Toronto International Film Festival – Day Three: I’ve seen nothin’

For Day Three, I only have one movie to comment. It’s not laziness, but the Mongrel party lasted longer than expected (plus, open bar). Also, I had the chance to interview Josh Brolin, star of the upcoming “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” and “You’ll Meet a Tall Dark Stranger”.

I’ll go into more detail when we publish the interview in Prairie Dog, but it has to be said Brolin is extremely easy going, unlike others (other journalist have complained of one particular actor whose first foray into directing debuts at TIFF. The thespian is apparently standoffish and monosyllabic in his answers. A clue? He is an Oscar winner.) Brolin is mesmerized by the US Open semifinals (he is a Rafael Nadal fan) and even though is evident he would rather watch the game, he is engaging and disarmingly honest. He knows how to work a crowd.

Celebrity sightings have increased tenfold. Colin Firth cruises by the Metropolitan Hotel lobby, followed by his co-star in the Bridget Jones saga, Gemma Jones (could a reunion be in the works? God, I hope not). Emma Stone’s hair is supernaturally red. Director Danny Boyle (“Trainspotting”, “Slumdog Millionaire”) wants to make sure the projection of his spelunking drama “127 hours” will be flawless.

As for the one movie I’ve seen today (after I finish here, I’ll be attending a screening of “The Town” with Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm), “Tamara Drewe” is a charming dramatic comedy, with a gallery of satirical characters most of whom are actually more interesting than the aforementioned Tamara.

In a small town in the British countryside, the biggest celebrity is crime novelist Nicholas Hardiment (Roger Allam, the villain in “Speed Racer”). Hardiment and his long-suffering wife host a “writers retreat” every summer. The visitors are not only treated with Hardiment haughtiness and frequent escapades, but with the idiosyncratic village people (not to be mistaken with the Village People.) The latest addition to the group is the stunning Tamara Drewe (Gemma Arterton, “Prince of Persia”), a knock-out beauty who nevertheless is as insecure as a teenager with a big nose. In fact, Tamara used to be one until she got a nose job.

More than the flimsy plot (based in the graphic novel of the same name), director Stephen Frears focuses in this collection of lovely characters and their interactions. As the drummer of an EMO band, Dominic Cooper steals the show thanks to a precise dissection of the self-absorbed rocker. “Tamara Drewe” leaves you with this thought: Jerks always get the girls, but they don’t know how to keep them. Three and a half entitled Prairie Dogs.

Tomorrow “The Town” and meeting Don Draper, face to face.

Author: Jorge Ignacio Castillo

Journalist, film critic, documentary filmmaker, and sometimes nice guy. Member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle. Like horror flicks, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. Allergic to cats.