Julianne Moore paved the way for stars on Thursday’s first Toronto International Film Festival red carpet in two years, after the adaptation of the sweeping Broadway play “Dear Evan Hansen” finally reopened America’s biggest movie date .
The musical about a teenager who struggles Dear Evan Hansen movie with isolation and loneliness attracted audiences in a city that is just emerging from one of the biggest confinements due to the covid-19 pandemic, which forced the festival to be held virtually last year.
“It’s a great moment, I love this festival,” Moore told AFP.
I feel fortunate to be working on something that was so important and on the human condition in times when we were struggling, “added the actress who plays the student’s mother in the film.
The production accompanies Evan, a teenager with social anxiety, whose life is turned upside down after a classmate commits suicide.
Address issues such as the desire to belong and the power of social media.
In its 2016 Broadway run, it became the biggest hit of a theater musical since “Hamilton,” catapulting Ben Platt – who reprises his role on the big screen – to stardom.
“I saw it from the beginning, right after they opened: Ben opened his mouth and started singing, I’ve never heard anything like this in my life,” Moore said.
Platt’s participation by Universal Pictures raised doubts because the actor is 27 years old and the character is a high school student, despite the fact that those age differences are common in Hollywood productions, such as “Vaseline.”
But Platt, who played Evan in the musical’s first production in 2015, insisted this will be the last time he takes on the role.
“It was a very cathartic experience to say goodbye to each scene and each song, and I know that it will be preserved and that maybe one day I can show it to my children,” he told AFP.
- “Roller coaster” –
While other major film festivals such as Venice and Cannes have returned almost as normal after the pandemic, this year’s Toronto edition is a mix of virtual and face-to-face formats, with a limited audience.
There are fewer stars in the venue than usual, despite the expected presence of Jessica Chastain, Benedict Cumberbatch, Sigourney Weaver and “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve.
Organizers were hit by strict border control, with mandatory quarantines for most foreign visitors only lifted on Tuesday.
“I think it has affected us differently,” said the festival’s co-director, Joana Vicente, who does not yet know if interviews and face-to-face premieres will be possible before May 2022.
“You’re on a roller coaster ride in terms of ‘how will things look later?” Added co-director Cameron Bailey.
Toronto stands out among festivals selling itself as “the largest and most influential festival audience in the world,” making the return of the crowds crucial, Bailey said.
The festival, which runs through Sept. 18, showcases dozens of movies shot during the pandemic, including “Dear Evan Hansen,” North America’s first production during the summer of last year, even before the vaccines.
“It was a scary experience, we were always worried about getting sick,” said actor Nik Dodani.
“And the isolation, we were in a very tight bubble. We didn’t see anybody, I think that fit the plot,” he commented.