One of the films to debut at the Toronto International Film Festival was called Joe directed by David Gordon Green.
Set in the deep heart of Mississippi, the story centres around Joe; he is a person trying to steer his life in the right direction and away from his ex-con past. Unexpectedly, Gary (played by Ty Sheridan, Tree of Life) shows up on his doorstep needing a mentor and a friend. He also wants to escape the turmoil and family abuse he has been suffering. The interplay between the two people makes for a riveting story; as much of a protector Joe becomes for Gary, he still has numerous demons to combat internally.
After the screening at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the cast and stars of the film made their way over to Woods Restaurant for a private dinner. With Chef Anthony Davis at the helm in the kitchen, these industry folks would be well-taken care of. Like a waltz, owner Bruce Woods is gracefully dancing around the room with his team of friendly and knowledgeable staff to ensure their guests are having a fun and relaxing evening.
With the frenetic energy I felt, I had an opportunity to speak with screenplay writer Gary Hawkins (who is also an instructor at Duke University at the Centre for Documentary Studies) about the film. Inspired by the novel, he really enjoyed telling the story about these two troubled individuals. It was easy for him to adapt Larry Brown’s novel to the big screen; many cause and effect as well as action oriented moments could be translated on film well. The characters’ imperfections and desire to ‘make right’ of situations is a common thread that unites us all; it is a reason why the film is so compelling and a captivating piece to watch. The interesting thing to note from my conversation with Hawkins was his disagreement with how TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey described the film as a Southern Gothic tale. It was difficult for Hawkins to relate to the description; to him, having been born and raised in the South (North Carolina), he’s never encountered a moment in his upbringing where he would describe an experience as Gothic.
The chatter in the room was soon overtaken by hunger pangs; many people made their way to their seats and enjoy a special menu crafted by Woods and Davis. With the top notch champagne provided by Louis Roederer and fine Absolut Elyx Vodka from Corby Distilleries, it was an opportunity for many to relax and revel in the celebratory spirit of the evening.
If you’re wondering what Mr. Cage chose at Woods, I’ve got the scoop for you!
Here is what the actor ordered:
- Ontario Wagyu Beef Carpaccio (appetizer)
Triple crunch, daisy capers, pickled scapes, Toscano
- Dry Aged Prime Flatiron (entree)
braised Roman gnocchi, braised short rib, smoked tomato compote, beef jus
- Two Orders Artisanal Cheese plates (dessert)
- a bottle of Super Tuscan 2009 Ornellaia (Italy)
- a bottle of Brunello Di Monntalcinoi 2007 Banfi (Italy)
With bellies full and smiles abound, the cast and crew were whisked off by Audi to their next party. During TIFF, Toronto is a city that doesn’t sleep.