Despite our light TIFF lineup this year, we did manage a first on Friday night: attending a gala presentation. We were the guests of one of the festival’s main sponsors, so we assembled in the near-tropical heat of Friday evening for drinks, dinner, and Ruth & Alex (imdb | rotten tomatoes | tiff).
Dinner was very good, but we felt bad for everyone trapped outside on King Street during the sudden massive thunderstorm which rolled through. People huddled under whatever cover they could find, including a doorway right next to our table. We felt a little guilty eating our steak and drinking our wine while families huddled outside and fended off blowing debris. I guess if we’d been outside we’d have been the ones wringing wet, so it was all just down to lucky timing.
The film itself was just okay. I love Morgan Freeman but Diane Keaton has settled into Jack Nicholson mode, playing the same character (herself) over and over again. The film seemed a little precious, I guess, kind of like it had been written in the 50s with that kind of stage-ish, stilted dialogue, and simply updated for modern-day trends like terrorist scares and real estate frenzies.
There was no Q&A after the film, and it was a very different kind of crowd in attendance (mostly corporate sponsors and industry people) so it felt very different than any TIFF event we were used to. But it was fun to try once, and at least made us feel like we were part of TIFF in the early, buzzy days of the festival. Our next screening isn’t until Friday.
When we left the rain was still pounding down, so we walked underground through the PATH as far as we could, but still got soaked during the two minutes of uncovered walk home.
Cover photo by Juha Uitto, used under Creative Commons license