Farrell and Bono-mania as Irish take over Toronto Film Festival

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Farrell, Bono, The Edge, Neil Jordan, Jim Sheridan walk red carpet

Belfast Telegraph

There were screams and near fainting from the crowd when Colin Farrell pulled up for the world premiere of Neil Jordan's latest movie Ondine at the Toronto Film Festival.

And the scenes were matched only by the reception for Bono and The Edge when they pulled up five minutes later. Delirium wasn't the word for it.

A ticket for the first screening was one of the hardest things to come by last night and the 900 seater Winter Garden cinema was packed to the rafters -- no mean feat in a festival which has the Coen Brothers and Werner Herzog among the many heavy hitting competitors.

Colin Farrell, who is Mr Ubiquitous at this festival, starring in three movies, said he was seeing Ondine for the first time since he finished filming it in the summer of 2008.

And he warned the audience: "If yous hear a high pitched scream of horror during the movie that might be from me".

But the 33-year-old is also on cloud nine, finally confirming speculation that he's going to be a dad again as his co-star, Alicja Bachleda-Curus, is pregnant.

"Yeah, I'm going to be a father again," said Farrell last night.

"I'm very excited man! Very! There is nothing more exciting really."

For the movie director, Neil Jordan, it was the first time he had watched his movie with an audience and judging by the warm and enthusiastic response, he need not have worried.

Ondine is a mystical tale about a fisherman, played by Farrell, who catches this mermaid/silkie in his nets, played by Alicija.

It has trademark Jordan darkness and twists and the exquisite cinematography by Christopher Doyle renders Castletownbere and Berehaven in such a delicious relief that should bring salivating tourists flocking to Ireland. Jordan, who has a home in Castletownbere, said it was a movie he wrote to cheer himself up and it was filmed around his home.

The audience response was very warm and the critics will weigh in today with their reaction. (Their response to Triage and Perrier's Bounty has been tepid so far.) As yet, no distributor has been found in the US, although Ondine has secured worldwide distribution.

Business was reported to be slow in Toronto on its first weekend and no major deals were announced. But at a very small and exclusive after party, Jordan told me he was pretty confident he would secure distribution for the lucrative US market before the end of this week. The CEO of the festival, Piers Handling, said Jordan had been attending Toronto since 1984 when he first came with The Company of Wolves and the organisers had watched his career unfold with pleasure.

Paul McGuinness and his wife Katherine Gilfinan were there -- they flew in yesterday morning and will be accompanying U2 on a couple of their upcoming city tours in Canada and the US. They play in Toronto tomorrow and Thursday this of week, before going on to San Francisco. Jim Sheridan who flew in earlier in the day just for the screening and to support his fellow Oscar-winning director, said he thought the movie was lovely. He flies home to Dublin again today.

His own new movie, The Brothers, is out in December and he told me he has just cast Daniel Craig to star in his next movie Dream House.

Colin Farrell who attended and the party sans co-star and girlfriend said Castletownbere as depicted in the movie was a bit like himself, "rough and ready and kinda beautiful." He said it was a great story of hope and one that had given him great pleasure to work on, in particular going back to Castletownbere where his big break came with Falling For A Dancer.

In a climate of great uncertainty overall this year, Irish film makers have more than punched above their weight at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

© belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 16, 2009 9:20 AM.

Bono and The Edge at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival (September 15, 2009) was the previous entry in this blog.

Live Review: U2 in Toronto is the next entry in this blog.

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