Saturday, September 19, 2009


Although TIFF is now officially wrapping up, there is still plenty of excitement in store as some of the most buzzed films receive their final screenings. I caught director Jan Kounen's Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky this morning at Scotiabank Theatre and it is wonderful. Everything from the set design, costumes, acting and directing were amazing. The film recounts a little-known about love affair that had occurred between the famous designer and composer during the years they collaborated together on Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring concerts.

Stravinsky and his wife Katia who is ill with Tuberculosis, are invited to move into Chanel's luxuriant villa where their passionate affair ensues. The chemistry between Anna Mouglalis (Chanel) and Mads Mikkelsen (Stravinsky) is electric and the film is chalk full of fearless love scenes. I was expecting a bit more focus on the music and fashion seeing that this is a story about two of the 20th century's greatest icons and didn't learn much about their creative processes, but nonetheless I was very satisfied still. The film will be distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, although there is no set release date; it is not to be confused with another biopic Coco Avant Chanel starring Audrey Tautou coming out on October 2, 2009. Grade: A

During the Q&A we learned that Mikkelsen apparently is not at all fluent in French nor is he proficient in his piano playing, although he sure fooled me. I was able to snap this gratuitous photo of Mikkelsen on his way out of the theatre:

After hearing about the growing buzz surrounding Rodrigo Garcia's Mother & Child, I decided to check out its final screening at Ryerson Theatre. The film features an all-star female cast headed by Annette Bening (Karen), who gives her daughter up for adoption after having her at age 14. Her daughter Elizabeth is a lawyer played by Naomi Watts who engages in an affair with her boss Paul, played by Samuel L. Jackson. Kerry Washington is Lucy, who has difficulty getting pregnant and the story ties together the lives of these very different women. Mother & Child raises the importance of ceasing opportunities and the consequences of not doing so. The acting is superb from all three principal actresses and there is a good amount of Oscar buzz generating for this film including a vote from critic Roger Ebert. Grade: B+

On my way to lunch I bumped into Marilyn Manson literally! He was boarding his tour bus in Yorkville. Kings of Leon were also around the corner, although I didn't wait around for a glimpse. Manson looked in a hurry and wasn't very social, but here he is:

TIFF was capped off with closing night gala The Young Victoria starring the gorgeous and talented Emily Blunt. The film is produced by Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. I was able to catch these amazing shots of her up-close and she was kind enough to turn around and sign my The Devil Wears Prada DVD, already previously signed by another one of my favourites, Anne Hathaway. Also in attendance was hot new British actor Rupert Friend.

The Cadillac People's Choice Award-winning film has been announced and it is Precious: Based On The Novel "Push" By Sapphire. Unfortunately though, I already saw it last Sunday, but if you're around the Toronto area and want to catch it, you should start lining up soon! Can anyone say Oscar?

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