One more week until TIFF 2009

Courtesy of
Keanu & Robin Wright in 'Pippa Lee' - Courtesy of

The Playlist blog has been my source of all things TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), and as I was browsing their site, I happen to learn a couple of new trivia that movie geeks like me gobble up with gusto. Well first, I didn’t realize that Daniel Day-Lewis’ wife is the daughter of Arthur Miller and happens to be a film director. Her name is Rebecca Miller and she’s a got a new movie coming out called The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (more on this later). I also didn’t know she directed her husband in a father/daughter drama called The Ballad of Jack and Rose with Camilla Belle (yep, she’s the gal in that 10,000 BC nonsense), which received mixed reviews. Haven’t seen that one but I just assume Daniel always gets stellar reviews??

Speaking of father/daughter, film-making clearly runs in the Scott family, as Ridley Scott’s daughter Jordan is apparently a budding director. As you know her uncle Tony is a successful director as well (Enemy of the State, SpyGame, Man on Fire). Jordan Scott’s upcoming film Cracks is one of the movies that’ll screen at TIFF, which centers on the lives and relationships among girls at an elite British boarding school in the 1930s. Having gone to an all-girl high school, this piqued my interest. It stars my fave Bond girl Eva Green as their sultry teacher.

Back to Miller’s The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Robin Wright Penn (who might not be using the last part of her name much longer) plays a dutiful wife to a much older husband who’s facing a life crisis when they move to a suburban retirement community. The rest of the cast includes Alan Arkin, Maria Bello, Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Julianne Moore and Blake Lively (taking a break from Gossip Girl to play Wright Penn’s younger character).

A couple other TIFF lineups that caught my eye are The Joneses and Dorian Gray. The first one stars the always amusing David Duchovny and Demi Moore, whom I haven’t seen in the movies lately. It’s a dark comedy (Duchovny’s specialty it seems) about rival neighbors whose quest to one up each other turns deadly. According to the festival site, it’s “a film perfectly attuned to the currentzeitgeist … First-time writer-director Derrick Borte imbues a serious core theme – the wobbly undercurrents of a frenetic consumer culture – with humor, warmth and shots of clever, zesty fun.” They also praised Duchovny and Moore’s performances in this.

As for Dorian Gray, the classic morality tale from Oscar Wilde (that’s arguably biographical in a way) is always timely and poignant. Ben Barnes plays the handsome narcissist Dorian and Colin Firth is Lord Henry Wotton, the nobleman who’s obsessed with Dorian’s beauty and corrupts the young man with his hedonistic worldview. Those who’ve read the book argue that Dorian is supposed to be blond and blue-eyed instead of the dark-haired Ben Barnes, but so long as the ‘essence’ of the story is there, I don’t think it matters much. A fellow blogger Katie has the trailer up on her blog if you’re interested.

That’s all for now. I’ll be bloggin’ more about TIFF lineups leading up to and during the festival, which opens on the 10th. TIFF is a great place for what the Playlist calls “off-the-beaten-path pictures.” I wish I could be there again as my 2005 visit was very memorable indeed.

4 thoughts on “One more week until TIFF 2009

  1. Mike

    What a line up. It would be fun to go to that, having heard such GREAT things about TIFF from you. Just to be able to focus on a set of interesting films without having to fit them into a busy daily grind. A fun vacation idea for sure!

    1. rtm

      Yeah, and Toronto is a wonderful and diverse city with great food, too. I wish I had been able to see more flicks there but even just hanging around downtown was a lot o fun. It’s definitely a trip I’ll never forget and can’t wait to re-live again.

  2. mcarteratthemovies

    This “Pippa Lee” movie intrigues me. I love Robin Wright-Penn (um, I mean Robin Wright now), but Keanu Reeves is so hit or miss with his acting. He showed some emotion in “Something’s Gotta Give,” and he even cried (believably!) in “The Lake House.” I’m not ready to write him off just yet.

    1. rtm

      Hi Meredith. I actually can’t stand “The Lake House” and thought I might as well just re-watched “Speed” again if I want to see he and Bullock together =) But guess what, I actually like Keanu in the drama “A Walk in the Clouds” ( Lots of people say he can’t act his way out of a paper bag, but he’s proven to be pretty good in some movies, so yeah, there’s hope for him IMO.

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