Five Lessons We Learned From TIFF

The loudest Oscar buzz, biggest movie stars, and rudest snubs of the festival.

Courtesy of Grey Goose Vodka

Stars Love TIFF…: Tumbleweeds must have been blowing through Hollywood during the opening weekend of TIFF. While Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie charmed their hosts at the Burroughs Building, George Clooney toasted his two fest flicks for four and a half hours alongside Ryan Gosling, Keira Knightley and Bono.

…But They’ll Still Blow It Off: Michelle Williams
missed the premiere of Take This Waltz after filming on Oz, The Great and Powerful ran long. Blake Lively blew off her film Hick, even though she was booked to host the film’s party. And Michael Fassbender ditched the premiere of A Dangerous Method, but with good reason—he stayed in Venice to accept the Coppa Volpi award for Best Actor for his other TIFF entry, playing a sex-addict in Shame.

Who’s Going To The Oscars:
Following in the tradition of Natalie Portman and Penélope Cruz, Oscar hopefuls were laying groundwork at TIFF. Woody Harrelson was a stand out as a crooked L.A. cop in Rampart. Keira Knightley gave a wild performance as a clinically insane patient in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method. And Glenn Close seems like a shoe-in for her performance as a woman disguised as a male butler in 19th century Dublin in Albert Nobbs (but her co-star in cross-dressing, Janet McTeer, is even better).

Actually, Some Americans Aren’t Broke:
Despite an eyebrow-raising economic climate, big deals went down at TIFF. Michael Fassbender’s Shame was the first headline-maker when it was snapped up by Fox Searchlight. Then Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor’s romantic-comedy Salmon Fishing In The Yemen was sold to CBS after it was warmly received at its premiere. And Montreal’s power-nerd Jay Baruchel scored with his directorial debut: the hockey comedy Goon co-starring Sean William Scott and Baruchel’s fiancée Alison Pill sold to Magnolia for $2 million.

You Can So Look At Madonna: After TIFF volunteers claimed they were told to turn around by Her Madgesty’s security, her publicist swiftly denied the claim. Famed Oscar-baiter Harvey Weinstein, executive producer of Madonna’s directorial debut W.E., stood up for her, telling eTalk he had worked with Madonna since Truth or Dare and that the request couldn’t be more out of character for her. And you have to admit Madonna hasn’t lead the career of someone who doesn’t like being the centre of attention.