September 11th, 2009
04:33 PM ET

Toronto: Early bird doesn't catch the fox

Informant

I heard recently that the acronym “OMG” has officially been added to the English dictionary. This is great news because I had one heck of an OMG moment ealier today. You see, when you’re in the throes of covering a major entertainment news event, like the Toronto Film Festival, you’re likely to encounter at least one, if not more, scheduling errors. It’s only human, right? Numbers get transposed, press events change, and sometimes, just sometimes, sit-down interviews with the entire cast of a major motion picture are actually on a different day than you think.

I’m scheduled to interview the cast of “Jennifer’s Body,” including star Megan Fox, tomorrow, not today. Oh my goodness, is right. But rather than think of this as a mistake, I like to think I showed up to Toronto’s Park Hyatt Hotel nice and early – 24 hours early, where I got an exclusive advanced peak at this poster.

Needless to say, an appropriate blog based on an actual interivew with Fox will be posted tomorrow.

As for tonight, I’m attending the red carpet premiere and after party for ”The Men Who Stare at Goats” starring George Clooney, Kevin Spacey and Ewan McGregor. Follow my moment to moment updates on twitter at: www.twitter.com/jdcargillcnn

September 10th, 2009
06:17 PM ET

Toronto Film Festival: a little secret

It's day one of the Toronto International Film Festival and I am currently en route somewhere over The Rockies.

If you're wondering how this guy is blogging about a film festival when he hasn't even arrived, the answer is my dirty little secret – I see the movies in advance!  Not all of them, by any stretch – I've seen 3 of about 10 I plan to cover – but, I did see as many as I could in order to give myself more time at the festival for interviews and press events.

Informant

So, what have I already seen?

First, there's Steven Soderberg's "The Informant."  The film stars Matt Damon and is produced by Damon's "Ocean's" buddy, George Clooney.  The movie is a dark comedy about espionage, price fixing, and a company whistleblower who tries bring down the nation's most corrupt white collar corporate corn criminals.  Say that ten times fast.

 I've also seen the Lee Daniel's movie "Precious," starring newcomer Gabby Sidibe, Mariah Carey and Paula Patton.  It's a heart-wrenching tale of an overweight, illiterate Harlem teenager who fights to rise above her circumstances.  The film, which is produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry also stars Mo'Nique as the girl's abusive mother and is already being called one of the most transformative roles of the year.

Jennifer's Body

 Lastly, I saw the horror flick, "Jennifer's Body," which stars one of the country's fastest rising sex symbols, Megan Fox.  The movie was written by "Juno's" Oscar-winning screenwriter, Diablo Cody, and includes much of the trademark phrasing and 'high school lingo' she made famous in her debut hit.  The film's tale of a beautiful cheerleader's demon-possessed body and its need to feed on teenage boys is sure to appeal to the masses.

 In addition to these titles check back here for blog entries, photos and interviews on a number of other movies and their stars as the festival continues to unfold.  I'll be sitting down with Michael Moore for a chat about his latest headline-grabbing documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story."  I'll be attending the red carpet premieres of George Clooney's "The Men Who Stare at Goats" as well as that of Drew Barrymore's directorial debut, "Whip It."  I'll also dig into festival's more serious fare including the politically charged documentary "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers."

It's time to put my seat and tray table in their upright and locked positions – Toronto International Film Festival, here I come!

September 10th, 2009
08:55 AM ET

Toronto a preview for Academy Awards?

In 2007 the Academy Award for Best Picture went to the film “No Country for Old Men.” Last year, the same prize went to “Slumdog Millionaire.” Both movies celebrated their world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Will the year’s most acclaimed film appear at Canada’s biggest movie showcase once again? With a whopping 242 feature length films –- including 95 world premieres –- chances are pretty good. Dramas, comedies, documentaries... everything is in the mix at the 34th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

CNN entertainment producer JD Cargill will be at the festival this weekend. Check back here on the Marquee Blog to get frequent updates and follow Cargill on Twitter @jdcargillcnn.

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