Although a number of The Iceman’s A-list stars, including Winona Ryder, David Schwimmer and James Franco, were no-shows at theafter-party at the Virgin Mobile Arts and Cinema Centre at Charles Khabouth’s Storys, fans still worked themselves into a tizzy over the members of the star-studded cast that did show—including Stephen Dorff, Chris Evans and Ray Liotta (plus Gerard Butler, who isn’t in the film but attended to wish them his best).
“He’s also in Field of Dreams!” Winona Ryder insisted when someone pointed out that Ray Liotta has been in a lot of crime movies. Well, Liotta the crime-cinema heavy—who, as he pointed out, has played more bad cops than he has gangsters—is back with Ariel Vromen’s The Iceman, which stars Michael Shannon as real-life Gambino crime family hitman Richard Kuklinski. Ryder, who plays Shannon’s wife, Chris Evans, who plays a fellow hitman, and producer Ehud Bieberg were also in attendance, talking about the appeal of films set in the ’70s and the difficulty of wearing period facial hair.
Winona Ryder, where have you been? Apart from a supporting role in Black Swan a few years back, the actress hasn’t made a high-profile movie since…we can’t remember. At The Iceman press conference, Ryder joked about developing a complex, since the press keeps asking that very question, but perhaps they’ll let up now that the film has her back on the big screen and the red carpet. Based on the story of RichardKuklinski, a mob hitman who whacked over 20o people during his 40-year career, the story attempts to square Kuklinski’s gruesome day job with his white–picket–fence family life. Ryder, who plays Kuklinski’s wife in the film, showed up at the Princess of Wales Theatre for the premiere in a simple black dress (which we actually didn’t like as much as the green number she wore for the film’s press conference). Michael Shannon, who plays the career killer in the flick (we know him as the creepy government agent in Boardwalk Empire), and co-stars Stephen Dorff and Captain America (a.k.a. Chris Evans) all walked the carpet in full suits. However, Ray Liotta went tie-less—we’d like to chide him, but we’re too scared he’ll give us the death stare.
Actor Natalie Portman at the Black Swan press conference (Image: Karon Liu)
“How do you make an independent film that makes people curious and want to come to it? Just get a couple of girls kissing, and it’s all set,” Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky said to a room full of laughs at yesterday’s press conference. Of course, he’s referring to the Natalie Portman–Mila Kunis make-out scene in the trailer that nearly made the Internet explode when it was released.
Aside from the kiss, Black Swan isarguably the most talked about film this TIFF because it appeals to many different audiences: film buffs who follow Aronofsky’s work (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler), dancers and everyone who’s taken an intro ballet class, and fashion types who want to ogle the Rodarte costumes.
Natalie Portman at the North American premiere of Black Swan (Image: Stefania Yarhi)
Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan was one of the most anticipated films at TIFF,being the director’s follow-up to The Wrestler and boasting a sex scene between stars Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. The stars (save Kunis) came out last night for the premiere at Roy Thomson Hall. Below, our red carpet photos from the gala.
All right, now that we’re past the “OMG! Don Draper is coming to Toronto to find a new Betty!” stage after TIFF announced its lineup yesterday morning, let’s go through the five films the critics are keeping their eyes on.*
1.The Town The stars: Jon Hamm, Ben Affleck, Blake Lively, Jeremy Renner, Rebecca Hall. Plot: A career criminal (Affleck) falls in love with a bank manager, while an FBI agent (Hamm) is hot on his trail. Buzz factor: The movie, which Affleck also directed and co-wrote, is based on Chuck Hogan’s Hammett Prize–winning crime novel Prince of Thieves, which Stephen King called one of the 10 best novels of 2004. Some critics are calling the film Affleck’s best shot at a comeback.