By Brian D. Johnson - Friday, January 18, 2013 - 0 Comments
He’s back. Now that his marriage and political fortunes have gone up in smoke, Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a game attempt to re-ignite his career as a Hollywood action hero with his first lead role in a decade. In The Last Stand, The Governator re-enters the fray as a kind of unplugged Terminator, an old-school sheriff in a sleepy Arizona border town who ends up battling a fugitive Mexican drug lord in an armed stand-off that unleashes more firepower than the Alamo. Landing in the thick of the current debate on gun control, the timing couldn’t be worse, especially with Arnie using a school bus as a lethal weapon, along with a vintage arsenal of big, bad-ass guns that turn the sheriff’s one-horse town into an NRA fantasy camp.
The Last Stand‘s formulaic scenario, of a crusty lawman hauling himself out of semi-retirement, could be seen as Arnie’s Unforgiven, but with way more cheese and no gravitas. At best, it’s a guilty pleasure. Continue…
By Jessica Allen - Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:42 PM - 0 Comments
Jessica Allen picks her favourites
We may not get every A-lister—E-Talk and the other big media outlets eat up red-carpet time—but we make the most of who we get. On Day 1, for example, instead of Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the premiere of Looper, we got Bruce Willis.
On Day 3, at the Silver Linings Playbook premiere, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper walked by, but film director David O. Russell stopped to talk.
No matter what, Maclean’s photographer Kara Dillon manages to capture the elusive stars.
On Day 4, Quartet director Dustin Hoffman and star Maggie Smith lingered to chat since we’d actually seen the film. And Billy Connolly … he was … well, just watch the video.
Our luck didn’t let up. On Day 5, on the carpet of Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder, both leading ladies Rachel McAdams and Olga Kerylanko chatted with Maclean’s. I won’t lie: McAdams, who was raised in the same hometown as me, remembered me from years of serving her in restaurants on Queen Street West, where she was–without exception–amiable, delightful and generous to staff. One time, maybe six years ago, she hugged me good-bye. I haven’t showered since.
I’ve been like a fly on the wall at after-parties of bold-face names — observing some of Hollywood’s biggest players in their natural habitat. (For example, Harvey Weinstein and Dustin Hoffman at the after party held for Quartet. Or the Day 2 parties for Anna Karenina and Spring Breakers, which couldn’t have been more different.)
And if the glam of TIFF parties are not your scene, check out our Outsider’s Guide to the Festival by Sarah Lazarovic.
TIFF 2012 hasn’t all been roses, of course. There have been some real awkward moments. Seeing how there are still five days to go, I’m going to wait to share. Wish me luck on topping a golden one with Anna Karenina star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who I annoyed the hell out of with a red carpet question. We’ve got video to prove it.
In the meantime, here’s a collection of my favourite photos of couples (married, or otherwise) that Kara’s taken at TIFF 2012. Because it’s a heck of a lot easier to navigate TIFF with a little help.
By Jessica Allen - Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 8:56 AM - 0 Comments
From the screener to the red carpet to the film’s after party at Soho House, these seniors sure know how to have fun
As the credits rolled after a recent screening of Quartet, the man next to me collapsed his head. ”I never cry in real life,” he said, “but I’ve being doing it a lot during these TIFF screeners.”
Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut features four opera singers in a retirement home in the English countryside. The film ends when the septuagenarians (Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins) perform Verdi’s Rigoletto.
“Twenty-five years ago, I saw my first opera,” my seat-mate said. “It was Rigoletto.”
As the lights went on and before we parted ways, my new friend made introductions. ”I’m George,” he said, as in Stroumboulopoulos.
At Quartet’s TIFF premiere at the Elgin Theatre on Sunday night, the four stars and their 75-year-old director were in top form. Billy Connolly, wearing black patent leather shoes with oversized tassles, laughed when I asked if he shared the “appetites” of his character Wilf, who boasted the libido of a teenager. “We’re nothing alike,” laughed the actor, who once said in an interview, “I’m a very f—ing wealthy person, I’m married to a very beautiful woman and I get laid with monotonous regularity.”
By Jessica Allen - Monday, September 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM - 0 Comments
Jessica Allen with Billy Connolly, Dustin Hoffman, and an up-and-coming actress named Maggie Smith