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TIFF, Day Four: Egoyan's 'Devil's Knot,' Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side,' Jonze and Reichardt Q&A and More

Thompson on Hollywood By Meredith Brody | Thompson on Hollywood September 11, 2013 at 11:48AM

I forgot to mention one of yesterday's highlights: while Maureen O'Donnell and I were waiting in line for the excellent documentary "Finding Vivian Maier," we were stunned to see a long phalanx of orange-t-shirted volunteers with linked arms making a human shield on either side of Susan Sarandon, protecting her from the hoi polloi as she left the first public screening of "The Last of Robin Hood."
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"Devil's Knot"
"Devil's Knot"

I forgot to mention one of yesterday's highlights: while Maureen O'Donnell and I were waiting in line for the excellent documentary "Finding Vivian Maier," we were stunned to see a long phalanx of orange-t-shirted volunteers with linked arms making a human shield on either side of Susan Sarandon, protecting her from the hoi polloi as she left the first public screening of "The Last of Robin Hood."  

Today I start with the press screening of "The Last of Robin Hood," co-directed by Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer, about the love affair between Errol Flynn and Beverly Aadland, who was 15 when they met, based on the book "The Big Love" by Beverly's complicit mom, Florence Aadland.  The book has a justly famed first line: "There's one thing I want to make clear right off -- my baby was a virgin the day she met Errol Flynn."  

The film makes it clear that she didn't end up the day that way. I love the Ross Hunter Technicolor gloss, the period clothes, cars, and sets. The three main roles are marvelously cast: no one else could incarnate the dissipated but charming Flynn but Kevin Kline; Sarandon, blonded and limping (Florence Aadland, a professional dancer, lost a leg in a car accident), gives the ultimate stage mom humanity with blinders on; and Dakota Fanning is delicious with her winged black eyeliner, porcelain skin, and adolescent cynicism. One of these girls just wants to have fun; Mom's eye is on the prize, which slips away due to Flynn's untimely demise and sloppily amended will.  Florence attempted to extend the 15 minutes -- Beverly's night club show after Flynn's death is one of my favorite scenes -- and I only wish that Beverly, who settled down and raised a family in Palmdale, had lived to see the movie -- she died in 2010.

Shep Gordon of 'Super Mensch'
Shep Gordon of 'Super Mensch'

Next on my agenda, "All is By My Side," about Jimi Hendrix en route to becoming a star, written and directed by John Ridley (who also wrote the script for Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave," also playing in Toronto). As I pointed out yesterday with a (partial) list of movies in Toronto about writers, you can also fill your dance card here with music movies, both documentaries and narrative features.  

There's Mike Myers' directorial debut, "Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon," about the manager of, among others, Alice Cooper, Blondie, and (wait for it) Anne Murray;  "Can a Song Save Your Life?," by John "Once" Carney, starring Keira Knightley and Adam Levine as songwriting partners who break up, allowing Mark Ruffalo to restart her career and his as a producer; "Lucky Them," with Toni Collette as a rock journalist on the trail of the ten-year-old disappearance of her rock musician boyfriend; "One Chance," about British tenor Paul Potts' success after appearing on "Britain's Got Talent"; "12.12.12," a documentary about the Concert for Sandy Relief, starring Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, and more; "Metalhead," in which a young girl remakes herself in the image of her brother, a heavy-metal devotee, after his accidental death.  And there are more! 

This article is related to: Toronto, Toronto International Film Festival, Festivals, All Is By My Side, Philomena, Kelly Reichardt, Spike Jonze


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