#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
#TIFF14: DAY 9 RECAP – JOHN TRAVOLTA, JENNIFER CONNELLY, CHRIS EVANS, MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS + BÉRÉNICE BEJO
We’re in the Home Stretch at last! TIFF ’14 has been a bit of an endurance test to say the least. Normally at this time of year, we’re relaxing and simply enjoying Films but what makes this Festival a bit different is that some of the bigger Titles were saved a bit later in the game. Not that you have to push us to keep-up. We’re more than willing, trust me.
The names on Day 9 of TIFF ’14 were on-par with some of the Megastars we saw earlier. Believe me, you will be impressed.
We all grew-up with GREASE (’90s) and HAIRSPRAY (’00s), so you can understand the sheer delight of seeing let alone meeting John Travolta in-person. He is everything I hoped he would be and more. The hair (!!!), the persona and the Fan-friendliness. Despite arriving late to his Press Junket for The Forger, he took the time after to meet and greet every single Fan in waiting and believe me, there were hundreds. I cannot believe this happened. Nicest Star of the Festival.
He may be the Captain of America, but he certainly was in it to win it at the Festival and win he did. Making his directorial debut at TIFF ’14 with BEFORE WE GO, Chris Evans was pleased to announce that his Film picked-up distribution via RADiUS, a Boutique Label from The Weinstein Company. Yes, it must be THAT good. Remember to check our Reviews Section as Contributor David Baldwin saw it! By absolute chance, we crossed paths with the handsome Star who was adamant this Festival about Selfies only and no Autographs with Fans. Co-Star Alice Eve was far less giving, disappointing several Photo Seekers.
JENNIFER CONNELLY + PAUL BETTANY
Although we spotted Paul Bettany earlier last week, it was the stunning and brilliant Jennifer Connelly that we were looking for still and we got our wish seeing the Couple arrive at the Junket for his directorial debut, SHELTER. They were amazing about it all and Bettany particularly gratuitous, went around the bend signing Autographs and taking Selfies. He even greeted a Baby!
MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS + BÉRÉNICE BEJO
I loved THE ARTIST. I saw it like six times at the theatre. So you can understand me excitement for not only Jean Dujardin (whom we spotted on TIFF ’14 DAY 8) but also Co-Star Bérénice Bejo and Husband-Director Michel Hazanavicius being in-town at the same time. A reliable source tells me that they all crossed paths yesterday at a Hotel but realized they couldn’t make each other’s Premieres.
The French Power Couple are at the Festival with Chechen Civil War Drama THE SEARCH, which I not only was lucky enough to see (and cry to… multiple times, actually), but also attend the Thompson Hotel Cocktail Party for, organized by none other than our own Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott. The Brothers were busy this TIFF with their heavily-attended The Producers Ball. The untrained Child Star in the Film, Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev, is absolutely phenomental in this Film and there already is Best Foreign Picture buzz for this.
Bejo was absolutely stunning, pairing a chic leather jacket with a gorgeous sequined black number, perfect for a Premiere and Academy Award-winning Hazanavicius looked incredibly smart. I love this Couple and am honoured to have partied with them both.
Just one more day to go till TIFF ’14 soon becomes a memory. One, we’re loving that we actually are getting some sleep. Two, we are a bit sad. We are hoping to see Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman on Day 10!
All Photos taken on the NIKON D3300 and communicated via the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)
#TIFF14: OFFICIAL LIST OF STARS ANNOUNCED
It absolutely is our favourite time of the year again and announced this morning is the official list of Talent coming to Toronto for TIFF ’14! We look forward to seeing plenty of returning names – some just here last year like the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Kate Winslet – and also plenty of Stars from years past making their way back here once more!
Among the names attending TIFF ’14 this year include:
Jon Stewart, Martin Scorcese, Richard Gere, Andrew Garfield, Viggo Mortensen, Gael Garcia Bernal, James Franco, Jane Fonda, Chloë Moretz, Brit Marling, Laura Dern, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Vanessa Redgrave, Vera Farmiga, Al Pacino, Tina Fey, Haley Joel Osment, Robert Pattinson, Ansel Elgort, Alice Eve, Sam Rockwell, Amanda Seyfried, Michael Shannon, Dax Sheppard, Robert Duvall, Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Hailee Steinfield, Justin Chatwin, Method Man, Jennifer Connelly, Bobby Cannavale, Kuoth Wiel, Cassie Williams, Danny Webb, Dominic West, Jung Woo-Sung, John Boylan, Sam Worthington, Tye Sheridan, Andrew Scott, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman, Connie Britton, Reese Witherspoon, Evan Bird, Zhao Wei, Han Ye-Ri, Melissa Benoist, Haley Bennett, Sonja Bennett, John Travolta, Julianne Moore, Isaach De Bankolé, Dan Stevens, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Xavier Dolan, Peter Stormare, Ben Schnetzer, Abigail Spencer, Ellen Barkin, Bill Pullman, Charlotte Aubin, Kate Winslet, Ryan Reynolds, Rene Russo, Roger Waters, Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Loreto Aravena, Tobey Maguire, Aubrey Plaza, Tobey Maguire, Gemma Arterton, Juliette Binoche, Zhang Yimou, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kristen Wiig, Adam Sandler, Rose Byrne, Channing Tatum, Chris Evans, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Mark Ruffalo, Bill Murray, Daniel Barber, Liam Aiken, Mike Leigh, Olivier Assayas, Richard LaGravenese, Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Anna Kendrick, Morgan Freeman, Benicio del Toro, Michael Douglas, Rosario Dawson, Chris Rock, John Cusack, Benedict Cumberbatch, Octavia Spencer, Keira Knightley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kevin Costner, Anthony Mackie, Patricia Clarkson, J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Priyanka Chopra, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Winterbottom, Justin Chon, Steve Carell, Gong Li, Hayden Christensen, Tory Kittles, Jordana Brewster, Holliday Grainger, Max Irons, Lone Scherfig, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Paul Bettany, Daniel Barnz, Noah Baumbach, Barry Avrich, Jennifer Aniston, Akon, Nick Kroll, Holly Hunter, Catherine Keener, Greta Gerwig, Omar Sy Jennifer Garner, Salma Hayek, Kevin Smith, Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Faye Marsay, Bill Nighy, Justin Long, Christopher Plummer, Marton Csokas, David Cronenberg, Sarah Gadon, Tom Schilling, Tom Hardy and more!
TIFF also will be hosting a series of In-Conversations-With as part of their Mavericks Programme. Joining-in are the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Jon Stewart, Dan Savage, Julie Taymor and several more!
As is the case always, it’s sometimes not just who’s coming – it’s who they’re bringing. Don’t be surprised if Jennifer Garner brings Husband Ben Affleck along and be warned if Andrew Garfield brings Emma Stone along!
Who’s on our list of Must-Meets? Plenty! We hope finally to get a positive moment with Reese Witherspoon and Kate Winslet! Excited about Martin Scorcese, J.K. Simmons, Bobby Cannavale, Miles Teller, Corey Stoll, Tobey Maguire, Rose Byrne, Michael Douglas and newer names like Max Irons and Douglas Booth, that’s for sure. And did we read TINA FEY!?!? Finally! AND WHERE IS TOM HARDY?!?!
The list is always subject to surprise and no-shows as we know all too well!
Visit the official TIFF Website for more.
TIFF ’14 runs September 3 – 14, 2014.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)