Francois Ozon

TIFF

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Silver Linings Playbook wins the People’s Choice Award at TIFF (despite the lame name)

TIFF differs from Cannes and Venice in that it’s not in a glamorous European city its major awards are chosen by audiences rather than by a jury. So, while critics and industry types raved about Argo, it was David O. Russell’s romantic comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook that took home the BlackBerry People’s Choice Award—plus $15,000, which we imagine the celebrated director doesn’t exactly need, but will certainly appreciate. Ben Affleck will have to content himself with runner-up status (according to Roger Ebert, Oscar season will likely ease Affleck’s pain). Finally, Eran Riklis’s Zaytoun was second runner-up as crowd favourite. Here are the rest of the awards handed out this year at TIFF, and the films that won them:

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TIFF PHOTO GALLERY: Catherine Deneuve and François Ozon gossip about Gérard Depardieu at the Potiche press conference

Actor Catherine Deneuve ditched the track suit for the Potiche press conference at the Hyatt Regency (Image: Karon Liu)

Potiche, which got its TIFF premiere last night at Roy Thomson Hall, marks the second time that legendary French actor Catherine Deneuve has paired up with director François Ozon. They previously worked together on Huit Femmes, a musical set in a ’50s country manor that became a critical and commercial hit in Europe. This time, he’s trading in the countryside for an umbrella factory in a small northern French town in the late ’70s.

“As a movie-goer, I love comedies, and doing comedies is very difficult to succeed in,” said Deneuve. “Every time I see old comedies, I’m thrilled by the energy and the story of the actors, and I think it’s very cheerful and so much fun. Doing comedies is hard because you have to keep up with a rhythm, but I love doing them.”

In Potiche, Deneuve plays Suzanne Pujol, a trophy wife whose husband suddenly has a heart attack, leaving her to pick up the pieces of an umbrella company that he had been running into the ground. Gérard Depardieu (who, sadly, could not make it to TIFF) also stars as the town’s mayor and Pujol’s ally in a quest to gain the respect of the factory workers.

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TIFF PHOTO GALLERY: Catherine Deneuve and François Ozon at the Potiche screening

Actor Catherine Deneuve attends the gala premiere of Potiche at Roy Thomson Hall (Image: Stefania Yarhi)

With all the TIFF stories flying around, it’s a shame that most media outlets have forgotten that there are two pillars of French cinema in Toronto right now to screen their new comic film Potiche. Director François Ozon (Huit Femmes, Swimming Pool) and actor Catherine Deneuve (Belle de Jour, Dancer in the Dark) graced the red carpet last night at Roy Thomson Hall. The only person missing here was the movie’s other major French cinematic star: Gérard Depardieu.

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