September 9, 2011

This was my first day for TIFF (Sept 8 – 18, 2011) this year and my 5th year going to the Festival. *does a happy dance*

I was killing time around King Street before our first movie and I see a huge commotion at Roy Thomson Hall (Gala Presentations central during the Festival). Naturally, I headed over there and asked the crowd who the heck everyone was waiting for. Most people answered with a shrug, “I dunno.”

Hmm… Great.


I was about to leave (or at least find a nice place to sit and observe the madness from afar, when someone told me, “George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling later on”. UMMM… SOLD! Just like that, I became a part of the crazy ass crowd.


It got SO crazy that the actual paps were scolding people around them: “No, don’t step on my stool!”, “This step is only for me”. Uhhh, ok buddy. People were tipping garbage cans over to step on them, climbing poles and whatever else that had a flat surface.


And little ol’ me couldn’t see past the barrage of hands and cameras/cellphones. How I wish I wore 6-inch heels last night. This was my view straight ahead (I raised the camera up, so my actual view was worse than this *facepalm*).


These girls were such troopers! Holding each other up to get the photos and at one point, the girl in silver went on the other one (left)’s shoulders. Haha, so cute. And I’m not even hating, if my friends and I weighed 100 pounds, we would have done the same thing. (Thanks for letting me take your photo, girls!)

I caught glimpses of the stars, but our movie was starting soon, so we decided to leave and line up for ours movie (Elles starring Juliette Binoche; review at the end of the post).

Here’s who was actually on the red carpet at Roy Thomson Hall last night (photos from the


The stars from Moneyball and Ides of March (I saw this, so look out for the post on my Tiff Day 3!).

Now, onto the movie!

Elles premiered at the Princess of Wales Theatre (it’s the first time the Festival is using this venue!). There may be spoilers here, so please procceed with caution if you don’t want to be spoiled.

(Official synopsis from TIFF:) Juliette Binoche stars as a journalist researching an article on student prostitution for the French edition of ELLE magazine finds herself drawn to two young women.  The stories these seemingly well-adjusted girls share force the middle-aged writer to examine her own life and family. Szumowska places female sexuality, in all its complexity, under a microscope, turning Elles into a must-see film from a director whose talent has finally flourished in full bloom.


The shot from my seat


The director, Malgoska Szumowska (imdb link), introduces Juliette Binoche to the crowd.


She was so sweet, fun and seemed very excited to premiere her movie.


Actor Juliette Binoche and director Malgoska Szumowska. They were so fun together! You could tell they had a fantastic relationship and just vibed really well together. Juliette was very eloquent and classy. I love that she wore a simple black dress.

Q & A photos:

The cast and production team came out for a Q & A after the movie.  They answered the questions with so much energy and just…. fun that you couldn’t help but love them (and the movie) so much more afterwards. (Review is at the end of the post).


Malgoska introduces one of the male actors in the film (they didn’t introduce him when they were introducing the film).


Juliette answering a question about the masturbation scene in the movie. She jokes that Malgoska helped her with it and the crowd bursts into laughter.

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Fun fact: Juliette’s father plays her father in the movie and is the first scene she’s ever shot with her father for a movie.


The director, writers and actors for Elles.


As I expected, this was a very heavy film. It dealt with the students and prostitution in Eastern Euroupe, the story of two of these girls and how it affected Anne (Juliette Binoche’s character) while she was writing her article for Elles Magazine. The story was incredibly touching and surprisingly very relatable. I loved the fact that we got to see sex through the eyes of a woman. The little details in the movie (like getting frustrated over the fridge door not closing) was something I really loved (I’m a sucker for details like this in films). I loved the use of sound in this movie and the use of light… I thought it was a brilliantly shot film. I also found it very interesting to see the progression of these girls’ “innocence” before they became prostitutes, how they became engulfed in this world and how they seemed happy with their lives and choices, even though prostitution was obviously not a preferred student profession. It was really interesting when Anne makes a point to say that they’re not really “prostitutes”… because in a way, aren’t we all? Overall a fantastic film that tells a very touching story. Rate: 4/5.

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