The stars of TIFF 2009

The News

The annual Toronto International Film Festival is a glorious celebration of movies. It’s a time when cinephiles around the city can get together to celebrate their collective love of film. At least, that’s true of many of the festival’s attendees. Let’s face facts, TIFF is now one of the biggest film festivals in the world, attracting some of the most famous faces on the planet. As a result, the TIFF crowd is now just as filled with stargazers as it is with movie fans. While I’m sure the festival programmers would like to think that the TIFF audiences attend screenings purely out of the love of the art form, but the fact of the matter is that many TFF attendees will be showing up just to get a brush with celebrity. With that in mind we thought we’d give you a little guide to the biggest names coming to town for this years festival.

Behind the News

Stars And Starlets

When you show up at a red carpet, you want to see a movie star. That’s just how it goes. And if you’re one of the many hoping to see your favorite star in fancy clothing posing for dozens of photographers, you’re in luck. There are waaaaay too many superstars showing up this year. It’s ridiculous. First off, none other than Oprah Winfrey will be making an appearance. That’s right, the most famous woman in the world will be gracing the festival with her presence. Will she be giving cars away to entire TIFF audiences? We can only hope.

Other beautiful and famous ladies set to make an appearance include the gorgeous Spanish actress Penelope Cruz who will be showing up to support her latest collaboration with directorial genius Pedro Almodóvar, Broken Embraces. Australian stunner Naomi Watts will be on hand to give the red carpets a little blonde beauty. For those of you who enjoy the darker haired gals, Oscar-winning beauty Jennifer Connelly will be in town as will sarcastic Juno star Ellen Page, who is in Toronto to promote her rollerskate epic Whip It!. And if overrated singers are your thing, you’re in luck! Mariah Carey will be in town (though thankfully she won’t be screening Glitter 2)

On the male side of the movie star spectrum, the list of names is just as impressive. Wise-cracking superstar George Clooney will be in town to promote Up In The Air and The Men Who Stare At Goats. The hipster-friendly master of awkward pauses Michael Cera will make an appearance and many teen girl screams are sure to follow. For those of you who like their movie stars with British accents, you should be pleased to learn that a pair of Colins are coming to town to fill your needs. Colin Firth will be on hand to thrill all women over the age of 35, while Colin Farrell will show up, drink heavily, and hopefully get in a fight. If you’re looking for some elder statesmen, you’ll be pleased to hear that both Michael Douglas (now probably not too thrilled about his choice of trophy wife) and Michael Caine will be on hand to share some class from the past. And finally, if all you really want to see is a batshit insane superstar actor, then Nicolas Cage will be in town to satisfy your needs.


If you like your superstars to come with a funnybone, then this is a damn good year for you. Comedy demigod Chris Rock will be coming to Toronto to promote his African American haircut movie Good Hair. The movie doesn’t look super-fantastic, but with Chris Rock around every Q&A after the screenings will turn into an impromptu stand-up set. The other huge comedy name coming to town is Bill Murray The typically reclusive Murray will be making a rare appearance in Toronto to support his new movie Get Low and will inevitably get up to some silly shinanegins with the locals that will be filling blogs and gossip pages for months. Hefty workingman supporter Michael Moore will also be in town to support his latest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story . Expect to see him complaining about things, eating fast food, and of course making us laugh. And finally, he’s not a comedian (but he is funny): David Duchovny will be in town. Just be careful how late at night you choose to confront the recovering sex addict.


Since this is a film festival after all, we can actually consider film directors celebrities. Just like every year, the TIFF programmers have locked up an amazing list of big name directors including Sir Ridley Scott (of Blade Runner fame), who isn’t in town for a specific movie, but he’s in town damnit! The Coen Brothers will be making their now annual pilgrimage to Toronto with the sure-to-be-strange A Serious Man. German weirdo auteur Werner Herzog will be showing up for two movies ( Bad Lieutenant and My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done). Perpetually controversial comic filmmaker Todd Solondz will be on hand with his latest pitch black social satire Life During Wartime . Zombie master and current Toronto native George A Night Of The Living Dead Romero will be in around with his latest zombie epic. And finally Steven Traffic Soderbergh and Jason Juno Reitman will both be in Toronto to show of their anti-big business comedies The Informant and Up In The Air.

Whew! That’s a lot of celebrities, but the thing is this isn’t even a definitive list. Over 500 guests will be camping out at various Toronto area hotels hoping to grab a little attention for their movies. These are the biggest names who have announced that they are coming to TIFF right now, but others will inevitably show up to surprise us. So, if you’re planning on doing some celebrity stalking during the festival, keep an eye out for the previous names, but don’t limit yourself to only seeking out those famous faces. There will be more. Oh yes, there will be more.

Courtesy of SceneAdvisor

Visit Part concierge, part tastemaker, Scene Advisor is an insider’s guide to the world’s most exciting cities.