George Clooney – this man is ubiquitous at the Toronto Film Festival. In the flesh, up on the screen, behind the scenes as a producer.
And, we presume, in that black SUV — else how to explain that huge mass of screaming women clogging Cumberland Street near midnight?
There he is, that single, handsome, umarried-and-unmarrying, unflappably somethinglikeCaryGrantorisitGregoryPeck visage — splashed all over Toronto’s big screens.
He debuted in “Up in the Air” on Friday morning as a man in perpetual motion, an emotionally shut-down executive who flies across the country firing people for a living (Watch that space; this movie is on a ride to big things this season. Steve Gilula, a senior executive at Fox Searchlight commented enviously: “It’s the real deal.” Thunderous applause.)
Also on Friday, George gamboled about in the quirky “The Men Who Stare at Goats,” with pals Grant Heslov, Ewan MacGregor and Jeff Bridges. (Comments were more mixed out of that screening. ) There he plays an unusual military man, who has psychological powers he uses on goats in the Iraq war.
And wait – there George is again! In person, at a news conference, fresh from Venice! Making nice beside his actor friends Ewan and Jeff.
How does George like Toronto? He does, he does. (Video to come, if it ever uploads. ) “I like festivals that don’t give out prizes,” he says gamely. (Bet he didn’t say that in Venice. How about he likes festivals where the men don’t undress for him in public?)
“Early on in a film’s life, competing is unfair. You have to let the films breathe to see how they fare,” he added.
And finally, more George on Friday night, as the producer of his buddy Steven Soderbergh’s latest oeuvre, “The Informant.” That had its North American premiere at the Elgin theater. George wasn’t up on stage, if he was there, but just seeing his name flicker across Soderbergh’s Hamlisch-scored comedy (another one to watch this Oscar season) made me feel better.
Oh George, when will you put us all out of our misery and finally run for president?