TIFF Monday –– Day 5

Editor’s note: We’re thrilled to have film writer Cathleen Rountree blogging to us daily from the Toronto Film Festival, telling us the buzz on the marathon of movies and parade of movie stars in Toronto. She’ll file her dispatches daily between movie screenings.

Yesterday, the two Press Conferences consumed much of the day, so only caught three films:

“King of the Hill” (Dir. Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego, Spain)

“Happiness” (Dir. Hur Jin-ho, South Korea)

“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Dir. Shekar Kapur, UK)

The Press Conference for Sean Penn’s “Into the Woods” offered the space for the actors: Emile Hirsch, Marcia Gay Harden, William Hurt, and Jena Malone to speak about their experiences of making the film, working with Penn, the director, and reflections on Christopher McCandless, the young anti-hero of Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction book of the same title. Born into wealth and privilege, McCandless, increasingly disturbed by the materialism/consumerism in America, surrendered his college fund (he graduated from Emory and was slated to attend Harvard Law), and headed for the greatest road trip since Jack Kerouac. In the span of a year-and-a-half the young man met a variety of ordinary people who took him into their hearts and shared their story of him with Krakauer.

Penn wrote the script as well. I predict that this film will play big in Santa Cruz, what with the importance of the environment among its citizens and the University students. And viewers will not be disappointed. “Into the Wild” is one of the best films I’ve seen here at Toronto.

Emile Hirsch proves himself as an actor of depth and range, the perfect choice to portray another young man of great depth and range.

There’s a lot I’d like to say, but the press room is closing and they’re kicking me out. I hope to write an article about the film, including my take on the conference and Penn for the “Sentinel.”

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