Entertainment behind the scenes
Toronto festival stays grounded with pancakes and bacon
The Toronto International Film Festival closing ceremony has a refreshingly ego-free feel to it.
Unlike the glitzy, red carpet theater affairs of the Cannes or Venice film festivals, TIFF is non-competitive, so the stars don’t stick around after a gala world premiere screening of their film for splashy awards to be handed out.
Rather than declare a festival “winner”, much of the last day is all about supporting the Canadian up-and-comers over a friendly Sunday brunch of, yes, scrambled eggs, bacon and pancakes.
The winners are ecstatic at the honor and joke about how the cash awards can finally help pay off some overdue back taxes (Denis Villeneuve’s “Incendies” for best Canadian feature film) and keep them from having to work at Starbucks (Deborah Chow for her directorial debut in “The High Cost of Living”).
Organizers also give recognition for festival favorites, as voted by the public. Toronto audiences apparently have pretty good taste, if past winners of the People’s Choice Award are anything to go by: “Slumdog Millionaire”, Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire”, “American Beauty”, just to name a few.
This year’s public darling is “The King’s Speech”, directed by Tom Hooper, a story of the man who did not want to be king. Colin Firth’s turn as the monarch who overcame a debilitating stammer to do the job and Geoffrey Rush as the the speech therapist who helps him do it, stole Oscar buzz at the festival.
Has Toronto extended its streak of picking an award season contender?
(Caption: Actor Colin Firth attends a news conference to promote the film “The King’s Speech” during the 35th Toronto International Film Festival September 11, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)