“More stars than there are in heaven” was MGM’s trademark during the ’40s, according to Scott Eyman’s Lion of Hollywood, a biography of studio founder Louis B. Mayer. The quote easily applies to the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) that opened last week, with stars arriving day in and day out by the planeloads. Cellphone zombies and looky-loos party with the stars all night long.
We fell in love with Toronto three decades ago while passing through to Buffalo for a Town & Country assignment. A multiethnic and multicultural megalopolis, Toronto, with diverse communities and landscapes, was an ideal setting for moviemaking. We began touting Toronto and Canada in our Hollywood Reporter columns. That our neighbor is easily accessible from our East or West Coasts, that we speak the same language, and that there’s more bang for the buck. Moviemaking took off.
Canadians are kind and gracious people, well-mannered, having embraced Italian, Greek and Asian immigrants since the ’60s, all bringing their ethnic and culinary cultures. Understandably, the food’s improved immeasurably from the soggy Britishy fare that was then.