Gushing over Que. director at TIFF
The Toronto International Film Festival has turned into a veritable love-in for Quebec director Denis Villeneuve.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker was the centre of attention at a press conference today in which celebs Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal gushed over his deft touch and Maria Bello declared him a "master filmmaker.''
The trio star in Villeneuve's first big-budget U.S.-backed feature, "Prisoners,'' a dark thriller in which Jackman plays a father driven to drastic measures when his daughter and her friend go missing.
Jackman says it easily could have been a generic genre picture, and he praises Villeneuve for elevating the story to a complex psychological study that lingers with viewers for days.
Villeneuve, who also comes to the festival with the Canada-Spain co-production "Enemy,'' says he wanted to examine the whole spectrum of human reaction towards violence and torture, and credits screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski with crafting a layered script.
The Toronto International Film Festival runs through Sept. 15.
"Prisoners'' is set for release Sept. 20.
Although Villeneuve is well-established as one of Canada's most accomplished filmmakers, he is a relative unknown in the United States. Bello predicts that will change with "Prisoners.''
"I would like to say, and the whole cast will say, and I really mean this from the bottom of my heart, Denis Villeneuve will be known as a master, a master filmmaker for many, many years to come,'' says Bello, who was joined on the panel by co-stars Terrence Howard, Paul Dano and Melissa Leo.
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