Superfluous Matter
Infamous Gala Event

I just got back from the Gala presentation of the North American premiere of Infamous and I'm too wired to go to sleep so I'm taking the opportunity to post an update about the rest of my film festival adventure.

I took a long lunch on Monday (and subsequently stayed at work until 8:30pm after getting back) to go see The Last Kiss staring Zach Braff, Rachel Bilson and Jacinda Barrett. I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, but it was completely different from what I expected. I think current marketing/press stuff suggests that it is a romantic comedy, but it wasn't very funny and it definitely was not romantic. It did however deal with a lot of relationship issues in an often brutally honest way. It was very well written and all of the actors did an outstanding job in what seemed like difficult roles. All of the characters had glaring personality faults, like real people. It was different from a lot of movies in that nobody was a hero or flawless or anything (hence the brutal honesty). I also found that the movie spoke to me personally in that many of the issues could perhaps be in my near future. The movie centres around young (but established) middle class professionals who are about to make the final transitions to true adulthood...something which seems nearer to me now than ever. No special guests were present for the show, but it was an afternoon screening the day after the main screening, so I wasn't surprised.

Tonight was the big event, the Gala at Roy Thompson Hall for Infamous and it was quite the event indeed. We lined up about two hours early and there was a huge crowd of people (who weren't even attending the screening) waiting around just to catch a glimpse of the special guests. The director Douglas McGrath was there, along with cast members Toby Jones, Sandra Bullock, Sigourney Weaver and Lee Pace. It was pretty exciting just to be there. The director and cast came up on stage before the screening to talk a bit about it and then they took their seats up in one of the boxes to watch the show. Lining up early was definitely worth it, because we were able to get our tickets upgraded (for free) to the main level (as opposed to the balcony).

The movie itself was great. It's another one about the American author Truman Capote (like last year's film, Capote) but since I haven't seen the other, I was able to just enjoy this one without (unfair) comparison. The director even joked about the coincidence in his speech at the beginning. It seems unfortunate to be the second movie, but I believe that this one will succeed as well. It was an excellent film, probably the best of the three I saw at the festival (although they're so different it is hard to compare them). It is hard to describe the movie, but it basically follows Capote around during the time of his research and writing for his book, In Cold Blood, both in New York and in Kansas. The juxtaposition of these two worlds alone was a fantastic way to present the story, and I felt that the acting (especially Toby Jones and Sandra Bullock) was fabulous. I definitely recommend.

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