Sep 15, 2010

The Town Hits Toronto

Photo Credit: Alanna Glicksman
Hollywood North is the name I lovingly apply to Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival. With A List celebrities flocking to our backyards, it gives the city a chance to shine. This year was one of TIFF's biggest celebrations. In addition to celebrating its 35th anniversary, the list of celebrities attending the festival events grew substantially. Gala tickets were sold out almost instantaneously, and I was one of the lucky few to secure the special passes.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel
This year's hot ticket was The Town. Director and lead actor Ben Affleck was joined by a stellar cast including Jon Hamm, Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, Rebecca Hall and Jeremy Renner. The stars all made it to Toronto to schmooze in Yorkville and walk the September 11 red carpet.

 Photo Credit: George Pimentel

Spotted at the gala premiere was the cast of The Town, their significant others and best buddies. Ben Affleck gave wife Jennifer Garner the sweetest thank you, Jon Hamm couldn't keep his lips of longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt after returning to his seat, Jeremy Renner sat solo and Blake Lively sat front row mezzanine with her friends. Also in the crowd: Ben's bestie Matt Damon and former Gilmore Girl Alexis Bledel.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel
Residing in Yorkville's swanky Hazelton Hotel, the cast enjoyed all neighborhood has to offer. Ben pumped some iron earlier in the day while wife Jen shopped for shoes at Holt Renfrew. Throw in a few Starbucks runs and not-so-incognito strolls down Yorkville Ave. and Ben and Jen's Toronto stay was complete. Friday night dinner was a cast affair at Italian favorite Sotto Sotto. Oh, and prior to the gala, The Town gang enjoyed dinner at the hotel's exclusive (and delicious) eatery, ONE.

Photo Credit: George Pimentel
Oh, and the movie - perfection. The strong script and superb acting made this film one of the highest rated among festival goers. While many attended the screening to catch a glimpse at their favorite stars, everyone left completely enamored with the film and its cast. The dramatic thriller focused on a group of notorious bank robbers and their plights with friendship and betrayal and love and hope while trying to escape their past. The film will be released in theaters September 17 - buy your tickets now!

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