Sep 9, 2010

Did TIFF Score?

Photo Credit: Festival Insider
In true Canadian style, the opening gala of the Toronto International Film Festival celebrated hockey. A seeminly odd choice for the first night of the festival, the hockey flick Score: A Hockey Musical premiered at Roy Thomson Hall and the Visa Screening Room (Elgin) tonight. The red carpet may have been bustling, but the screening lacked the major star power we expect at TIFF.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel
The galas are hot tickets. Much like Willy Wonka's golden tickets, those fortunate enough to receive gala premiere tickets are privy to celebrity appearances and commentary. While the opening night of the festival is generally a can't miss event, this year's was a bit of a disappointment. I'm not talking about the film, but rather the celebrities.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel
Tonight's affair seemed too Canadian-centric for me. While TIFF should have focused on the power of celebrity for their opening night, they chose a virtually star-free film to open the festival. The only recognizable names on the credits are Olivia Newton John and Nelly Furtado, while relative newcomers Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald lack star power. Fellow red carpet attendees included hockey great Wayne Gretzky and TIFF's head honcho, Cameron Bailey. Hollywood celebrities were left roaming the streets of Yorkville, rather than appearing on the red carpet.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel
Don't get me wrong - I'm not denying that the festival should have a Canadian focus. The purpose of the festival is to showcase Toronto and Canada, letting the world know our star has not gone out. More appropriate options for the opening night would have been Black Swan, The Town or Biutiful, which are all getting rave reviews and have the accompanying star power. I've heard great things about the movie, but was it the appropriate choice for the opening gala?

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