Monday, September 12, 2011

Twist of TIFF

A few weeks ago, R.J. and I were sitting around at home. He checked the "tink tink" of his cell phone, then blurted out, "J wants to know if we want to go to TIFF."

My response?

"Hell yes! That's where all the celebrities go!!"


Star gazing aside, R.J. and I are serious movie junkies. In our heydey, we'd be at the theatre at least once a week. We knew--as much as we might have hemmed and hawed over logistics--that we'd be there in a flash. And thanks to R.J.'s friend J lining up at 6 a.m. for feature film tickets, we were on our way to the Toronto International Film Festival.

The work week flew by, and before I knew it the sunny Saturday morning rolled around. I whipped up some Skinny Chicks berry delish oatmeal, and R.J. and I hit the open road.

We arrived with just enough time for me to shower and curl my hair, then it was off to the TTC.

It was hard to find anything in my giant purse, especially with a pair of gold sparkly peeptoe platforms stuffed inside.

Our first movie was Hick. It starred Blake Lively and the young actress from Kickass. A festival organizer introduced the film's director, who told the audience to stick around for an audience Q&A with the cast after the film. The cast? A surge of excitement cut through the air.

It's been a while since I've cringed, cried, sat on the edge of my seat, laughed and covered my eyes all in the span of an hour and a half. Hick, a very colourful film in acting and cinematography, took me on that kind of emotional roller coaster.

And, sure enough, once the credits were rolling, the director, writer and two cast members graced the stage. The audience was invited to raise their hands and ask questions, as they would in a classroom setting.

After Hick there was a short break. Apparently I was thinking more about fashion than practicality, because it was getting dark and I was getting cold. I stole a few moments to grab a jacket at Urban Outfitters and made it back just as the line for The Oranges was beginning to move inside.

Entering the theatre, we walked passed the roped off area where the stars were being interviewed.

"I saw B!" R.J. exclaims. (Yes, I watch Gossip Girl and yes, R.J. knows who B and S are.)

At the request of dedicated volunteers, we hurried through the hall to the theatre. By some stroke of fate, we got seats in the first row. Now, normally, who'd want to sit in the front row of a theatre and crane their necks to see the screen? Only at TIFF...

The Oranges was AMAZING. I don't know if I was on a starstruck high, but I feel like it is the funniest movie I've seen in a long time. The comedic timing was perfect, and there was a real synergy between the ensemble cast. Two suburban families are thrown for a twist, but after a disturbing series of events the characters still manage to come off as people you'd want to befriend.

Needless to say, having front row seats to the Q&A session was awesome.

The first two seasons of Gossip Girl are my guilty pleasure around Christmas time, so I've got to admit that Leighton Meester being feet away was cool.

We capped off the night with dinner at Milestones and a midnight madness showing of the gory, blood-fest, You're Next (not my fave).

Still, R.J., J and I were all happy campers.

See you next year, TIFF!

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