The weekend might be over but you wouldn’t know it if you were at TIFF! Day Five perhaps is the grandest one yet with the Festival’s most anticipated title making its debut here after a huge splash in Venice, Damien Chazzelle‘s LA LA LAND starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. The duo are set to walk the Red Carpet tonight at Roy Thomson Hall. Miles Teller (who coincidentally worked with Chazzelle on his first Film, WHIPLASH) also is set to make a case for Best Actor in BLEED FOR THIS, which debuts tonight at Princess of Wales Theatre. Down the road, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner are set to walk the Carpet for Denis Villeneuve‘s Sci-Fi romp ARRIVAL at Roy Thomson Hall.
It was a great TIFF ’14. I admit things were looking a bit scary with a smaller-than-expected Celebrity Guest List initially and lack of confirmations, but the Festival truly brought its A-Game and this indeed was one for the books! I distinctly remember feeling a bit of panic on the first Friday of the Festival trailing far off the pace I’m normally at, nabbing only a handful of Celeb Snaps. Once the Festival picked-up by the weekend, I found myself barely able to hang-on! What a wild ride!
Many will attribute the shift in pace of the Festival due to the well-publicized guideline changes set this year, making it impossible for any Studios/Filmmakers to premiere at TIFF within its first four days had it premiered elsewhere on the North American Festival Circuit. This in turn created room for several star-studded In-Conversation-Withs as part of the Festival’s Mavericks Programme with the likes of Denzel Washington & Antoine Fuqua, Richard Gere, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Juliette Binoche. We felt the pinch, believe me. This however is a Statement the Festival must make to secure its exclusivity and maintain its place as an important Fixture for Films on the Award Trail.
We loved seeing the Publicity Machine at work before our eyes. Stars in previous years who were on the inaccessible side, suddenly became warm to Fans. On the contrary though, we noticed a few Stars who normally are friendly and accessible become tough to access this TIFF. We’re looking at you, Channing. It always is a true testament to how much the Stars believe in their product when they are willing to bring it!
We also are not surprised that THE IMITATION GAME (review here) was awared the Grolsch People’s Choice Award. Upon seeing it in advance of the Festival, we knew the Film had that something special and this will be the Film that makes Benedict Cumberbatch a household name in North America. How it shall fare this Awards Season remains to be seen, but given its Oscar-bagging connections – The Weinstein Co. – it should do just fine!
Our Contributors Jonathan Godfrey, David Baldwin, Justin Waldman and myself also might also have a thing or two to say about other deserving Contenders which premiered here at TIFF, which might not have gotten recognition. Baldwin has the highest praise for Eddie Redmayne‘s performance in The Theory of Everything (review here), while Godfrey still is singing the patriotic praises of the “cosmic” Maps to the Stars (review here). Waldman has a place in his heart for the overlooked Mommy (review here) and Pride (review here) – both which he feels will be Awards Season Candidates. I myself was spellbound by the meditative slow-burn of Foxcatcher (review here) and the devastatingly-good Whiplash (review here). Never discount Jake Gyllenhaal too as his self-starring and produced Nightcrawler was a bit of a Hit among Fans (review here)! And although we didn’t see it, Chris Rock‘s triumphant return Top Five had multiple Studios in a bidding war for distribution rights.
… and now for some Lists!
MR. WILL‘S TOP TIFF ’14 MOMENTS
1. Meeting Tom Hardy
2. Meeting Bill Murray
3. Meeting Benedict Cumberbatch x 2
4. Epic Reese Witherspoon Photo Op (after six tries prior)
5. Meeting Steve Carell
6. Meeting Melissa McCarthy
7. Ansel Elgort saying he had to get a Selfie with Mr. Will, followed by comment from him on Instagram.
8. Mr. Will‘s Epic Hat Fail, blocking Jennifer Garner‘s beautiful face
9. Meeting Miles Teller/J.K, Simmons WHIPLASH Combo
10. John Travolta‘s Fan Buffet outside The Forger Press Junket
MOST FAN-FRIENDLY CELEBS AT TIFF ’14
1. John Travolta
2. Tom Hardy
3. Reese Witherspoon (we are shocked!)
4. Benedict Cumberbatch
5. Chris Evans
CELEBS WHO OWNED TIFF ’14
1. Bill Murray
2. Al Pacino
3. Benedict Cumberbatch
4. Anna Kendrick
5. Steve Carell
1. Melissa McCarthy
2. Kristen Bell
3. Chris Pine
4. Elizabeth Banks
5. Cara Delevingne
1. Robert Downey Jr.
2. Tina Fey
3. Keira Knightley
4. Denzel Washington
5. Kate Winslet
CELEBS WHO MADE THE MOST OF TIFF ’14
1. Chris Evans
2. Steve Carell
3. Benedict Cumberbatch
4. Jon Stewart
5. Bill Murray
1. Benedict Cumberbatch
2. Eddie Redmayne
3. Miles Teller
4. Felicity Jones
5. Ansel Elgort
FILMS TO LOOK-OUT FOR AWARDS SEASON FROM TIFF ’14
1, The Imitation Game
2. St. Vincent
3. The Theory of Everything
And last but not least, we must thank our wonderful Supporters throughout TIFF who make it all possible.
CP24 & Bell Media: Thank you for continuing to provide and support me with an Outlet to share my greatest passion with Ontarians at my favourite time of year. I look forward to working together again TIFF ’15!
H&M Canada: Everything I wear is H&M. Your Cardigans and Jackets were perfect for the indecisive hot-cold of TIFF ’14. Your clothing gives me confidence and comfort. Thank you.
Nikon Canada: Although I am still mastering my Nikon D3300 admittedly, many of my Photos were another level of fantastic. Capturing Photos in 24MP has given my Pictures a depth, clarity and level of detail which I’ve never before achieved. In the words of Joel McHale (at the Festival with Adult Beginners), “Are you sure this is the best Camera to take a Selfie with?” *SNAP* “I guess it is!”.
Novotel Centre Toronto: I am happy to have called you my home once again TIFF ’14. Billy and I miss our amazingly cozy bed and we appreciate the Puppy Welcome Package. This shows the level of attentiveness you have for your Clients. To be only minutes away from the thick of it all: the Movies, Parties and Celebrities and be able to crash in my Hotel Room for a quick recharge when I was in dire need of it was an absolute luxury I will not take for granted. The in-and-our privileges of your Parking Lot were a blessing as was the reliable Wi-Fi. The Staff always are accommodating, understanding and friendly. Without a doubt, I can recommend Novotel Centre Toronto as the place to stay during TIFF.
Samsung Canada: Communication is key to my Brand during TIFF and having access to the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Tab S this year ensured I always was able to stay in touch and charged. When there was the ever rare lull in my day, I could whip-out my Devices and prep my Photos and Blog Posts, ensuring that I could actually spend precious time in my Hotel Room sleeping versus working. This meant so much to me and I basically cannot imagine my life without a Galaxy Tab S. Really!
Ford Canada: I have never experienced luxury like a LINCOLN MKZ. The Panoramic Roof was a dream. The 6-Speed SelectShift® was absolute state-of-the-art. The massaging chairs were decadent. The THX® II Certified Audio System was symphonic. The customizable interior lighting let me changing colours according to my mood. The Lincoln MKZ‘s concern for my safety with frequent alerts kept me focused on the road. Did I mention it’s awful easy on the eyes? I will never forget the TIFF in which Billy and I rolled in that silky, smooth Lincoln!
Out There with Melissa DiMarco: We always have a blast at Melissa’s Out There VIP Interview Studio and Hospitality Suite! Thank you for keeping Team Mr. Will fed and hydrated with your delectable goodies and thank you for embracing my Willionaire$!
NKPR IT LOUNGE: We are thrilled to have experienced the goodness enjoyed by the likes of Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cuasack, Justin Long, Jena Malone, Felicity Jones and several more! Thank you also for giving my Willionaire$ a taste of that Celeb Life with your generosity!
Touchwood PR: We love you and appreciate the Golden Tickets my Readers and I have been given thanks to your kindness. We value your friendship and are excited about what’s next to come!
Rock-It Promotions: We are honoured by some of the plum opportunities we were given this TIFF and we look forward to building our relationship with you in the future!
Shinan Govani: We are so proud to call you a Friend. You are one of TIFF‘s most omnipresent Stars. We continue to look-up to you and your profound influence on our thriving Celebrity Culture.
We hope you had a blast on our Digital Journey this TIFF ’14 and we can’t wait to do it all over.
I’d like to introduce you all the my favourite Film all of TIFF ’14! The psychological Musical Drama is unafraid to get mean, gritty and nasty and although it might not have received that coveted People’s Choice Award, it certainly cannot be ignored this upcoming Awards Season. Think Black Swan. But drumming. And Jazz. I cannot describe. You must see for yourself.
Official Synopsis: Andrew Neyman(Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man’s life. Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability—and his sanity.
See the Trailer:
Mark my words, this is the Film that will make Miles Teller a Star. Both him and J.K. Simmons are phenomenal.
Mongrel Media release WHIPLASHFriday, October 24, 2014 in Toronto and Vancouver. Additional cities to follow.
Today will forever go down as the most explosive day of all time for TIFF! Stars were bursting at every seam after what was felt by the consensus as a a slow start to the Festival on Thursday. Parties were held all around the City and we made several successful Pit Stops around the City and got fueled by Starpower!
The day began with a Press Conference for Jason Reitman‘s new Film about sexual frustrations, Men, Women & Children and although normally Fans get a chance to see and interact with the Cast, it would be the running-behind-schedule which hindered the experience. We still managed to see the following:
Ansel Elgort/Kaitlyn Dever
We also got a little surprise from Australian Actor Alex Russell, whom we met filming CARRIE here a couple years back! The Actor stars in CUT SNAKE at TIFF ’14! He remembers us!
We love Paul Bettany and were ecstatic about meeting him as he went about his Press Day for self-directed Shelter, which premieres at TIFF ’14.
Midday, we head over to Princess of Wales Theatre to invest a bit of time in one of our favourite Actors, Michael Douglas whom along with Co-Star Jeremy Irvine, premiered their new Thriller The Reach. Although it was a bit of a wait and a struggle with the clipboards from Autograph Collectors, we got our coveted Selfies with both Stars!
Not too far long after, we made our way over to the official Audi-sponsored Party for Oscar Contender, PRIDE over at Hotspot The Citizen. All I have to say is Truffle Poutine. Delish. The light-hearted Dramedy documents the true struggle of a Gay Activist Group in England, supporting Miners in need. The only thing however, is that the striking Miners didn’t want to be associated with the Group. The Film won a two-minute Standing Ovation from its Audience yesterday afternoon. See some Snaps of the talented Cast:
Ben Schnetzer & Jessie Cave
The Cast and Team behind PRIDE
We thought we’d re-visit the Cast of Paramount Pictures‘ Men, Women & Children once more at the official Party for the Film at new It-Spot, Montecito which happens also to be owned be legendary Filmmaker Ivan Reitman, Father of Director Jason. Fans and Cameras lined the Carpet in eager anticipation as the Stars paraded by one-by-one including a few surprises! I was so happy to see our Friend Ansel Elgort, whom we met here in the City a couple years back when he was filming CARRIE. He noticed us right away at the Carpet proclaiming, “I’ve got to get a Selfie with Mr. Will!”. We’re incredibly proud how well he’s done and also what’s next to come for the Divergent and The Fault in our Stars Talent, who clearly has been propelled into Mega-stardom from the ecstatic screams I heard from Fans everywhere he went today.
An annual favourite Fixture of ours at TIFF is the InStyle Magazine Party, which shuts down a strip of Yorkville for a night and the amount of Starpower seen here was s t a g g e r i n g. We admit it was a bit of on the decline mostly due to unfortunate timing later in the Festival after an abundance of Stars leave town, but was it ever a night to remember for the Fans! We’re talking Megawatts!
Chris Evans (Before We Go)
Robert Downey Jr. (The Judge)
Noomi Rapace (The Drop)
Missy Peregrym dressed in Intermix (Backcountry)
Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)
Miles Teller (Whiplash)
Lacey Chabert (aka GRETCHEN WIENERS!!!)
Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear, Foxcatcher)
Jessica Chastain (Miss Julie)
Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner)
Ben Stiller (While We’re Young)
Jake Abel (Good Kill)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Abigail Spencer (This is Where I Leave You and The Forger)
Chloë Moretz (Laggies, Clouds of Sils Maria and The Equalizer)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Kevin Costner (Black & White)
Will Peltz (Men, Women & Children)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Salma Hayek (Kahlil Gibran’sThe Prophet)
We spotted Channing Tatum, Jon Stewart and many, many more there also!!
Okay, we admit it. We were on a high and kept going right after till 5 AM (!!!) when we also spotted several other Stars out and about! Look!
Anna Kendrick (The Last Five Years)
Douglas Booth (The Riot Club)
Rosario Dawson (Top Five)
Cedric the Entertainer (Top Five)
Jay Pharoah (Top Five)
We ain’t done. Wait till you see what we have in store next, Willionaire$!
Find out first here:
All Photos captured on the NIKON D3300 and communicated via the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.
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!
Mr. Will Wong, VVS Films and Touchwood PR and thrilled to give Readers a chance to see the hilarious new Comedy THAT AWKWARD MOMENT! Boasting an irresistible Cast which includes Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis and Michael B. Jordan, we dare you see what’s in store here!
Screening dates and times to be finalized shortly, but Passes will be available for Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Halifax, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver.
Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan star in the Comedy, THAT AWKWARD MOMENT, about three Best Friends who find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing “moment” in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So…where is this going?”.
Watch the funny-as-heck Trailer below:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook. Double your chances by Re-Tweeting the below:
http://www.mrwillwong.com/thatawkwardmoment @MRWILLW wants us to attend an Advance Screening of #THATAWKWARDMOMENT starring #ZACEFRON, out 1/31!
Good luck and happy laughing!
VVS Films release THAT AWKWARD MOMENT on Friday, January 31, 2014.
“The future belongs to those who know truly who they are.”.
Not that we really needed to be sold on DIVERGENT, but now that we’ve seen this brand new Trailer for it, we’re sold on it completely! Pure adrenaline!
Directed by Neil Burger, the Action-Fantasy centers around Beatrice Prior, a Teenager with a special mind, finds her life threatened when an authoritarian Leader seeks to exterminate her kind in her effort to seize control of their divided Society.
DIVERGENT stars Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, Theo James, Miles Teller, Maggie Q, Tony Goldwyn, Zoë Kravitz and Ansel Elgort.
See the amazing Trailer below:
eOne Films releases DIVERGENT on Friday, March 21, 2014.
No, she would not like a fork with that! This first Still from Divergent is just intense. See burgeoning Star Shailene Woodley basically narrowly escape death. Fear not as Woodley clarified they were made of rubber! The Fantasy-Fiction Film based Veronica Roth‘s Novel is currently filming still, with Neil Burger directing.
Its Story centers on Tris Prior (Woodley) who is listed to be offed when it is determined that she is “divergent”, living in a World where people are divided into groups by their personalities. She must learn why it is those who are “divergent” pose a threat before she is executed.
Divergent features an talented Cast including the likes of: Kate Winslet, Theo James, Ray Stevenson, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Zoë Kravitz, Tony Goldwyn and Ansel Elgort, whom we met in Toronto last Summer making his debut in the upcoming Carrie Remake.
eOne Films releases Divergent on March 21, 2014. Lookin’ good!
Entertainment Weekly got the first look. Click here for more.
From the Writers of The Hangover, 21 and Over is set on Jeff Chang‘s (Justin Chon) 21st Birthday, which also happens to be the night before his big Medical School Exam. His Buddies decide to take him out for a wild night out on the town, which potentially could destroy his entire future. Miles Teller, Jonathan Keltz, Skylar Astin and Sarah Wright also star, while Jon Lucas and Scott Moore write and direct.
Watch the 21 and Over Trailer in full below:
Mr. Will Wong and eOne Films want to give Readers a chance to attend the Toronto Advance Screening of 21 AND OVER on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. To enter for a chance to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will Wong on Facebook before February 23, 2013. You should also be following on Twitter.
Double your chances by Re-Tweeting the below:
http://www.mrwillwong.com/21andovergiveaway @MRWILLWwants me to win a Double Pass to the Advance Screening of 21 AND OVER in Toronto! In theatres 3/1.
Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) is a straight-A College Student whose Best Friends Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller) surprise him for a visit on his 21st Birthday. Throwing aside his books for once, the Boys decide to go on a wild night of Debauchery. One thing though, Jeff has his Medical School Interview the next morning. Uh-oh.
21 and Over is directorial debut from The Hangover Writers Scott Moore and Jon Lucas. The Comedy also stars Toronto’s own Jonathan Keltz, Sarah Wright, Francois Chau, Daniel Booko and Dustin Ybarra. Fans of last year’s Box Office Hit Project X should love this!
21 and Over opens in theatres March 1, 2013 via eOne Films in Canada and Relativity Media in the U.S.