Category Archives: Toronto

TIFF 07: Thompson On Vespa

Over at her Variety blog Thompson On Hollywood, veteran scribe Anne Thompson profiles another vet, this one a shutterbug by the name of Jeff Vespa. Jeff is co-founder of now world-famous photo service WireImage (which got it’s start sharing office space with indieWIRE at Sundance) and Thompson’s piece is an excellent look at a photographer who proves that not all those who work the red carpets with a camera are stalkerazzi looking for the nipple slip of the day. Jeff works the portrait studio at least as often as he does the red carpet and as you can see by the pix in Anne’s piece, he does a good job. We here at The Rabbi Report praise Jeff for proving, like we did at indieWIRE back in the day, that as a journalist you get more flies with honey than you do with celebrity upskirt shots.
Even if the two company logos are eerily similar….
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😉

TIFF 07: The Indie Crew Dines En Français

On the first night of the 2007 TIFF, a rather large group of indie film folks gathered at Toronto bistro Pastis for several hours of wine and quite delicious French food. A full pic of the gang can be found here, courtesy of indieWIRE’s Brian Brooks, but I have a few of my own. Following up on Brian’s post, the proprietor made sure that the wine was indeed flowing copiously, but seemed to be doing so sans bidding from the guests! Needless to say, the resulting bill resulted in cries of “Quelle horreur!”
Basil-Sky.jpgNewFest topper Basil Tsiokos and SILVERDOCS director of programming Sky Sitney have a chat pre-dinner.

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TIFF 07: Juno Review

Juno
Directed by Jason Reitman
Starring: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Allison Janney, JK Simmons, Olivia Thirlby, Rainn Wilson with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner

While the tendency might be to lump Juno, the sophomore feature from director Jason Reitman (Thank You For Smoking) and first-time writer Diablo Cody into the group (new genre?) of quirky comedies, a la I *Heart* Huckabees, Napoleon Dynamite and Rushmore, don’t. The thing is, while it contains elements of those oddball-laden films, Juno is its own animal in that it’s smart, funny and above all, real. The film should mark the coming out of several major talents, including writer Cody and Juno herself, Ellen Page. While I won’t shoot myself if Cody doesn’t get an Oscar nomination, I will be gobsmacked. While we’re at it, how about one for Page, too?
Juno MacGuff is 16 and almost too precocious. She’s smart, funny, curious and so adorable that “cute as a button” might have been coined with Page in mind. (At 5′ 1″, according to the IMDb she was apparently given the nickname “The Tiny Canadian” by some American roommates.) Well adjusted and comfortable in her own skin, Juno is the kind of kid every parent would love to have…except that she’s pregnant, the result of a one time romp with her best friend Paulie Bleeker in a living room chair. Bleeker is played perfectly in another example of deadpan wonder by comedy god of the under 30 set, Michael Cera (Superbad) as a charmingly nerdy track star with an addiction to orange tic tacs.
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TIFF ’07: More On The Assassination of Jesse James

Ok, so a little more about Kiwi director Andrew Dominik’s astonishingly good sophomore outing (after 2000’s Chopper) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. To be honest, it’s 2:10am and I have to see Sean Penn’s Into the Wild in 9 hours, so I am a little worried about getting sucked into a 1,500 word review of this film that I (and others) have called a masterpiece, but I have too long a history of letting things get away from me, so here we go….
The trades and mainstream press have been bemoaning the dearth of “buzz worthy” pics leading into Oscar season this year and well, they can all shut the fuck up right now, thank you very much. As I was leaving the theater, the editor in chief of one of the major trade dailies turned to me and said, and I paraphrase: “It’s hard to imagine a better film coming out this year,” and I fully concur. If this film gets fewer than 10 Oscar nods, I’ll eat my hat (just not one of my good ones). Right now I am willing to predict nods for: picture, actor (x2-Pitt and Affleck), screenplay and director (both Dominik), cinematography (Roger Deakins), score (Nick Cave and Bad seeds bandmate Warren Ellis), editors (Dylan Tichenor and Curtiss Clayton) and at least 1 supporting actor (too many to choose). Of course many of the “smaller” categories will come along with main category nominations.
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I’ll be writing something more about this tomorrow, but for now, I must be brief.

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Assassination Of Jesse James: Masterpiece

The first masterpiece of awards season has just screened for the press here in Toronto (after premiering in Venice) and it is Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I have to run into another screening right now, so more on this astonishing film later.
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