Anyone not convinced of the celestial intensity of Ryan Gosling need only have witnessed the fervour on the red carpet for the Gosling vehicle (couldn’t resist) Drive. In what one colleague likened to a sort of latter-day Beatlemania, crowds erupted at the sight of the young Canadian star, who plays a steely getaway driver in Nicholas Winding Refn’s action drama.
Gosling didn’t shy away from histrionic fans, giving autographs generously. The atmosphere was so charged that at one point, Drive co-star and multiple Emmy winner Bryan Cranston joked, "I just can’t stop them from shouting my name!"
On Friday, Gosling could be seen cracking wise with co-star George Clooney at the press conference for The Ides of March, in which Gosling plays an idealistic young political aide. Reporters enjoyed witnessing their fledgling bromance, which culminated with Gosling’s exclaiming that working with Clooney was like "watching a unicorn being born."
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Today’s galas include Beloved, a quirky, wistful French drama about the unpredictability of love and fate that stars Catherine Deneuve and the always captivating Ludivine Sagnier. There’s also Machine Gun Preacher, in which the rugged Gerard Butler plays an American ex-con who becomes a renegade humanitarian in war-torn Sudan. And then there’s Albert Nobbs, a tart period piece starring Glenn Close and co-written by Booker Prize-winning novelist John Banville. Set in nineteenth-century Ireland, the film features Close as a destitute woman who passed as a man for 20 years — until love blew her cover.
As well, TIFF features the premieres of two films that were major winners yesterday at the Venice Film Festival. The first is Faust, a radical, impressionistic re-telling of the classic Goethe morality tale by Russian director Aleksander Sokurov, who took the Golden Lion prize at Venice.
The other is the much-anticipated Shame, the second film from British maverick Steve McQueen. A sinister, squirmy tale about sex addiction, Shame stars two of the most potent actors to have emerged in the last few years: Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds and the lead in McQueen’s debut film, Hunger). Fassbender’s performance in Shame has been characterized as fearless — it apparently features much full-frontal nudity — and he left TIFF yesterday in order to accept the best actor award in Venice.