Toronto has gone TIFF mad! My office is right next door to the building where most of the screenings and press conferences are happening, the red carpet for the big galas is set up in the park across the street where I usually eat lunch. We're even hosting screenings at one of our theatres. It's chaos and gridlock on King Street. Yesterday Clooney, Pit, Jolie, Gosling, Giamatti, Tomei, Bono, The Edge and a whack-load of other A-listers were in attendance. It's bigger than ever. It makes me feel old that I remember when it was called the Festival of Festivals and took place in a few square blocks in Yorkville.
Many years ago, I used to do the festival right. Get a pass, see three or four movies a day. Living on lattes and by the end of the movie marathon, sheer will. Lately, it's been difficult to even get to a second run movie between work, social commitments and having a baby. I did take Lenny to one of those "movies for mommies" screenings once but she laughed at a crying baby right in the middle of a very tense scene in Blue Valentine. Which was, actually, a pretty awesome moment come to think of it.
Last night, we had a family date night and went to the movies in a different way. We piled into the car, packed a blanket and drove out to Oakville to go to the Drive In.
The sun was setting and couples were sitting arm in arm on picnic table benches and kids were running around the playground at the foot the of screen. Everything felt so idyllic and retro. Duke of Earl played on the radio and we bought popcorn for dinner. They even played the National Anthem before the movie.
Then we all snuggled up in the front seat and watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. Loved the movie and loved the feeling that we had gone out minus all the pressure of actually "going out". I don't think I could have had a better time. I wouldn't have traded that big old parking lot for all the red carpets in the world.