This year, TIFF proved to be a classy, dignified affair. The scene on the red carpet was relatively subdued, and the antics at the most star-studded parties were surprisingly tame. Given the number of A-list actors on hand, we have to admit the histrionics quotient felt a little lacking. Still, a few great anecdotes did emerge. From Bill Murray’s sweet red carpet duds to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ubiquitous presence, here are five of our favourite moments from the 2012 edition of the Toronto International Film Festival.
• Bill Murray’s take on the pocket square
We love Bill Murray (really, who doesn’t?), and we love him all the more, if that’s even possible, for his performance at TIFF. We’re not referring to his turn in Hyde Park on Hudson, which, don’t get us wrong, looks like a great film. We’re talking about the sartorial splendour on the red carpet that was a collection of red licorice whips playfully protruding from the place where most modern dandies would be sporting a pocket square. Bless.
• The Ultimate Tweenage Fantasy
Once again, Soho House proved to be ground zero for celebrity sightings and, of course, gossip. One of our favourite stories occurred on the third night of the festival at the ultra-exclusive arts club. Jennifer Lawrence, best known as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, and Kristen Stewart, best known as Twilight’s Bella, stole away for a secret late-night rendezvous on Soho House’s even more private third floor. Apparently, the two are what the tweenage world calls “besties.”
• Tom Hanks tells TIFF what’s up
At the press conference for the Wachowskis’ new, much ballyhooed film Cloud Atlas, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor had the assembled media laughing, and singing, within minutes. He opened the proceedings with a few bars of “Happy Birthday to Hugh” in honour of co-star Hugh Grant’s big day—naturally, great joy and merriment ensued—before taking TIFF to task, in his magnanimous, very Tom Hanksy way, for its treatment of its precious stars on the festival red carpets. “Why do you herd your celebrities through pens like bulls to the slaughter?” he asked. And the man has a point—his wispy, deeply creepy moustache notwithstanding.
• The Cult of Weinstein
Hollywood power broker Harvey Weinstein set up shop at Soho House and everybody else essentially stopped by to pay their respects. Dustin Hoffman came over to chat; Ewan McGregor deferentially made sure to say hello. We’re not sure whether Weinstein reminded us more of the Godfather or the Pope. Either way, rings were kissed.
• Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Can a man be a moment? We don’t know. We’ll just say this: Gordon-Levitt was having a big-time moment at TIFF. The sometimes slick, sometimes preppy, sometimes nerdy star was everywhere, partying until the wee hours of the night, showing up at red carpets when he wasn’t even in the movie (because he’s cool like that) and starring in the much-anticipated opening-night time-travel thriller Looper.