Valentino (and Mickey Rourke) at Toronto
More disparate worlds have collided, but probably not at the Toronto Film Festival, as two vastly different crowds filled a theater on a wet Sunday afternoon in downtown Toronto. First up, Valentino: The Last Emperor, a surprisingly intimate documentary (directed by Vanity Fair’s Matt Tyrnauer) about the designer and his business partner of 45 years, Giancarlo Giammetti. The film, which covers the last two years of their role in the company before Valentino’s retirement, is touching, funny, certainly glamorous, and very good, as witnessed by the crowd’s three standing ovations. While the documentary covers the intricate craft of making a couture frock, it’s the camaraderie between Valentino and Giammetti that provides the film’s most poignant, sometimes hilarious moments. When Valentino asks his partner how he performed during a tense press conference, Giammetti responds, “You were too tan.”
At the screening, both men showed up to walk the red carpet in crisp navy suits and took their bows from a gilded box high up in the theater.
About 90 minutes later, a somewhat less elegant crowd trod the same red carpet for the premiere of Darren Aronofsky’s brilliant drama The Wrestler, starring Mickey Rourke. The actor–his hair in dreads, his belly spilling out from his gold-flecked vest–was followed by a posse of beefy wrestlers. Also in attendance was the film’s producer, Scott Frankel, dressed in a mac daddy-style pinstripe suit and brown-and-white spectator shoes, which Aronofsky couldn’t resist mentioning when he took the stage. “Nice shoes,” he quipped more than once during his speech.