"Brad, for 14 years I've been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is if I start firebombing."

We just came from one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen at TIFF. As Cameron Bailey (who kicked off the evening) said, it was truly an unrepeatable event.

A couple of days ago director Jason Reitman, who’s gotten into the habit of staging live readings of scripts of great movies (he’s done The Princess Bride, Reservoir Dogs, The Apartment, and others) with actors who weren’t in the actual films, announced that he’d be putting together a live reading to kick off this year’s film festival. It may sound like a boring concept, but it actually seemed like a completely different thing for us to try at TIFF in this, our eleventh year. So we bought tickets.

The film he selected? American Beauty (imdb). The participants? None other than George Stroumboulopoulos, Paul Scheer (who was a last-minute stand-in for Woody Harrelson), Mae Whitman, Nick Kroll, Sarah Gadon, Adam Driver, Christina Hendricks, and (as Mr. Reitman introduced him) Bryan motherfucking Cranston. That’s right: the lead parts were read by Joan Holloway and Walter goddamn White.

It was fantastic. Just, just, just wonderful to watch. I’ve watched American Beauty many times, but I think I only realized tonight how funny it was. And seeing the actors live, especially the ones who could crack the audience up just by adding a look or a nod or a gesture to their reading, added a new texture. Adam Driver (if you watch Girls you know who he is) was great as an understated Ricky Fitts, and the others did a great job (poor Strombo was rather out of his league but stayed in the game), but the true stars were Hendricks* and Cranston. They were so expressive and emotive that I could have watched them do it again just for fun. What a treat.

It was very nearly the perfect TIFF evening, except that when we left a thousand people were losing their tiny little minds because Kristen Stewart was walking down the red carpet outside our theatre for the premiere of On The Road (tiff). It’s the creepy, eNowbsessed part of TIFF that I know is a necessary evil, but to step into the middle of it immediately after took some shine off of what had been an almost transcendent festival moment.

Still, I forget the red carpet bullshit pretty quickly, while that table read will absolutely stick in my favourite TIFF memories ever.

*And I’m not just saying that because I’m deeply in love with her

.:.

Photo by Profound Whatever, used under Creative Commons license

One response to “"Brad, for 14 years I've been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is if I start firebombing."

  1. Pingback: 2012 annual report: mobile | Skirl | Dan Dickinson·

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