When Boronto Becomes Toronto Again

15Sep10

Review of TIFF 2010

Most of the time, Toronto is known as everything but vibrant, exciting and worldly. Then for 10 days each September, Boronto (derived from boring and Toronto) puts itself on the global spotlight during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Suddenly, there are more people outside during the night-time than daytime, the traffic congestion becomes worse, booking a dinner in a restaurant becomes impossible, and every single club rolls down a red carpet. It’s the only time of the year when I absolutely love being in this city – taking in all the buzz and energy, and trying not to miss out on any festivities.

Alejandro González Iñárritu and Javier Bardem during the Q&A session of "Biutiful"

This year I’ve been lucky with the movie selection. Going to a film festival can be tricky as many films haven’t been screened yet, so one doesn’t know what to expect. Over the years, I’ve seen both the good and bad ones. On Friday night, I took a friend to see a new movie by Alejandro González Iñárritu called “Biutiful”. Already critically acclaimed and highly praised for his role, Javier Bardem showed yet again his great acting talent. The film left everyone with a teary eye. I was disappointed not in the movie but in Penelope Cruz, who wasn’t there to support her husband. Then again, if she had attended the screening with Bardem, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie as much I did. Why do I say this? Because this is exactly what happened the following Monday.

Nicole Kidman, John Cameron Mitchell and Aaron Eckhart at the World Premiere of "Rabbit Hole"

On Monday night, my old high school friend and I went to see the world premiere of “Rabbit Hole” starring Nicole Kidman. I was excited about the gala from the moment I woke up. This was going to be the night I’d see one of my favourite actresses!!! As we were walking into the theater, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban were already on the red carpet doing interviews. All excited, I tried to take a picture of her just to be confronted by a silly TIFF volunteer who told me “no photography”. I looked at her and said, “no photography?!?! And what is THIS?”, pointing out onto paparazzi and media. Could she really win the argument? As if I had a big lens stuck directly into Kidman’s face. Actually, I wish I did have a paparazzi lens At least that way, my photos wouldn’t turn out blurry! The pinnacle of the night happened when K.K. and I realised that Kidman and Urban were sitting only three rows ahead of us. That’s when I totally lost my concentration, and couldn’t focus on the movie at all. I thought I would get cross-eyed from trying to observe Kidman and watch the movie at the same time. Just as on the TV, Kidman seems to be a quiet and shy yet extraordinarily beautiful, elegant and graceful woman. She looked as if one had photoshopped her!

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman at "Rabbit Hole" Premiere

My roaming around the city ended last night at the same place where it began, Brassaii nightclub. Prior to that, F.P. and I ended up going to the ET Canada party which turned out to be everything but glamorous. The party was located on the rooftop of the parking lot adjacent to Four Seasons Hotel. The same old, cigarette-and-barf-smelling elevator took as to the rooftop, and the first thing that came to my mind was: “Haven’t the organizers heard of air fresheners?!?!”. If you’ve ever parked at this place, you know exactly what I’m talking about – the smell that sobers everyone up at 3 am! We should have known better though. As if the elevator wasn’t enough of an indicator of this “fabulous” party, it turned out that amongst other things, the red carpet at ET Canada was also leading to portable toilets! Would any Hollywood celebrity with usually high demands attend a party like this? I don’t think soooo! I was hoping only for one thing to happen – to see Rick the Temp exiting a porta potty! LOL That would have been priceless. After spending 30 min at the party, we took a golf cart down from the rooftop because nobody wanted to go in the elevator anymore. The golf cart ride left me dizzy, but at least we were on our way to Brassaii.

ET Canada Party at TIFF 2010

Brassaii is a nightclub on King St. W where my TIFF festivities began and ended. On the opening night, I was trying to convince A.B. to approach Shane West, the main actor from “A Walk to Remember”, and see where it goes. He seemed very cool and relaxed. Unfortunately, my friend wasn’t drunk enough to listen to me!  That was a week ago. Last night, we were at Brassaii for Keanu Reeves’ party. Reeves turned out to be exactly as one expected: unfriendly, reserved and stoned (or at least appeared to). While Keanu was running around with a glass of red wine and a cigarette in his mouth desperately looking for his lost friends, someone around him was screaming all the time, “no pictures, no picture!”. That turned out to be his publicist, a typical LA chick whose collagen-filled lips where probably as perky as her chest. She was everything that another person in Keanu’s entourage wasn’t. Karen Reeves, Keanu’s sister, was friendly and easy to talk to. However, God bless her soul! After living for so many years in LA, one would have thought she would gain some sense of style. Then again, this all might run in the family. Her brother went to the movie premiere in the running shoes, which he probably wore when he left Canada to chase Hollywood dreams many years ago.

Keanu Reeves at Brassaii during TIFF 2010

The TIFF festivities might be going on for several more days, but this is it for me. It’s been enough, and it’s time to go back to living in Boronto until next year, when hopefully Penelope Cruz will come to the film festival and make my day just as Nicole Kidman did this time around!

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6 Responses to “When Boronto Becomes Toronto Again”

  1. 1 Milan

    Fine sir, I must strenuously oppose your misnomer of Toronto as Boronto. We simply… move at a different pace here *adjusts monocle*.

  2. 2 SB

    LOL… Love the phrase “Boronto”… TO was the place to be! Nicole and Keith… one of the most “Beautiful Couples” ever. Keanu… scruffy and grumpy… is HOT!!! As a native Angelino (Los Angeles) for those of you outside So Cal, where everyday life is anything but boring. Tired at times with the daily celeb sightings. Enjoyed reading your post from TIFF. Hope to see this fun side of TO when I return for a second visit in the near future.

  3. 4 reda

    How cool you were sitting behind Keith and Nic in the threatre, So spill some juicy details. How did they act during the movie? Was there any smooching going on? LOL

    • There was no smooching going on. LOL Kidman was stoic, observant and focused on the movie. It must had been her first time watching it. Urban seemed to enjoy the movie based on his body language.

  4. Excellent info once again! I am looking forward for more updates!


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