Welcome to ELLECanada.com's official TIFF journal! This festival, Laura deCarufel and Jennifer Lee, the co-editors of
have the high honour of reporting live from TIFF'S coolest events. Stay tuned for party coverage and behind-the-scenes scoop!
By Jennifer Lee
The beginning of week two of the festival is coloured by a groggy fuzz. Our feet are sore from unkind but pretty party shoes, and our thoughts covet sleep when a seat at press screenings should be top of the wish list. But most concerning of all is the creeping grasp of the flu that is becoming harder and harder to shake in my sleep deprived state. No matter. Top of the agenda today is an interview with actor
. And unless I can find an Etch A Sketch in the gift store of the Intercontinental before the interview, I’m going to need to a healthy set of vocal chords.
A dozen or so sniffs of Aveda’s magical Blue Oil and two packets of Emergency C later, I’m no longer distressed by the fact that I seem to be losing my voice; a voice that at full strength is at best a .8 on the Richter scale. I refuse to allow myself to believe I am getting sick. I make a pit stop in the
and have my nails painted in a brick red at the
nail bar (helmed by the pros from Ten Spot) in an act of defiance. Fact: people suffering from the flu don’t have perfectly polished nails. [caption id="attachment_1996" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Tastemakers Lounge"]
arrives, dressed in a slim fitting light tan suit, layered over a v-neck T. He looks different than on screen, the cut of the suit, coiffed bed head and the impish smile makes it difficult to imagine him as Tony Blair, the reprised role that earned him a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He introduces himself, I do the same, immediately he apologies, putting his hand up to his mouth, “I’m sorry, do we have to whisper in this area?” Flu 1. Jenn 0. Opening with barefaced tragedy, first time director
y begins with broadcast coverage of a shooting in an American college, folding into the story of two parents coping with the harrowing news of not only their son’s death in the shooting, but also his sole responsibility for the deaths of his peers and himself. Perspective is scrutinized under the scope of human fragility when the parents played by Sheen and Bello, are pushed out of their social sphere as a consequence of the swell of prejudice, presumption and fear that encircles their life once the press reveals the identity of the shooter. Ku is quick to note that this film is not a commentary on black and white news coverage that colours and omits as necessary to distinguish between victim and villain, instead the story begs reflection of all of us. “I don’t think it’s just the media,
feel the need to separate that ‘evil’ from us,” he affirms. [caption id="attachment_1997" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Beautiful Boy directed by Shawn Ku. Starring Michael Sheen (R) and Maria Bello (L) "]
Point of view is critical to the challenging emotions the film evokes. “We see it through the prism of the parents. These two people who are going through such a difficult complicated traumatic experience, and yet they’re unable to help each other because of the gulf that has grown up in their relationship,” explains Sheen. “And whether two people going through that can eventually connect and communicate with each other again is what I think is really positive about the film and really hopeful...that these two people are able to do that.” Winner of TIFF’s International Critics Prize for the Discovery programme,
is a festival standout that takes the audience beyond the line of fiction and implicates them in the action, asking each viewer to examine the divide between their humanity and that of another’s. Night is upon us and Laura and I get ready to attend the
Roy Thomson Hall
. We’ve already been treated to a spotting of cast members
Party Saturday night, and are eager to see film being fans of both actors (particularly Cassel) and the director. Laura suggests we dress like good swan and bad swan, she’s dressed in a black cocktail dress with a black feather hair accessory peaking out of a low bun: a classic and sophisticated take. I’m dressed in a short cream dress that falls into a weightless tulle bottom paired with pale pink tight, a nice enough outfit if I wasn’t going to a film about ballerinas. My tights might as well have a seam up the back leg to make it an official six-year-old girl’s recital costume. The film lets out near midnight, and by its end Laura and I are in a strange state of unsettlement, a credit to the psychological drama, though I believe in my case, the burning fever that took hold mid-film might have contributed to the sensation. Feeing fragile, we decide to forgo the party circuit tonight, opting for a pot of tea at the Hyatt King West. The fleet of black Cadillac SUVs outside of Roy Thomson Hall are heading in the direction of Yorkville, where a private dinner at
restaurant awaits the
cast and crew. As for Laura and I, the only thing awaiting us after tea is sleep...early morning screenings tomorrow.
Read more of our TIFF Journal!
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Meet Lauren Lee Smith: In conversation with one of Canada's coolest acting talents
Day 1: At the Aveda Experience Centre and the Bell Lightbox
On pre-festival party duty: At Birks and 99 Sudbury