After all the announcements and hype preceding it, the Toronto International Film Festival has finally arrived. For ten days every fall, Toronto plays host to an eclectic mix of big-budget and independent movie screenings; jaw-droppingly gorgeous movie stars; throngs of film connoisseurs from all corners of the GTA; and scores of celebrity hunters in the trendiest Toronto neighbourhoods.
If you’re plan on braving the rush line-ups for the hottest screenings, going elbow-to-elbow with other fans for George Clooney’s autograph, and managing to grab a bite or a drink in between shows, have no fear. OurFaves has you covered. Here’s a day-by-day guide to where you should be this weekend.
September 11 2009
Start the festival off by hitting up the 2:15 p.m. screening of Cleanfix at the AMC Yonge & Dundas 24. Cleanfix is a light-hearted movie about Mormons who decide to run a video store where they can censor all the naughty parts of their favourite films. You’ll most likely want to enjoy a quick and tasty lunch before this show, so make like so many of our favers and grab a bite at Salad King. This ultra popular spot is minutes from AMC theatre and also has take-out in case you’re running late.
Another afternoon flick worth catching is the Charles Darwin biopic Creation starring Jennifer Connelly. This movie screens at 3:00 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre, so make sure you stop by the Baskin-Robbins close by and create your own ice-cream combination (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun). Just make sure you enjoy your treat before you take your seat.
After all of your film-trotting, you might be looking forward to a relaxing dinner with friends. We think Barberians Steak House is the perfect pit stop before you head over to Yorkville’s Varsity Theatre to check out an evening screening of Suck. This Canadian comedy is showing at 9:30 p.m. and features former Kids In The Hall actor, Dave Foley. After the show, pop by Panorama for a nightcap and a spectacular view of the city.
September 12 2009
Although you may want to sleep in after an action-packed Friday night, we suggest setting your alarm clock early so you can catch all the great films showing today. First up, there’s The Informant!, a quirky comedy featuring Matt Damon which starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre. Since you may have trouble getting going that early on a Saturday morning, get your java fix at the Queen and Yonge Starbucks with an Americano and a scone. The coffee will perk you up for the film and the movie will keep you laughing for the rest of the day.
Not much of a morning person? Zoom up to The Ryerson Theatre just in time to catch Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body at noon. After the flick, you can head to 7 West Cafe and talk about the deep storyline and character development you just witnessed with a friend. Or just have some coffee and try to figure out why Megan Fox is famous.
Those looking for heavier cinematic fare can head over to the AMC to catch Collapse at 6:00 p.m. This documentary was directed by Chris Smith and talks about the current financial situation south of the border. In honour of the movie topic, we recommend going to Opa! Souvlaki of Greece for a fiscally responsible dinner before or after the movie. As a bonus, the restaurant is just steps away from the theatre, so you get to save cab money too.
The Elgin Winter Garden Theatre: Your New Home
September 13 2009
This day is the most ‘Hollywood’ of all our days, with all 3 films including A-list actors. Kick off your Sunday at the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre with a viewing of Up in the Air at 11:00 a.m. Directed by Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney, the film is about a man that fires people for a living who ends up going through a mid-life crisis, all while trying to rake up as many frequent flyer points as possible. Grabbing a hearty brunch at Senator Restaurant for might be a good idea because you’ll be watching a double feature at the theatre.
Afternoon go-getters can catch The Joneses at 3:00 p.m. with Demi Moore and David Duchovny. It’s also being shown at the Elgin, a place that you should be very comfortable with by now.
Wrap up your day by heading to The Ryerson Theatre and checking out Drew Barrymore’s feature directorial debut about the fast-paced world of roller derby Whip It at 9:00 p.m. After the film is over, head over to Fire On The East Side to indulge in some delicious crab cakes and to strategize for the rest of the fest.
Well folks, that’s it for this weekend, stay tuned for the second part in Ourfaves’ three-part guide to doing TIFF like a movie star.