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Sep 11, 2014

‘Pawn Sacrifice’ film captures chess drama of Fischer-Spassky face-off

TORONTO, Sept 11 (Reuters) – There might have been something
more nerve-wracking than being an opponent to world chess
champion Bobby Fischer, and that was being the mercurial man’s

“Pawn Sacrifice,” a film premiering at the Toronto
International Film Festival on Thursday, chronicles not only the
rise of the young American grandmaster but how hard it was to
get him to his crowning moment, the famous “Match of the
Century” in 1972 against Soviet rival Boris Spassky.

Sep 10, 2014

‘Men, Women & Children’ portrays Internet’s ‘idiot generation’

TORONTO (Reuters) – Adults who should know better engage in plenty of cringeworthy behavior over the Internet in the new film “Men, Women & Children,” but director Jason Reitman says don’t judge them too harshly.

There’s the husband and wife having affairs, one through an escort site and the other through a hookup site, the mother who puts sexualized photos on a website to promote her teen daughter and another mother who strangles her daughter’s life with zealous control of her social media.

Sep 9, 2014

Whiff of humor permeates Jon Stewart debut drama ‘Rosewater’

TORONTO (Reuters) – The true story of a journalist accused by Iran of being a Western spy, thrown into solitary confinement and tortured for months would not seem to invite humor, or dancing for that matter.

But journalist Maziar Bahari has an acute appreciation for the absurd, and in bringing his harrowing tale to the big screen in “Rosewater,” he found a director and actor who knew how to seize on the comedy in the tragedy.

Sep 8, 2014

Reese Witherspoon takes walk on ‘Wild’ side at Toronto festival

TORONTO (Reuters) – From the moment Reese Witherspoon tears off a bloodied big toe nail in the opening scene of her new film “Wild,” it is clear the Oscar-winning actress is headed in a new direction.

It may be the best move she has made in awhile, offering the normally pretty and perky Witherspoon the chance to play a raw and angry woman venturing into the wilderness on her own, for 1,000 miles with a monster-sized pack to do one thing: save herself. The story is a real one, based on the best-selling memoir by Cheryl Strayed.

Sep 8, 2014

‘Theory of Everything,’ a film study of Stephen Hawking’s universe

TORONTO (Reuters) – Actor Eddie Redmayne spent seven months working with a choreographer to prepare for the biggest role of his career, ironically a man whose body is reduced by disease to miniscule movement in his hand and face.

That man, British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, is one of the most recognizable figures in the world and landing the role in the film “The Theory of Everything” gave Redmayne “a moment of euphoria followed by a moment of deep fear.”

Sep 7, 2014

Cumberbatch takes unsung WWII hero to Toronto in ‘Imitation Game’

TORONTO, Sept 7 (Reuters) – The code-breaking machine that
may have cut World War II by two years and saved millions of
lives was invented by British mathematician Alan Turing, a
prickly genius and unlikely war hero unknown to most of the

That might be because his work to crack Germany’s Enigma
code remained classified for decades. But also, Turing met a
tragic end following the war, taking his own life at 41 after he
was convicted for being homosexual and sentenced to chemical

Sep 5, 2014

Downey Jr., Duvall kick off Toronto film fest with ‘The Judge’

TORONTO (Reuters) – Actors Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall brought their father-and-son dysfunction drama “The Judge” to Toronto on Thursday to open the city’s film festival, an early arbiter in the movie industry’s awards season.

Toronto’s opening gala gives a note of Hollywood glamour to a festival known for its sprawling program – 285 films screened multiple times over 11 days – and the participation of ordinary people, who ultimately decide the top prize.

Sep 3, 2014

A Minute With: Comic Jon Stewart on not flubbing his first film

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Having hosted late night television’s satirical “The Daily Show” for 15 years, comedian Jon Stewart grew accustomed to a daily churn that he says “forgives sloppiness.”

Now, he has crafted his first feature film in a more meticulous fashion, and hopes it will not be more permanent evidence of his own idiocy.

Sep 2, 2014

Battling biographies head to Toronto to win awards season hearts

LOS ANGELES, Sept 2 (Reuters) – As a first-time film
director, television comedian Jon Stewart pleads ignorance about
the workings of the movie industry.

But as he heads to the Toronto International Film Festival
this week, he shares many of the feelings of more seasoned
directors: excitement, nausea and the hope that he has done
justice to the man whose story he depicts in film.

Aug 28, 2014

‘Imitation Game,”Rosewater,’ ‘Wild’ slated for Telluride festival

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A trio of highly anticipated dramas slated for the Toronto Film Festival opening next week will instead premiere at the smaller Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, according to the line-up released on Thursday.

“The Imitation Game,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch as British World War II code-breaker Alan Turing and “Wild” featuring Reese Witherspoon as a heart-broken woman trekking solo over hundreds of miles of wilderness are among the 25 new feature films in Telluride’s main program.

    • About Mary

      "Mary Milliken is Entertainment and Lifestyle Editor for the Americas since July 2013, based in Los Angeles. In 15 years with Reuters, she been bureau chief in Washington DC, the West Coast and South America and has organized news teams covering everything from presidential elections to economic crises to natural disasters. She speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese."
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