Saturday, September 12, 2015


  The Toronto film festival is always a mad whirl of premieres, parties and interviews but this year seems even madder than ever. More than 400 movies are being screened over 11 days with half a dozen or more premieres a day, all followed by parties.

Matt Damon at the premiere of The Martian
   This year is an even bigger British invasion than usual, led by a trio of Old Etonians all playing real people and all tipped for Oscar nominations ---Eddie Redmayne (transgender man/woman Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl), Benedict Cumberbatch (Billy Bulger in Black Mass) and Tom Hiddleston (country legend Hank Williams in I Saw the Light).
Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen at the post-premiere party 

  I asked the very serious Hiddleston why Eton, which used to be known for producing politicians is now is producing actors instead ---Damian Lewis and Dominic West are also Old Etonians---but he confessed he didn't know and didn't seem to want to expand on the topic.

  James McAvoy, however, has no qualms about it. The Scottish actor, who paid his way through drama school by working in a bakery, says: "There's a lot of posh actors that have been to boarding school."
Fans waiting in line for tickets in Toronto
   He's concerned that people from all walks of life are not getting the same opportunities to work in the arts, and his chief worry is about how this will become a bigger problem five or ten years from now.
  If the trends are allowed to continue, McAvoy says: "That's a frightening world to live in, because as soon as you get one tiny pocket of society creating all the arts, or culture starts to become representative not of everybody but of one tiny part, that's not fair to begin with, but it's also damaging for society."


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