Yesterday, the Toronto International Film Festival announced that its opening night film will be “Passchendaele,” a $20 million World War I epic from actor/director Paul Gross, whose other helming credit is 2002’s “Men With Brooms,” as far as I know, the only curling rom-com in existence.
Guy Dixon at the Globe and Mail talks with Gross, who based the film on the life of (and stars as) his grandfather Sergeant Michael Dunne:
“About two-thirds of the film is set on the home front, so it is a romance that culminates in battle,” Gross said. “It is at times epic and at times terribly intimate.”
When it premieres at TIFF and then hits Canadian screens this fall, the movie is expected to draw inevitable comparisons to the 1981 Australian film Gallipoli. In many ways, Passchendaele tries to do what Gallipoli did: portray a key moment in a country’s history for that country’s audience.
Over at his blog at the New York Post, Lou Lumenick wonders if the May 15, 2009 opening date that Universal has set for Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat” follow-up “Bruno” will mean it’s Palais-bound: “Cohen’s ‘Borat’ created a sensation on the late-summer festival circuit, including Venice and Toronto, that helped turn it into a box-office hit. So don’t be surprised if ‘Bruno’ opens the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.” Using a premiere date to guess at a film’s presence at Cannes doesn’t always work see “Sex in the City”‘s non-appearance this year but if “Bruno” does make it to the festival, I can only imagine the bathing suit photo-ops to come.
[Photo: “Passchendaele,” Alliance Films, 2008]
+ PAUL GROSS’S LABOUR OF LOVE TO OPEN TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Globe and Mail)
+ Will ‘Bruno’ Open Cannes ’09? (NY Post)
+ ‘Pineapple’ opens comedy festival (Variety)