Holy hot spots, PopWatchers! It’s day four of the Toronto film festival and I finally have access to the Internets! Since landing up here in Canadia last Thursday, I’ve had little to report except for my ongoing battles with the gods of high-speed connectivity in my room at the Sutton Place Hotel. (I’ll refrain from using my not-so-nice nickname for said establishment.) So I’ve resorted to hijacking the laptop of my video editor/producer/all-around EW.com Renaissance man Jason Averett and taking advantage of the uninterrupted connection at a swish lounge called Lobby, where my friend and colleague Dave Karger is getting ready to interview the lovely Julianne Moore. (Her movie, Blindness, had its North American debut here last night.)
Before coming up here, the best movie I’d seen was Jonathan Demme’s family-drama indie Rachel Getting Married, and I was eager to see if the buzz surrounding Anne Hathaway (pictured)’s performance would hold up here. In short: yes. Nearly every insider I’ve talked to about the film floats some version of, “Anne is amazing in it!” I had the pleasure of talking to Hathaway yesterday morning, and she struck me as a lovely, gracious, smart young woman…who just might be on the verge of her first Oscar nomination.
More Toronto coverage, including chocolate with Viggo and a chat with the adorable Michael Cera, after the jump…
addCredit(“Anne Hathaway; George Pimentel/WireImage”)
Ed Harris’ Western starring Renee Zellweger and Viggo Mortensen, Appaloosa,also played well — and had a terrific Friday night party where Daveand I witnessed Harris gamely autographing a cardboard VHS box of Milk Moneyfor a starry-eyed fan. Good times. I met up with the two chiseled guysSaturday morning for a chat. Fans of David Cronenberg know that Harrisand Mortensen tore up the screen in 2005’s A History of Violence (another Toronto fest favorite). In Appaloosa,they play best buds, and they clearly appreciate each other’s companyoff-screen, too. (During our interview, they joked about how Zellwegerneeded no help asserting herself on the testosterone-heavy set.) I’dheard that Viggo had written a satirical song about John McCain’scontroversial running mate Sarah Palin, but when I asked him about it,he said he couldn’t remember the words. “It’s probably for the best,”he said, smiling. Bummer, man. But I forgive you, Viggo, ’cause youcame to the interview sporting your footwear of choice (i.e. none) and offered me dark chocolate. Think I’m gonna turn down Belgian macadamia noir?Not on your life, friends. The good chap even gave me some for theroad. It was delicious. So thanks for that, Viggo. (Mortensen hasanother movie here as well, a drama set in WWII-era Germany called Good. Viggo in a Nazi uniform? Chilling.)
Yesterday was pretty much one long, 12-hour stretch of interviewswith no time for screenings, sadly. After Hathaway and the Appaloosaboys, I chatted with Michael Cera (adorably shy and sweet), The Duchess‘Ralph Fiennes (who, like many Brits have told me over the years, saidhe was “curious” about my name), and his costar Keira Knightley (tiredbut friendly, and eager to get to her end-of day, well-deservedcocktail). Dave and I met up at the Rachel Getting Married party before heading to the bash for Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist,where we caught up with our colleague Adam B. Vary (a.k.a. “ABV” or”the Beeve,” depending on the day). Despite a last-minute cancellationby Vampire Weekend, the Nick and Norah party had a great turnout:Elizabeth Banks, Adam Scott, Jason Reitman, and Kat Dennings all seemedto be having a ball, as did Toronto-area native son Cera, who broughthis parents. All together now: Awwwww…
Okay, gotta sign off now to run to a screening. I’ll be back in the next few days to report on Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, which arrived here buoyed by terrific reviews from Telluride; Management, a road-trip comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Steve Zahn; The Other Man, starring Laura Linney, Liam Neeson, and Antonio Banderas; Mike Leigh’s Happy Go Lucky; and The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky’s drama starring Mickey Rourke, in what some are saying is a triumphant, return-to-form performance.
Until then, feel free to tell me what Toronto movie you’re most excited about. Have at it, eh?