Should I make it sound like a burden that John Hamm, Javier Bardem and Clive Owen will be in my town for at least several out of the next eleven days? Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Marion Cotillard, Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Portman– I could go on.
Yes, Toronto International Film Festival begins today. In the past, the event has yielded sightings of Sean Penn outside the Gap, Colin Farrell at my local bakery.
Today, I sat in a café and saw six impossibly perfect 20-something people enter. It took a few seconds to register that I was in the midst of a Hollywood coven, but $400 jeans and Balenciaga bags on women under voting age are a reliable tipoff. Toronto people can look good in a Banana Republic way, but you generally don't see blinding beauty in droves.
Jane, of our famous all-girl poker group, works for TIFF. She tips us to the worthiest flicks and tells great TIFF stories. Here's one:
Catherine Deneuve attended last year (and will be here this week). She was spotted smoking in the green room, a big no-no for which Sean Penn had already been busted, resulting in a shouting match.
"Go over there and tell Ms Deneuve to put that damn cigarette out right now", the brass told one underling. He approached her, and said, "Miss Deneuve?"
She turned, regally, and replied, "Ouiiiiiii?" The eyes, the hair, the utter smoky goddess presence.
"I just came over to say... "
"Welcome to Toronto!"