Watching For Your Consideration at a packed out press screening was exhilarating. We all laughed heartily at Christopher Guest's spoofing of the media circus that surrounds the world of cinema. In this past week, I have seen with my own eyes the deviant behaviors of award-hungry actors, the paparazzi and tabloid reporters. Alas, I am perhaps the only one here with the literary background and the intellect it takes to turn out hard-hitting investigative reports on the Toronto International Film Festival.
Guest is well known for his mockumentaries, This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. This latest film has more of a narrative structure, but much of the action is still improvised. For your Consideration follows the lives of actors shooting a melodrama, Home for Purim, who are tipped off that there is Oscar buzz on the Internet about their performances. This information dramatically affects how they lead their lives.
I was fascinated in particular by the transformation of the main character, Marilyn Hack, played by Catherine O'Hara. A lonely old spinster, Hack had let herself go after years of falling under the radar as a B-list actress. As soon as she hears that she may be nominated for an Oscar, she sets about grooming herself for the public eye. She starts out like one of the hags in Macbeth and ends up with pouffy blond hair, facial skin as tight as a drum, and a most voluptuous pout. The journalist beside me at the screening compared her to the Bride of Wildenstein, but since I have no idea who that is, I prefer to compare her to Aphrodite.
I could not stop thinking about O'Hara's new face after the film. I have been applying my anti-aging pomades assiduously since I got here, but I confess to seeing no effects. It had to be serendipity, when after the film I was handed a flyer in the street, which read "2006 Canadian Society for Aesthetic Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Congress, Four Seasons Hotel, September 15 - 16." I am in my prime, yet most surprisingly, have not yet been snapped up. In twenty years time, I do not want to be reminiscing about the Toronto International Film Festival to my cats. Perhaps a little nip and tuck would do no harm.
I'd printed off images of Wildenstein from the web and was heading out to get quotes at the congress, when my cellular phone began vibrating. Normally I have no objection when this happens, but sadly it was my editor. Apparently, we needed to talk. Apparently, "Watching a film every three days and drooling in between does not constitute covering the Toronto International Film Festival."
The man is a buffoon...but he signs my paycheques, so I will have to pass up on the congress this time round. Fortunately, there is a new actor in town whose work I have long admired-an Englishman named Jude Law. My restraining order was recently lifted, from the last time Jude was shooting in Montreal, so I should be allowed to attend the screening and the press conference for his new film Breaking and Entering. According to the synopsis, the film showcases novel ways of gaining access to Jude Law's workplace, even when the burglar alarm is set and the doors and windows are all bolted up. A film that is entertaining and informative-perfect.