Madonna has directed another movie. That fact alone is jarring, right? Right. So you knew that the TIFF press conference for said film, W.E., was bound to be interesting.
During the Q & A session, Madge was flanked by the film’s female stars, Andrea Riseborough and Abbie Cornish, and made some astute, self-aware observations about her foray into filmmaking: “I can tell when a person is reviewing my film and when they're reviewing me personally. I welcome criticism of my film when it's viewed as an artistic form and not when people are mentioning things about my personal life or my achievements in any other [areas] — because they're irrelevant to the film.” Of course, Madonna has a way of speaking that makes even her most salient points seem haughty.
Controversy follows her like a paparazzi on deadline, and so it was that as she and her retinue were leaving the press conference, a young woman in a TIFF volunteer T-shirt accosted her for an autograph. Madge reluctantly obliged, but according to a report on CP24, this brazen young woman was not in fact a TIFF volunteer, and had actually breached security in order to get that vaunted signature. Sassy!
This incident follows a hilarious faux pas at the press conference for W.E. in Venice last week, in which a fan presented the Material Girl with a couple of hydrangeas. Madonna could barely hide her disdain at the gesture, and after the man had departed, was caught saying, “I absolutely loathe hydrangeas.”
To acknowledge this pseudo-scandal, Madonna released a cheeky short film yesterday that explores her difficult relationship with the innocuous-seeming flower.
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More gala action tonight. First there’s Bruce Bereford’s Peace, Love and Understanding, a rousing family comedy-drama starring the unassailable Catherine Keener as a middle-aged mother who re-connects with her estranged hippie mother, played with admirable verve by Jane Fonda. Then there’s Butter, a zany paean to the majestic art of butter carving starring Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell (Modern Family) and newcomer Yara Shahidi.
Tonight also marks the premiere of The Kid with a Bike, the latest serving of graceful realism from France’s Dardennes brothers, and The Moth Diaries, Mary Harron’s spooky adaptation of Rachel Klein’s novel about the ethereal goings-on at an all-girls boarding school.