Film fest party scene on the soft side

TORONTO — As the acquisition wars rage on at the Toronto Film Fest, the party scene seems a bit more civilized. “It’s tamer,” noted Sony Pictures Classics senior veep Dylan Leiner. “There’s nothing like the Wild Bunch party at the Bovine Sex Club this year.”

Instead, there are stylish gatherings at venues like the Chanel boutique, where Fox’s “Walk the Line” had its gala reception Tuesday.

Helmer James Mangold said he’d wanted to do a Johnny Cash pic for his next project after 1997’s “Copland,” but it took several years for him to sort out story rights and nail down his first-choice thesps, Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter.

“It was amazing to see how different Joaquin’s and Reese’s acting processes are; it’s similar to the differences in the way Johnny and June approached their music,” Mangold said.

That same night, In Style’s posh soiree at the Windsor Arms hotel drew most of the pic talent and execs in town. Toward the end of the night, even the battling “Thank You for Smoking” distribs — Fox Searchlight’s Peter Rice and Paramount Classics’ Ruth Vitale and David Dinerstein — were standing within cocktail-hurling distance of each other (without incident).

On Monday, ICM’s suit-heavy soiree atop the Manulife Building afforded spectacular views of the city and plenty of outdoor space for cigar-puffing.

Across town, the musical talents of Bloc Party and Eugene Hutz drew hipsters at First Look’s “Wassup Rockers” bash at the Drake Hotel; and the general counsel of Canada plus a slew of Icelandic politicos turned up for Baltasar Kormakur‘s “A Little Trip to Heaven” party at Seven Lounge.

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