultant on a mission to bring fly-fishing to the Middle East opened in 18 theaters and collected $240,000 domestically, according to an estimate from distributor CBS Films. That amounted to a respectable per-theater average of $13,333. The film, starring Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, attracted an older female audience— 71% of the crowd was over 50 and 61% were women.
September 17, 2011 |
Reporting from Toronto — The blood was boiling at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, where the movies were dark and brooding, with filmmakers churning up a world of turmoil out of our discontent. I say our discontent because more often than not, the movies reflect the collective ethos, rather than stir it up. If the filmmakers are reading us right, we have moved beyond merely being worn down by war, politics, the economy and institutions (including marriage); we're of a mind to go rogue.
September 9, 2011
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Friday: Bono kicks off the Toronto International Film Festival. ( Los Angeles Times ) Mel Gibson is developing a movie about a Jewish hero. ( Los Angeles Times ) Michael J. Fox's "Back to the Future Part II" Nike sneakers are coming to EBay to help fight Parkinson's disease. ( Los Angeles Times ) Movie review: "Contagion" makes the spread of a global pandemic seem more than plausible. ( Los Angeles Times )
September 20, 2010
The Toronto International Film Festival is famous for its star-studded, Oscar-caliber lineup, but it showcases films featuring stellar turns from lesser - known performers too. Before the festival's conclusion Sunday, The Times' film staff caught up with some of the players poised to break out of this year's pack. As many stars have found, it can take a small film to finally move an actor from the side to center stage. "The First Grader," which rests heavily on Naomie Harris' slim shoulders, may be that film for her. The role of Teacher Jane — a headmistress in a rural Kenyan school who puts her job, her marriage and indeed her life on the line to fight for an 84-year-old's right to an education — captivated the 34-year-old actress when she read the script, based on a true story.
September 20, 2010 |
Reporting from Toronto In 2008, directors Danny Boyle and Darren Aronofsky came to the Toronto International Film Festival with two unknown commodities and emerged with awards-season favorites. It looks like history is repeating itself. The filmmakers, who previously wooed awards voters with "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The Wrestler," respectively, are back this season with new films. And, as happened two years ago, both of them won goodwill and frontrunner status at Toronto, the preeminent North American film showcase that wrapped Sunday.
September 17, 2010 |
There was no comfort zone at the Toronto International Film Festival this year: The films were edgy, and the filmmakers were even edgier — but in a completely different way. Actors took dark turns as well. There was everyday dark, like Will Ferrell as a newly unemployed alcoholic in "Everything Must Go. " Nightmare dark, like Javier Bardem as a dying father in "Biutiful," Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother in "Rabbit Hole" and Robin Wright as a suspected traitor in "The Conspirator.
September 15, 2010 |
Kevin Spacey thought he understood Jack Abramoff — until he began visiting the disgraced lobbyist in prison. "I read what everyone read about him, and then I started reaching out to him, and it was two different people," Spacey recalled. "On the one hand he's funny, almost comedian-like funny, and you can see how he owned a room. And then you look at what they said about him and he's the devil incarnate. And then there's the facts. " Spacey plays the colorful, morally compromised lobbyist in "Casino Jack," a film about the K Street scandal that will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, and is emerging as one of the festival's hotter entries.
September 14, 2010 |
John Carpenter needed a break. It was 2001, and his latest film, the outer space thriller "Ghosts of Mars," had just flopped — at the box office and with critics. Creatively stymied and just plain exhausted by Hollywood and the moviemaking process, the director decided it was time to step away from the camera. "I'd always sworn to myself when it stopped being fun I'd stop, and it stopped," Carpenter said over a recent lunch of pasta and Winstons in Beverly Hills. "I was really burned out. And it doesn't help when your movie tanks.