Tag Archives: BRUCE BERESFORD

Lenore hosts a Social in Truro, Betty hosts SNL for Mother’s Day & Krystin waits on stage for the Parade

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: New headline-making Nova Scotia MLA Lenore Zann is hosting a Spring-Is-In-The-Air Social & Dance this weekend in Truro, NS to raise

WHITE: she's Hot

money for an upcoming community production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. It’s all happening Saturday night at The Pond (that’s the Ponderosa Tavern to me and you) on Main Street in Bible Hill … Chi Cao, the Principal Dancer with the Birmingham Royal Ballet who stars in Bruce Beresford’s hypnotic drama Mao’s Last Dancer, will jet to T.O. to attend the special National Ballet’s SRO preview screening next Monday at the Isabel Bader Theatre … SNL alumnus Jimmy Fallon has come a long way from co-hosting Weekend Update. This summer he’ll host the Emmy Awards on Aug. 29 … and Betty White, still set to host this weekend’s Mother’s Day edition of Saturday Night Live in New York, has joined the cast of a new TV Land original series Hot in Cleveland.

FOOTLIGHTS: Once more intent on battling “Canada’s most dangerous enemy, cultural amnesia,” VideoCabaret presents Michael Hollingsworth’s The Great War, opens

PELLERIN: on stage

tomorrow night at The Cameron House … also opening Thursday: Bobby Del Rio’s new play The Market, not on a stage but in a corporate office space at Adelaide & Jarvis. The play, which features Kyle McDonald, Julian DeZotti, Aaron Forward and Ryan Moleiro as 20-something traders, runs through May 23 and Del Rio warns audiences that his new show contains violence, “excessive” language, “and guys acting like dicks!” … and Republic Of Doyle scene-stealer Krystin Pellerin, so good as the pistol-packing detective hopelessly smitten with Allan Hawco’s Jake, is currently on stage starring in the Soulpepper revival of John Murrell’s Waiting for the Parade, now thru May 29 at the Young Centre in the Distillery District.

CAO: Toronto-bound

OUR TOWN: Three up-and-coming bands – Canteen Knockout, Bronx Cheerleader and Proof Of Ghosts – headline this Sunday night’s concert at Sneaky Dee’s to save Reg Hartt’s time-honoured Cineforum. For more info, click here Scott Feschuk, Jacob Richler and executive chef Rob Gentile team up for the 2010 edition of Taste Of Maclean’s on May 17 at Buca …and Random House is set to launch Globe & Mail scribbler John Doyle’s new book, The World Is A Ball: The Joy, Madness And Meaning Of Soccer, on May 20 with a book-signing bash at, you guessed it, The Football Factory on Bathurst Street.

TOMORROW:

GLEE girl goes sci-fi,

and other earth-shattering scoops.

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Who wouldn’t talk about Hef, who got shortchanged in my TIFF tally, and who took home the hardware

GOOD MORNING, TORONTO: Welcome to another razzle-dazzle week of entertainment in Our Town.  Among the notable treats in store: The Boys In The Photograph, the new Andrew Lloyd Weber–Ben Elton musical about

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

SLEAN: on Abbey Road

young men and women involved with a neighbourhood soccer team in Belfast in 1969, opens tomorrow night at the Royal Alex … DanceWorks opens its new show, Namesake: three, on Wednesday at Harbourfront’s Enwave Theatre … also opening Wednesday: The new Allen Cole-Melody Johnson-Rick Roberts collaboration, Mimi (or A Poisoner’s Comedy) at the Tarragon  … Darren Anthony’s new concert show, Secrets Of A Black Boy, produced by his sister Trey (Da Kink In My Hair) Anthony, opens at the Music Hall on Friday, the same night conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Anton Kuerti, Richard Margison and more launch a reportedly spectacular new

RIVERS: Saturday night

RIVERS: Saturday night

Royal Conservatory music venue, Koerner Hall, in the Telus Centre for Performance and Learning on Bloor Street West … Chick Corea and Sophie Milman christen the hall with jazz the following night … Celebrity Apprentice champ and TSC favourite Joan Rivers plays Casino Rama that same Saturday night … and Kevin Hearn, Raine Maida, Steven Page and Sarah Slean are among the celebrated warblers who will lend their voices when Andrew Burashko’s Art Of Time Ensemble salutes the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Abbey Road with a re-imagined, re-invented concert version running two nights only, this Saturday and Sunday, also at the Enwave.

And that’s just for starters, folks.

MY BAD: It’s easy to get cross-eyed when so many stars come to town at the same time. At least, that’s my lame excuse for telling you that Colin Farrell and

BETTANY: double-header

BETTANY: double-header

Julianne Moore ruled the TIFF roost this year with three, count them, three films each, while celebrated runners-up George Clooney, Colin Firth and Amands Seyfried each appeared in two TIFF entries. All of which is true, except for two guys I forgot to mention. Don’t know how I missed him, but Willem Dafoe also deserved to be in that top spot with Colin and Julianne, as he appeared in no less than three TIFF titles this year: Antichrist, Daybreakers and Farewell. Sorry about that, Willem. And yes, Paul Bettany, who played Charles Darwin in the opening night film Creation and Lord Melbourne in the closing night film Young Victoria, should have been listed with Clooney, Firth and the young Ms Seyfried in second place. And yes, I’m just hoping I didn’t miss anyone else.

PLAYBOY OF THE EASTERN FILM FESTIVAL: After three capacity crowds jammed the TIFF cinemas where her much-discussed documentary on Hugh Hefner premiered last week, director Brigitte Berman admitted that

BENNETT: talking about Hef

BENNETT: talking about Hef

by the time she finished shooting she had an embarrassment of riches, and had to delete scenes she loved from the original version to bring the film to a more manageable size. Deletions included interviews with the magazine magnate’s two sons, and the stories they tell about how they were treated in high school as Hugh Hefner’s offspring are apparently so fascinating that Berman intends to include that footage as a separate feature when the film is released on DVD. At a Q&A after the film she informed us that Playboy is the second best-known brand in the world — “Coca-Cola is number one,” she added — and that the toughest interview subject to secure, surprisingly, was Tony Bennett. “His agent is very protective of him, as he should be. But as soon as Tony was told of the request, he was all for it, and just a pleasure to work with.”

Did any key players from Hef’s past actually turn her down? “Yes,” replied the ever-candid Oscar-winning director — “Gloria Steinem, Jules Pfeiffer and Bill Cosby.”

WHO WON WHAT: As T.O. filmfest chief Piers Handling noted on Saturday night, TIFF delivered not only 335 films but also 10 days of consecutive sunshine – “the summer we did not have.” But thanks to superb programming, meticulous planning and the more than 2,000 volunteers (!!) who help make it happen, it was truly a festival to remember.

CLARKSON: winning film

CLARKSON: winning film

Finally, just in case you missed it, here’s who took home the hardware from the 34th annual Toronto International Film Festival.

– Best Canadian Short Film: Pedro Pires, Danse Macabre. Honourable mention: Jamie Travis,The Armoire.

– Best Canadian First Feature Film: Alexandre Franchi, The Wild Hunt.

– Best Canadian Feature Film: Ruba Nadda, Cairo Time, with Patricia Clarkson, Tom McCamus and Alexander Siddig. Special Jury Citation: Bernard Émond, La Donation (The Legacy).

– FIPRESCI Prize (Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics for Discovery:) Laxmikant Shetgaonkar, The Man Beyond the Bridge (India).

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

SIDDIG: Cairo Time

– FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: Bruno Dumont, Hadewijch (France).

– People’s Choice Award: Lee Daniels, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. First runner-up:  Bruce Beresford, Mao’s Last Dancer. Second runner-up: Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Micmacs (Micmacs à tirelarigot).

– People’s Choice Award – Documentary: Leanne Pooley, The Topp Twins. Runner-up: Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story.

– People’s Choice Award – Midnight Madness: Sean Byrne, The Loved Ones. Runner-up: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig, Daybreakers.

TOMORROW:

Margaret Atwood, Twyla Tharp, Rick Mercer, and more.

Greenwood shines for Beresford, Google scoops up Bawden, and it’s a wrap! — almost — as TIFF gets set to hand out some heavyweight hardware

NO PEOPLE LIKE SHOW PEOPLE: Stratford scene-stealer Geraint Wyn-Davies, currently winning raves for his joyful performance as Bottom in

FOX: on The Hour

FOX: on The Hour

Midsummer Night’s Dream, will take his next play out of town before opening in Stratford next summer. He plans to test his one-man show Do Not Go Gentle, by Leon Pownall, about the life of Dylan Thomas, in New York, where he’ll open a limited run this winter … Google, who continue to be two steps ahead of all other search engines, have reportedly snapped up esteemed Toronto Star alumnus Jim Bawden to cover the Canadian television scene. Smart move, guys! But then, that’s what makes Google Google George Stroumboulopoulos kicks off his sixth

McLACHLAN: dragon lady

McLACHLAN: Dragon lady

season of The Hour with a 60-minute one-on-one with Michael J. Fox … and yes, that was Sarah McLachlan looking lovely at the CBC Fall Launch. She showed up to cheer on her current squeeze, Dragons’ Den panelist Brett Wilson.

FILMFEST FOLLIES: Now that we’re getting close to the finish line, hot titles emerging from this year’s Toronto International Film Festival include Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, Bruce Beresford’s Mao’s Last Dancer, Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother & Child, Lee Daniels’ Precious,

BONO: at TIFF

BONO: at TIFF

Ruba Nadda’s Cairo Time, Tom Ford’s A Single Man, Lone Sherfig’s An Education, Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air, Joel & Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man, and Brigitte Berman’s controversial celluloid portrait of Hugh Hefner. Should be interesting to see who finishes in the money when TIFF prize-winners are announced tomorrow afternoon stars continue to shine where and when you least expect them to. My spies tell me Jason Reitman devotee Aaron Eckhart slipped in to see Up In The Air last weekend.’Bono showed up for his pal Colin Farrell at the unveiling of Neil Jordan’s Ondine. Geoffrey Rush

CAINE: conversing

CAINE: conversing

came out to cheer for Michael Sheen in Tom Hooper’s The Damned United. And Sam Neill was among the eager onlookers who raised hands to ask questions when Harry Brown hero Michael Caine participated in a 90-minute on-stage Conversation with Seamus O’Regan … and at the initial screening of Lars Von Trier’s AntiChrist, which premiered the first night of the festival, my spies report that midway through the film “someone actually fainted and caused a bit of a scene when they toppled onto the row in front of them, totally alarming those people. Talk about a perfect way to start a film festival!!”

SMITH: great quotes

SMITH: great quotes

QUOTABLE QUOTES: “A lot of things have disappeared as I have grown older and a lot of wrinkles and flab have suddenly appeared. But whatever I’ve lost, I still have great legs. As the late actress Kitty Carlisle Hart used to say as she showed her gams at age 90, ‘The legs are the last to go.’ Kitty had a good life motto. She looked at herself every morning in the mirror and said, ‘Kitty, I forgive you!’”

The speaker? Liz Smith, who just keeps wowing us with her wit ‘n’ wisdom on wowOwow.com.

TOGETHER AGAIN (ALMOST): It’s been years since they co-starred at the then Pantages in Phantom Of The Opera, but Colm Wilkinson and Rebecca

GREENWOOD: "spectacularly good"

GREENWOOD: spectacular

Caine continue to brighten stage and screens. Wilkinson was here this week to promote The Tudors at CBC’s elegant mid-week Fall Launch. In the new season he plays an antagonist who Henry VIII summarily executes. “But they must have liked what I did, because they’ve asked me return as a ghost!” Meanwhile, the glory-voiced Ms Caine is set to headline her own concert show, Raising Caine, next Sunday Sept. 27 at the new Conservatory Theatre … and speaking of dynamic duos, Twin Peaks alumni Kyle MacLachlan and Joan Chen are only two of the reasons why TIFF showstopper Mao’s Last Dancer is such a riveting film. Credit director Bruce Beresford for hiring Bruce Greenwood to play the U.S. choreographer with his own agenda. Greenwood, who delivers a brilliantly nuanced performance,  is spectacularly good. But then, so is the movie. Don’t miss it.

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A drama for Amanda, a film feast for Chris, a new musical for Catherine and a Toronto visit for Meryl!

ANOTHER OPENING, ANOTHER SHOW: Sadly, most of the publicity surrounding the making of Chloe, the new Atom Egoyan drama set to premiere

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

SEYFRIED: at TIFF as Chloe

Sunday night at TIFF, focused on leading man Liam Neeson when his actress wife Natasha Richardson died tragically during the shooting of the film. What no one seems to have noticed is that the title character in Egoyan’s film is played by Amanda Seyfried, so outstanding as Meryl Streep’s daughter in Mamma Mia.  In Chloe she plays a sultry young seductress hired by Julianne Moore to test her husband’s faithfulness. (Expect to hear a lot of tongue-wagging after this one!) … and tonight’s TIFF Galas should offer some genuine surprises. Already winning rave reviews, The Men Who Stare At Goats showcases a stellar 1ddcd8b24bd2e054_colin_firthcast led by George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges in a stranger-than-fiction true story. (Want a sample? Just click here.) And the new version of Dorian Gray, with Colin Firth and terminally handsome Ben Barnes directed by Oscar Wilde aficionado Oliver Parker, reportedly takes that famous portrait mythology to new heights (and depths.) This one sure doesn’t look like any of the Dorian Grays we’ve seen before. For a sneak preview, click here.

OUR TOWN: Hollywood columnist George Christy, Norman Jewison and Gina & Paul Godfrey were among the boldface who turned up for the Best Buddies tribute to Ann-Margaret this week at the Four Seasons. Glamourous

STREEP: Toronto-bound

STREEP: Toronto-bound

in a glittering cocktail dress, the award-winning actress beamed when someone asked her if she minds being called Ann-Margrock, her character name on The Flintstones. “No, I love it!” she exclaimed. “That’s why I voiced the part in the first place!”… delighted by its successful run at Niagara-On-The-Lake, Theatre Museum Canada has finally brought its much-lauded retrospective of stage designer Cameron Porteous to T.O. After a week of previews, Risking The Void: The Scenography of Cameron Porteous, opens tonight at the Design Exchange and runs through October 20 … and talk about a hot ticket: current box office queen Meryl Streep is set for a public sit-down session with Johanna Schneller at the ROM on Oct. 7. Bon appetit, ladies!

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

McKELLAR: Tiff Talent booster

TIFF TALK: The aspiring filmmakers who made the final cut to attend TIFF’s annual Talent Lab are in good and remarkably famous hands this year. Governors overseeing the program are Danny Boyle, John Collee, Miranda July and Cooking With Stella star Don McKellar. Film folk who have agreed to be drop-in mentors include Tilda Swinton, Atom Egoyan, Gaspar Noe, Jane Campion, Bruce Beresford and Suzana Amaral … is anyone having a better year on film that Christopher Plummer? He’s a major voice in Up, one of the summer biggest box office hits, and one of the top-billed stars of the new animated film 9, which opened here this week; he’s nominated for a Gemini Award for his performance in the screen version of his Stratford hit

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

PLUMMER: as Dr. Parnassus

Caesar & Cleopatra; he plays the title role in Terry Gilliam’s much-anticipated Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus, premiering here at TIFF next week; and he and Helen Mirren play Leo Tolstoy and his missus in the new German-Russian-U.K. co-production The Last Station. Can’t wait to see that one … and the best and most significant comment I’ve seen on the current tiff over TIFF’s choice of Tel Aviv for its City To City program comes from Toronto film critic Peter Howell. Says Howell: “Film festivals are supposed to be about opening minds, not closing them.” To which we say, bravo. To read his thoughtful column in yesterday’s Toronto Star, click here.

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

DOUGLAS: playing Solitary

STARS IN OUR EYES: New Manhattan-dwellers Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones won’t have a lot of time to unpack their California bags. He’s already started shooting Oliver Stone’s sequel to Wall Street, reprising his role as imprisoned corporate crook Gordon Gekko opposite TIFF scene-stealer Carey Mulligan (An Education.) Meanwhile Solitary Man, Douglas’ meaty new drama with Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker and his longtime pal Danny DeVito premieres at TIFF next week. Meanwhile the ravishing Zeta-Jones, who won her

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

ZETA-JONES: back on the boards

Oscar for her song-and-dance tour de force in Chicago, is starting rehearsals for her return to the musical stage in A Little Night Music, tackling the role played by Glynis Johns on Broadway, Judi Dench in London, Jean Simmons in Toronto and Elizabeth Taylor on screen. And speaking of Dame Elizabeth, who not so coincidentally happens to be the Founding International Chairman of AMFAR – will she jet here to attend our first-ever Cinema Against AIDS Toronto Gala on Tuesday at the Carlu? And will Global Fundraising champion Sharon Stone come with her? Kevin Sullivan & Trudy Grant are presenting sponsors of the lavish evening, which features a special dinner designed by Jamie Kennedy with Sarah McLachlan and Deborah Cox served up for dessert. For ticket information, click here.

Have a great TIFF weekend.

See you at the movies!

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In praise of older stage & screen sirens

Oscar winner Marsha Mason remembers future Oscar winner Shirley MacLaine telling her, “In order to keep working, it’s important to move into character work early because they don’t know what to do with you.”

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: Alexander

JOLIE, KILMER, FARRELL: just one big happy family (not)

It’s a key point in Forget the Ingénues; Cue the Grown-Ups, Patricia Cohen’s excellent piece in last weekend’s New York Times. “Unless a script calls for a bitter woman to be dumped by her husband,” she notes, “filmgoers have come to expect the kind of nature-defying casting decisions that had a then 28-year-old Angelina Jolie playing the mother of Colin Farrell, then 27, in the 2004 film Alexander. (Val Kilmer, then 45, was the father.) Such couplings are familiar: At 36, Anne Bancroft played the predatory Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967) [to Dustin Hoffman] although she was a mere six years older than Mr. Hoffman; in The Manchurian Candidate (1962) Angela Lansbury, just three years older than Laurence Harvey, played his mother.”

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

ADAMS: "Sooo thrilling!"

On Broadway, however, “women can still be rock stars. Among the big-name talents from film and television who have appeared behind Broadway marquees this season are Joan Allen, Jane Fonda, Allison Janney, Susan Sarandon and Kristin Scott Thomas.” For more of Ms. Cohen’s story on women who rule the Great White Way, click here.

Meanwhile, let me give the last word to the hottest young actress in Hollywood, Amy Adams, who co-starred with Meryl Streep in Doubt and does it again in the upcoming Julia & Julia.

“Sooo thrilling,” says Amy, with just a hint of sarcasm, “that every now and then, the world rediscovers that there’s a female audience. Oh, my God! Women go to the movies!”

And do they ever.

* * *

GOING WHERE HE’S NEVER GONE BEFORE: Big-screen favourite Bruce Greenwood’s role of Captain Pike in the new Star Trek prequel was originally played in the pilot episodes of the original series by

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

GREENWOOD: Beresford-bound

Jeffrey Hunter. ) After screening the vintage episodes, Greenwood says he realized pretty quickly that the dilemma that Jeffrey Hunter’s Pike faced is very different from what his Pike faces. Hunter’s Pike, he explains, is conflicted over whether or not he will remain with Starfleet. “And, the Pike that I play has no such dilemma. My Pike’s dilemma is more about whether or not to trust the young Kirk.” In a Sharp magazine interview with writer Cliff Ford, Greenwood confirms he’s signed for director Bruce Beresford’s next opus, Mao’s Last Dancer. Based on dancer Li Cunxin’s autobiography, the film shows how a poor, 11-year-old Li was taken from his tiny Chinese village to Beijing to study ballet. Years later, during a visit to Texas, Li falls for an American woman, defects and becomes a principal dancer for the Houston and Australian Ballet. Greenwood portrays Ben Stevenson, the Houston Ballet’s artistic director, who was instrumental in Li’s successful career. And you can read more of the Sharp interview with Canuck crowd-pleaser Greenwood right here.

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THE MOTHER OF THEM ALL?: She killed her own children in a jealous rage as Medea. She played mom to Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs in a hostile white neighborhood in the much-lauded revival of A Raisin In the Sun.

RASHAD: maternal?

RASHAD: maternal?

She juggled a law practice, five children and Bill Cosby on the megahit Cosby Show. Tonight on Broadway, following in the footsteps of Deanna Dunagan and her successor followed by Estelle Parsons, Phylicia Rashad takes over the role of Violet Weston, the brittle, uncensored drug-abusing matriarch of an Oklahoma family in the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage Country. In a remarkable display of “nontraditional” casting, Ms. Rashad’s stage persona must attempt to cope with a white stage family of three daughters, a husband, a sister and other relatives. Should be a fabulous night.

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