TORONTO — Endgame Entertainment’s James Stern was dazzled by Toronto opening night, where his pic “Looper” bowed last week.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time but this kind of takes my breath away,” said Stern, who produced and financed, at Thursday’s post-preem bash. “The last time I had a film here was for the ‘Chorus Line’ documentary ‘Every Little Step.’ ”
Scoot McNairy had a similar reaction the next evening at the post-screening party for “Argo,” in which he portrays a consular official rescued in Iran in 1980. “This is a pretty long way from where I grew up in Texas,” he said.
There was a wide-range of post-screening reactions following the premieres of several highly anticipated films at Toronto, but the most emotional was for Summit’s “The Impossible,” which saw cast members Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and Tom Holland embrace their real-life counterparts in front of a packed house. “Impossible” concerns a family separated by the 2004 tsunami, so it was fitting that the screening elicited waves of tears from audience members and the real-life family that relived the devastation onscreen. Online reports also noted that one audience member fainted in the middle of the harrowing screening.
Later that evening, Jackie Evancho enjoyed watching her bigscreen debut in Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep,” surrounded by her supportive father, co-star Anna Kendrick and the director himself, who plays her father in the film.
Friday night’s world premiere of Derek Cianfrance’s “The Place Beyond the Pines” brought the house down, especially when one excited female fan shouted to star Ryan Gosling mid-Q&A, “You’re so sexy,” to which he replied, “that’s not appropriate.” Hours later at the Princess of Wales Theater, those who saw “The Master” sat in stunned silence as the credits rolled, hoping to get answers to the film’s big questions from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, though a Q&A never materialized.
Elsewhere, Jason Reitman was excited to be back at the Ryerson Theater for a live reading of Alan Ball’s “American Beauty” script, though his cast, including Bryan Cranston and Christina Hendricks, had to deal with mic interference just as the event was getting under way.