The 34th Toronto International Film Festival, billed by organizers as "the most important festival after Cannes," concluded Sunday, Sept. 19, with the announcement of this year's Audience Award winner: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's account of Bertie (A Single Man's Colin Firth), the man who overcame a humiliating stutter to become King George VI. (Bay Area moviegoers will get a sneak peek of Speech when it opens the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.) Here's an account of the 10-day Toronto festival's highlights, lowlights and (almost) everything in between.
Despite no previous acting experience, Katie Jarvis is the heart and troubled soul of Fish Tank, the gripping coming-of-age drama from Andrea Arnold and the most exciting new release in a week also highlighted by the arrival of Storm, Hans-Christian Schmid's thriller about crimes against humanity committed during the Bosnian war of the early 1990s, and the on-screen return of Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness.
It was an inspired gamble. Julie Powell, then a low-level government employee in her late 20s and looking, as she put it, “to pull myself out of a tailspin of secretarial ennui,” embarked on a quest to follow all 524 recipes detailed in Julia Child’s epic 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in the span of a single year. Powell chronicled her experiences in a candid, sharply written blog, and a culinary star was born.