Toronto opened their cinema curtains (yesterday) before Venice has even closed theirs (tomorrow) in the film industry’s never-ending battle for media attention.

Like I was saying last week, Venice has had a lot of grief from the critics about the festival’s supposedly meager line-up. But this week, visiting journalists have taken to complaining about the extortionate prices of cappuccinos, hotel rooms and river taxis. Funny, I thought that came under expenses…

Ok, ok. They are making a fair point when they say that Venice is less accessible to us mere mortals while Toronto has been dubbed ‘the people’s festival’ thanks to the ease of getting tickets as well as its “People’s Choice” award, which is based on a vote by the public. I can see how Venice looks more elitist in that sense, but hey, Cannes and Berlin use a jury too.

No, the truth is that us Europeans just can’t compete with a fest so close to Hollywood in geography and so close to the Oscars in time. That’s why Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is the launching pad for US premieres and any other films that fancy a piece of Oscar- pie. Just look at what happened to Juno
Hooked – Adrian Sitaru

2. Pa-Ra-Da – Marco Pontecorvo

3. 35 Shots of Rum – Claire Denis

4. The Country Teacher – Bohdan Slama

Possibly, maybe coming to (probably) an art-house-style cinema near you sometime in the unknown maybe-near, maybe-far future. Let me know if you have seen/get to see any of these.

Meanwhile, TIFF opened, not with a quarrel but with a sneeze, screening Passchendaele, a Canadian romantic war drama about the major World War One battle
here on Movietalk – thanks to the The Dutchess premiere on Wednesday. And her Alexis Mabille outfit was very yummy…


But she just can’t get rid of that pout, which she claims happens involuntarily when she concentrates (boy, she must concentrate a lot!), saying it makes her look “kind of constipated”. Er, yeah.

She certainly deserved to win the recent pout poll by Blistex – ya know, that lovely minty lipbalm (no, I didn’t get paid to say that). She beat the likes of Posh, Scarlett Johansson and even Kylie! That’s a lota pout.

Here are some of my favourite pouters: