'Black Swan,' 'Cool It' stir up buzz in Toronto
September 14th, 2010
10:16 AM ET

'Black Swan,' 'Cool It' stir up buzz in Toronto

As the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival continues to roll along, buzz around certain films continues to mount.

I can't tell you how many times someone has asked me whether I've seen Danny Boyle's survival tale, "127 Hours." While a screening of the film has not yet worked it's way into my packed schedule, I can tell you when several journalists in separate groups are all chatting about the same movie, it means something.

Likewise, Darren Aronofksy's dark drama about rival ballet dancers, "Black Swan," has picked up some momentum, especially for the performance of its star, Natalie Portman.

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Danny Boyle's '127 Hours' a real adrenaline rush
September 13th, 2010
03:37 PM ET

Danny Boyle's '127 Hours' a real adrenaline rush

Two years ago, the hottest ticket at the Toronto International Film Festival was Danny Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” - which broke in Toronto days after its buzz-building premiere at Telluride - and went on to take the world by storm.

And while there isn’t much outward similarity between “Slumdog” and Boyle's current offering, “127 Hours," who wouldn’t want to see the movie that had Telluride’s emergency services scrambling not once, but twice, as sensitive audience members fainted left, right and center?

This film – as you have probably already heard – is the true life tale of climber Aron Ralston, who sawed off his own arm with a multi-tool after a freak run-in with a boulder. The Toronto press was out in full force for this one.

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Toronto Film Festival: Tidbits from the Stars
September 12th, 2010
01:06 AM ET

Toronto Film Festival: Tidbits from the Stars

A big part of being at the Toronto Film Festival is interviewing actors and directors about the films they are premiering here. So far, I have chatted with Edward Norton, Milla Jovovich, Clive Owen, David Schwimmer, Ben Affleck, Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner and Rebecca Hall. Norton and Jovovich are pushing the intense prison drama, "Stone;" Schwimmer directs Owen in the family drama "Trust;" and the remaining five star in the cops and robbers flick, "The Town," which Affleck also directs.

In general, after a brief mention of the festival and the great city of Toronto, the stars usually dig into their roles and the film's storyline before wrapping up with something a little lighthearted. Here are some fun tidbits I have learned from the stars at the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

- Jeremy Renner cross-dressed for Halloween last year. He was a "slutty bumble bee," complete with high heels.

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Toronto Film Festival: 'Inside Job'
September 12th, 2010
12:44 AM ET

Toronto Film Festival: 'Inside Job'

My first screening at this year's Toronto International Film Festival was Charles Ferguson's "Inside Job." Like his first documentary, the Oscar-nominated "No End In Sight" about the war in Iraq, his second movie investigates an important and timely issue - the global economic meltdown. The film is narrated by Matt Damon and offers insight into the world's recent financial catastrophe through a series of high profile interviews.

For a film with this subject matter I anticipated a number of government officials and Wall Street executives to be named and blamed – and they were. But, what really surprised me was that Ferguson also points the finger at a few of the nation's high ranking scholars. In fact, it's not the suits from Washington or downtown Manhattan, but a couple of guys from Columbia University who end up squirming the most on the Ferguson's razor sharp hook. Glenn Hubbard, the Chief Economic Advisor during the Bush Administration and current Dean of Columbia University and Frederic Mishkin, a professor at Columbia Business School and member of the Board of Governors at the Federal Reserve from 2006 – 2008, are likely not going to be happy with the film.

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Stars ready to shine at Toronto International Film Festival
September 8th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

Stars ready to shine at Toronto International Film Festival

Currently in Toronto, Canada, it's 66 degrees Fahrenheit and party cloudy with a 100 percent chance of major star power moving in, thanks to the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off tomorrow.

It is widely considered one of the most influential film festivals in the world alongside Sundance and Cannes. Certainly, it is Canada's premiere festival, attracting 500,000 guests in 2009 alone.

Because of its timing (just before Hollywood's push toward awards season) the 10-day event has also become the destination for Oscar-hopeful films to make their debut. In recent years, best picture winners "No Country for Old Men" and "Slumdog Millionaire" both premiered at TIFF.

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Toronto International Film Festival will be bedbug free
August 31st, 2010
04:41 PM ET

Toronto International Film Festival will be bedbug free

They’ve infested movie theaters in New York and New Jersey, but, contrary to a Toronto moviegoer’s tweet, bedbugs won't be making an appearance on the red carpet at the upcoming film fest.

After one woman claimed she’d been bitten by bedbugs at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto - one of the main venues of the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off on September 9 - Cineplex Entertainment didn’t waste any time before resolving the (non)-issue.

“After a thorough investigation overnight, which involved a specially trained sniffing dog and a secondary visual inspection, Abell [Pest Control Inc.,] has confirmed that there were no bedbugs located within the Scotiabank theatre,” a media statement issued by Cineplex Entertainment states.

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