Day 10: I Heart a Day at the Spa
1 screening, and 1 party to go…and then 24 hours of much needed sleep; but first, a spurt of rejuvenation to bring my skin back to life for the final festival lap courtesy of The Spa at the Hazelton.
A favourite amongst stargazers, The Hazelton is a celebrity-preferred festival home away from home (not to mention nighttime hangout) where stars including Madonna and Bono stayed this TIFF. Today, it’s where I (like many a celeb before me this festival) turn for a time out and a much needed signature Valmont facial from one of the hotel spa’s expert technicians. And like magic, the Valmont Purifying Pack mask with its Kaolin clay, Pink algae extract and Burdock extract smoothes out my pores while calming my skin before the technician rolls out a cool 100% collagen mask over my face, treating me to a scalp and hand massage while the mask does its work. The result: I no longer need the aid of 5 pounds of concealer to get ready for the evening’s events. Thank you Valmont for bringing this tired festival-goer back to life, or at least making her look alive.
Magic moment of the day: Falling asleep 10 minutes into the facial with tired, zombie-esque skin and waking up less than an hour later refreshed with a bright dewy complexion.
Day 9: I Heart Winnie
Finally, a full 5 hours of sleep seems possible will many of the red carpets rolled up and tucked away as the city is emptied of visiting celebrities. But luckily, there is still one very long red carpet welcoming guests to Roy Thompson Hall where Winne saw its gala world premiere on Friday before a packed theatre.
Director Darrell Roodt and lead actor Terrance Howard, who plays the charismatic Nelson Mandela, were amongst the cast present to introduce the film, the actor taking time to first credit TIFF to be the home of his “cinematic birth,” it being the festival where Paul Haggis first screened Crash. Howard is magnetic on screen as the former South African President silencing and moving the audience with speeches taken directly from history. Playing opposite him in the film’s title role is Jennifer Hudson, as his wife Winne Mandela. Together, the two capture a monumental period in world history, dramatizing events with care and precision, creating a heartfelt picture of Nelson and Winnie Mandela never seen before.
Most Sentimental Moment of the Evening: The closing song of Winnie performed by Jennifer Hudson heard through the sound of sniffles in an otherwise silent theatre.
Miss Day One through Day Eight? Click here for the full report.
Day 8: I heart Canadian Talent
Music is to cinema what peanut butter is to chocolate — a necessity. It’s no wonder, that only in its second year running, the Festival Music House (FMH) should become the “it” spot for all those looking for an alternative to red carpets and flutes of champagne.
Featuring an impressive musical lineup of Canada’s best over the course of three days, including band of the moment The Sheepdogs (check out their Rolling Stones cover) and homegrown favourite, Sam Roberts Band, FMH makes you feel proud to be a local at TIFF.
With 2 days left to go and FMH packed away till next year, this festival goer — still fatigued from TIFF’s hectic first weekend — plans to play the takeaway FMH CD on repeat to keep her eyes open while walking to and from the last of the festival’s screenings.
Highlight of the festival: Staring out into a crowd of dancing people singing along to Sam Roberts Eileen.