#TIFF16: “AMERICAN PASTORAL”
Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Ewan McGregor tries his hand at directing by adapting Philip Roth’s Novel American Pastoral and the Movie works incredibly-well. There are some downfalls, like a slow-burning Third Act, but for a directorial debut, this is remarkable.
The Movie takes place in 1968 and centers on a family consisting of Merry (Dakota Fanning), Dawn (Jennifer Connelly) and Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov (Ewan McGregor) and how their lives turn upside down when their daughter starts devoting herself to a radical political cause. . However it is not that she just simply believes in another political affiliation, it is the extremes she goes to that sends her family in a downward spiral, destroying everything they have built.
What works in American Pastoral are the powerhouse performances from both McGregor and Fanning respectively as the father who will stop at nothing to find his daughter and the defiant daughter who must stand her ground in the name of what she feels is right. The Film is sure to generate a conversation.
American Pastoral screens at TIFF:
Friday, September 9, 2016 6:30 PM at Princess of Wales Theatre
Saturday, September 10, 2016 10:00 AM at VISA Screening Room
#TIFF13: MR. WILL’S HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2013 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
With great sadness, we must say farewell to another TIFF. And with fatigue, a limp in my right foot and great pain in my neck today after a gruelling run these past 11 days, I look back at the happy times, the regrets and what TIFF ’14 might hold. Despite all these mixed emotions, I know it won’t be long before I’m begging for more! I live for the Toronto International Film Festival – the greatest in Film Festival the World – and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else.
Here’s a look back at some of the Highlights for me of the Festival in Compiled Lists:
MR. WILL’S MOST GRACIOUS 10
Anyone who encountered these Stars up-close and personal during TIFF ’13 can vouch that they deserve a warm round of applause for the respect, appreciation and courtesy they’ve shown our City. Whether it be Jessica Chastain‘s consistent grace and humility towards her Fans, Brad Pitt‘s surprise Red Carpet appearance in which he took several Photos with Fans at the 12 Years a Slave Premiere, Hugh Jackman stopping in the rain outside the Press Conference for Prisoners to meet and great all his Supporters individually – these Stars understand exactly what the Festival is all about for us Fans!
1. Jessica Chastain
2. Sandra Bullock
3. Tom Hiddleston
4. Daniel Radcliffe
5.. Brad Pitt
6. Josh Brolin
7. Hugh Jackman
8. Jennifer Aniston
9. Nicolas Cage
10. Emma Thompson
MR. WILL’S SUCCESSFUL 6
These six Films gained a great amount of buzz and momentum coming out of TIFF ’13 in advance of their forthcoming Awards Season Best Picture Campaigns. Sadly, August: Osage Country didn’t wind up getting critical love universally (I enjoyed it much!) hoped for, but it still remains a major Contender in the Acting categories – especially for a heartbreakingly-absent Queen Meryl Streep.
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Labor Day
3. Dallas Buyers Club
MR. WILL’S EMERGING 5
These five up-and coming Stars caused quite a stir wherever they spotted around TIFF ’13. This time next year, expect to know them pretty much on a first name-basis.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Emilia Clarke
3. Daniel Brühl
4. Jai Courtney
5. Taylor Schilling
MR. WILL’S NAUGHTY LIST
Although we try to keep things positive here, we remain hopeful that next time these Stars visit our City, they show us a bit more Fan Appreciation – not just only when the Cameras are on – than they showed this year. Little things like picking-up a Sharpie or taking time to pose for Photos with Fans, or maybe not distancing themselves a 15 feet from the Barricades where their Fans had queued for hours to see them, would be a first step. In all fairness, some had hyper-assertive Handlers or lateness to blame.
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
3. Scarlett Johansson
4. Mila Kunis
5. Emilia Clarke
MR. WILL’S FASHIONABLE 5
These Stars certainly made a Statement whether it be out and about in our City or on the Red Carpet. I still cannot get over Kitsch‘s gray-on-gray Suit he wore at the Premiere of The Grand Seduction and certainly was a bit obsessed with Toni Collette‘s new Bangs. Julia Roberts was a Vision in her Dolce & Gabbana Dress at the Premiere of August: Osage County too, but my favourite look was Sandra Bullock at the Gravity Premiere in Narciso Rodriguez!
1. Sandra Bullock
2. Julia Roberts
3. Taylor Kitsch
4. Toni Collette
5. Jessica Chastain
And who exactly did Mr. Will got a Photo-with at TIFF ’13?
Ben Cotton, Dane Cook, Jason Reitman, Josh Brolin, Nicole Kidman, Anika Noni Rose, Bill Condon, Donnie Wahlberg, Paul Wahlberg, Jack Huston, Tom Arnold, John Torturro, Lauren Lee Smith, Sami Gayle, Mary Walsh, Saoirse Ronan, Michael C. Hall, Tye Sheridan, Katie Boland, Aaron Abrams, Kelly Rowan, Daniel Radcliffe, Taylor Schilling, Effie Exarchopoulos, Dan Stevens, Daniel Brühl, Alicia Vikander, Tom Hiddleston, deadmau5, Carice Van Houten, Tom Welling, Vanessa Paradis, Michael Bolton, Alice Cooper, Taylor Kitsch, Toni Collette, Dakota Fanning, Jai Courtney, Ciaran Hinds, Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Jared Harris, Adelaide Kane, James Lafferty, Jennifer Morrison, David Arquette, Alfre Woodard, Ryan Kwanten, Catherine O’Hara, Mark Boone Junior, Will Forte, Emma Thompson, Cara Gee, Demian Bichir, Jude Law, Tom Wilkinson, Alfonso Cuaron, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Thompson (again!), Lea Seydoux, Robert Baker, Amanda Walsh, Adam Driver, Keanu Reeves and Nicolas Cage.
To re-visit some of the amazing names that I snapped in the City over the Festival, click here.
To read some of my Reviews of the Films that premiered at TIFF ’13, click here. More Reviews to come over the next day or two as I play catch-up after all the madness.
…until next year, Wongsters!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos taken on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
#TIFF13: STARS OUT AND ABOUT ON DAY FOUR OF THE 2013 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL | TONI COLLETTE, JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS, CHRIS HEMSWORTH, LIAM HEMSWORTH, JASON SUDEIKIS, OLIVIA WILDE, TOM FELTON, DAKOTA FANNING, JESSE EISENBERG & MORE!
It was an extremely hectic day of Star-gazing and Star-chasing around the City today on Day Four of TIFF ’13. Please pardon my extreme exhaustion as tonight’s Post will be simply a Photo Dump, with more details to come once I’ve caught-up on my rest. Tired is an understatement (!), but I’m driven to give my Readers and Followers my absolute best. The day was capped-off late with a Red Carpet Afterparty for Ron Howard‘s Rush, at the Thompson Hotel. Without further a do here they are!
Steve Coogan at the Princess of Wales Theatre Premiere of hotly-buzzed Drama, Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears. Unfortunately Dame Judi Dench was absent:
British Thespian Richard E. Grant attending the Philomena Premiere earlier today. Even Movie Stars have to go through protocol just like us, to get into TIFF Screenings as you can see! The Actor is here for his Film, Dom Hemingway.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus signing Autographs at the Press Conference for her new Rom-Com, Enough Said, also known as James Gandolfini‘s last Film:
The handsome Taylor Kitsch looking impeccable in gray, heading to the Premiere of his Film The Grand Seduction, by Canadian Filmmaker Don McKellar:
I must admit the biggest Winner at TIFF ’13 thus far are definitely Toni Collette‘s amazing Bangs. Love ’em and I am glad she’s had a change of heart of late, now taking Photos with Fans unlike in prior years! The Actress is here for Enough Said.
Kim Cattrall just about surprised us all today picking-up her Buddy Don McKellar at his Hotel before they head off together to the Premiere of his latest, The Grand Seduction.
Academy Award Nominee Demián Bichir at the Pre-Party for his Film Dom Hemingway, which premiered tonight at Princess of Wales Theatre. Those who aren’t familiar with him, he starred recently in the hilarious Comedy, The HEAT.
Few Actresses have been as Fan-inaccessible at TIFF ’13 as Emilia Clarke, known best for her work on HBO’s Game of Thrones. The Actress avoided Fans tonight at the Pre-Party for the Film and Afterparty also. We can at least agree that she looks stunning in Mustard Yellow!
Although Twilight Director Bill Condon was here just a few days ago for the Festival, it was only a matter of time before a Dreamgirl showed up! Anika Noni Rose was amazing to Fans earlier today in Yorkville who spotted her as she head out to her Premiere for Half of a Yellow Sun!
Model Madeleina Ghenea might be known for her ties to Gerard Butler in Tabloids of late but she too is building a name for herself as an Actress, starring in Dom Hemingway at TIFF ’13.
Dakota Fanning easily was one of the People I must looked forward to seeing at TIFF ’13 and my how she’s grown! The Actress looked beautiful in a two-piece shimmery Ensemble. I may have even gotten a Photo with her at the Ryerson Theatre Premiere of Night Moves!
Jesse Eisenberg was amazing with Fans at the Ryerson Theatre Red Carpet Premiere of Night Moves. The Actor was in Toronto not too long ago visiting Girlfriend Mia Wasikowska who filmed here this Summer.
Liam Hemsworth certainly wasn’t expected to come out to the TIFF ’13 Premiere of Ron Howard’s Rush, but the Actor flew to Toronto yesterday to support his older Brother Chris tonight (sans Miley Cyrus unfortunately). Here he is at the Afterparty of the Film:
Chris Hemsworth and Wife Elsa Pataky arrived together at tonight’s Rush Premiere at Roy Thomson Hall and Afterparty, both looking impeccable.
Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis are just perfect for one another and their chemistry was full on display as they gazed into each other’s eyes at the Red Carpet for the Rush Official Afterparty.
Harry Potter Star Tom Felton, in-town for his Film Therese, also showed-up to one of the hottest Tickets in Toronto tonight, the Premiere for Rush.
Rush Star Daniel Bruhl and the real Niki Lauda, Formula 1 Champion, even showed-up and walked tonight’s Red Carpet together!
And of course the Afterparty for Rush wouldn’t be complete with a mention of the legendary Ron Howard!
Just as I am about to doze off over my Laptop… Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
*Photos shot on Samsung Galaxy S4 and Olympus E-PL5
#TIFF13: OFFICIAL SCHEDULE AND CELEBRITY GUEST LIST ANNOUNCED!
At long last the TIFF ’13 Guest List has been announced and among the Marquee names we can expect to see in Toronto in two weeks are phenomenal! Although speak of Brad Pitt and George Clooney making appearances here didn’t amount to much more than rumour, this year the Female Contingent shines brightest with several of Hollywood’s A-List set to present their latest Oscar Vehicles here.
Among the Celebrities expected this year are:
Emilia Clarke, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Tom Felton, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Scarlett Johansson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Radcliffe, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Sarah Gadon, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, James Franco, Marion Cotillard, Mike Myers, Emma Thompson, Kristen Wiig, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Amy Poehler, Keanu Reeves, Kate Winslet, Adam Driver, Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Owen Wilson, Ralph Fiennes, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Gyllenhaal, JudeLaw, Jessica Chastain, Jai Courtney, Mila Kunis, Pierce Brosnan, Sandra Bullock, Jason Bateman, Zac Efron, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Colin Firth, Idris Elba, Ed Harris, Michael C. Hall, Annette Benning, James McAvoy, Liam Neeson, Steven Soderbergh, Ben Foster, Anton Yelchin, Maria Bello, Jennifer Garner, Nicolas Cage, Daniel Brühl, Tom Hiddleston, Jack Huston, Hugh Jackman, Jessica Lange, Melissa Leo, Adam Levine, Catherine O’Hara, Kurt Russell, Elizabeth Olsen, Tom Berenger, Tom Wilkinson, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Clive Owen, Zach Galifianakis, Emily Watson, John Hawkes, Alan Rickman, Toni Collette, Josh Brolin, Alice Cooper, Tiger Chen, Rebecca Hall, Will Forte, Kevin Zegers, Taylor Kitsch, Juliette Binoche, Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard, James Hetfield, Thomas Haden Church, Tim Robbins, Glenn Close, Dakota Fanning, Philip Glass and several more!
Keep checking back here as the Toronto International Film Festival makes additions as we get closer to Thursday, September 5, 2013 when TIFF ’13 kicks-off! The Festival runs till Sunday, September 15, 2013.
The official Schedule has been announced and you can now start planning your Festival right here. Download the Official Schedule right here!
Single Tickets go on sale on Sunday, September 1, 2013 on TIFF‘s Website here.
Things are about to get real exciting around here! Happy TIFF, indeed!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#EDITORSNOTE: OFF TO THE MET GALA!
Beyond excited! I’m packing-up and heading out to New York City for a few days to capture the Festivities at the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which always has been a dream of mine to experience. Like the rest of us I won’t be inside, but still I’ll be admiring the Fashion from the outside and sure to snap lots of Photos and hopefully meet some of my Idols! The theme this year is Punk and hosting is Rooney Mara, while Beyoncé will act as Honourary Chair.
Things will be a bit quiet for the next couple days, but be sure to check back upon my return for what surely will be lots of excitement! Expected this year are the likes of Amanda Seyfried, Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart, Rihanna, Florence Welch, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Lawrence, Cara Delevingne, Kanye West and several, several more.
If you’d like to join-in on the fun at watch the Met Gala Red Carpet, be sure to stream it live 7:00 PM EST on Monday, May 6, 2013. Click here to Vogue‘s Live Streaming.
See you when I’m back! I’ll be uploading Photos on my Instagram and Twitter in the interim, so check there for the latest!
(Photo credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)