TIFF 2013: Reflections on James Gandolfini, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, and Jude Law

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      Day four and five at the Toronto International Film Festival started out with me losing my notebook at a hotel.

      I still have no idea where it is, which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't the most horrible thing in the world. It did, however, result in me having to completely redo my schedule, something that, to put it mildly, was not easy.

      But, piece by piece, email search by email search, it was done. And, as such, I learned an important lesson: when you're sleep-deprived and strung out on coffee, the only person you have to blame is yourself. 

      Some observations

      • Enough Said is charming in a cutesy way. The performances are topnotch, especially James Gandolfini showing a softer side in one of his last films and Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a much deserved feature-film starring role.

      • Red carpets are horrible places to be. 

      • If I was casting my life, I'd want Catherine Keener to play my hippie aunt. 

      • Home From Home by legendary German director Edgar Reich is epic and beautiful, with every scene put together with the care of a loving mother. It's also almost four hours long. You're up, cinephiles. 

      • The very first scene in The Love Punch has a bartender shaking a cocktail and then pouring a martini for Emma Thompson's Kate. Pierce Brosnan then walks into the scene as Richard and says "I'll have the same." Ya you will, Mr. Bond. 

      • Speaking of that, it's rather hilarious watching Brosnan in this one. He's got charm, there's no question, but sometimes you're not sure if the scene is shot in slow-mo for effect (some are) or if the actors are just hobbling along in their mid-40s and -50s. 

      • Jude Law fully immerses himself into his role as the deeply flawed title character in Dom Hemingway and just carries the film. Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen in TV's Game of Thrones) is also terrific in her few scenes as his emotionally and physically abandoned daughter. 

      Heard around the festival

      "I was on the freeway in Los Angeles…and…yeah…" —A choked up Julia Louis-Dreyfus on first hearing about the death of costar Gandolfini. 

      "They're just here for Jake." —Canadian director Denis Villeneuve about the red-carpet crowd going nuts for his Enemy star Jake Gyllenhaal.

      “He’s really wonderful, isn’t he? We were getting journalists tweeting about him before the interviews were even over yesterday.” —A publicist speaking very true words about The Lunchbox star Irrfan Khan.

      “We could have bombed Syria by now and I’d have no idea.”—a U.S. journalist's comment.

      "He was raised in a Russian orphanage and he kills people for a living. Of course he has a stocked bar."—Richard E. Grant in Dom Hemingway.