The area of Ryerson Univeristy, one of the main venues for the Toronto International Film Festival was packed yesterday for premieres of three star studded films. Not even the rain, or torrential downpours I should say, could keep fans from seeing their favourites.
The first film to debut was West of Memphis, a documentary about the infamous “West Memphis 3″ – three teens who were imprisoned for a crime despite evidence of their innocence. It’s been the subject of almost twenty years of debate, and the battle to set them free has garnered support from advocates Eddie Vedder, Johnny Depp and Peter Jackson (who together with his wife, Fran Walsh, have donated immeasurable time and money towards the cause). After the film screened, Johnny Depp and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks were on hand to have an in depth discussion about the film and the case. And there were no shortage of Pirates of the Caribbean inspired fans outside to try and get a few moments with Depp upon both his arrival and his exit.
However, just 50 meters or so down the street from where Depp was set to leave, there was another crowd gathering for the premiere of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Writer/Director Stephen Chbosky has returned with the adaptation of his own novel, which has been getting nothing but positive reviews from those lucky enough to have caught a screening. The film stars Logan Lerman as Charlie, a boy starting high school in the wake of his best friend’s suicide. He befriends two senior students, in Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller) who introduce him to the teen staples of sex, pot and rock while traveling the ups and downs of adolescence.
The young stars of the film that were on hand to support their film included Watson, Miller and Lerman as well as Nina Dobrev (TV’s Vampire Diaries), Johnny Simmons (Scott Pilgrim vs the World) and Mae Whitman (TV’s Parenthood). Notably absent were the film’s adult members, Paul Rudd, Kate Walsh and Dylan McDermott.
Ezra Miller was the first to arrive, spending copious amounts of time with fans, and looking decidedly less creepy than he looked on screen in We Need To Talk About Kevin, where he was positively disturbing. Next up was the radiant Nina Dobrev who had a large crowd following herself from fans of the Vampire Diaries. She got her start in Canadian TV show Degrassi, and had the support of quite a few former co-stars who were present for the premiere as well. Also in attendance for Nina was Vampire Diaries writer Julie Plec. But, everyone was really there waiting for Harry Potter star Emma Watson. Watson donned a beautiful short blue and white dress and the Hogwarts paraphernalia wearing crowd got worried when she initially got swept up in press photos. However, Watson returned, with a very large posse of publicists and security in tow, to sign autographs for many of the waiting fans. Wallflowers’ star Logan Lerman had a decidedly smaller crowd on hand when he arrived. Lerman showed up after the movie was supposed to start and at least 15 minutes after all of his cast mates were already inside. While he seemed to want to spend time with the then rain-soaked fans who were waiting, he only got time for a few pictures before he was ushered inside. All our pics from the red carpet can be found below.
Across town, at the Princess of Wales theatre, the crowds were accumulating to see the A-listers come out for the premiere of Cloud Atlas. Based on the book by David Mitchell, the film is an ambitious project, weaving together stories and narratives that span centuries. Directed by the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer, twitter was buzzing last night waiting for the very first reactions from this world premiere. Early reviews were mixed, though leaning towards positive, which is not surprising for a movie based on such a popular book. It was always going to be a difficult project just considering the scale of the project and the passion of the book’s fans. Arriving in town to support the film were Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant. Andy and Lana Wachowski were also present.
Back at Ryerson later in the evening, more of Hollywood’s elite gathered to celebrate the premiere of Thanks for Sharing, a film which looks at a group of people brought together in a sex-addicts support group. The film, which stars Mark Ruffalo, Gwenyth Paltrow and Tim Robbins was produced by Edward Norton, all of whom were in attendance last evening.