TIFF: Hugo Boss Hosts the Opening Night Post-Premiere Party for “Endings, Beginnings”
With Shailene Woodley, Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan in attendance.
Toronto’s answer to the laid back style of refined West Coast fine-dining, Montecito is always a hot-bed of TIFF activity, and the first Sunday night of the festival was no different. Hollywood’s brightest stars descended upon the city in droves as the week continued, but some of the week’s most-talked about names were also at the post-premiere party for Endings, Beginnings, the latest film from TIFF alum writer-director Drake Doremus.
But first, the film.
Known for meditative films, with an explicit focus on emotions and emotional turmoil in particular, Endings, Beginnings is quintessential Drake Doremus. The film stars Shailene Woodley as a woman who’s romantic relationship and career both come to an abrupt stop. After a short-term sobriety vow to herself (from men and alcohol) she meets two men, who sweep her off her feet. These men, almost polar opposites of each other, turn out to be best friends, which lands Woodley’s character, Daphne, in a sticky situation.
Toronto-born actor Shamier Anderson makes an appearance in the film as Daphne’s brother-in-law however his role is under-explored and too scattered in the film. Still, a proud moment for Canadian talent. Jamie Dornan and Sebastian Stan play the friends wooing Daphne—the first a worldly literary figure with a glass-walled Los Angeles home and the second “the life of the party” who doesn’t have much else going for him.
A love triangle is not the most inventive storytelling by far in this year’s round-up of films, but the film is not about the relationships Daphne has with others. Pensive asides where Daphne ponders her past life or observes her loved ones interact with one another from a distance between drags of a cigarette are when the film truly shines in all its Doremus-led glory. A study of a woman in pain and contemplation, who is trying to cope with everything life brings to her, Woodley plays a character that is, simply put, human.
Post script: This is a personal aside, but with a lot of close-up profile shots in the film, I couldn’t help but marvel at Daphne’s fabulous earrings throughout the film. The 20-something woman portrayed in the film may have a lot to learn about life, but shopping for statement accessories isn’t one of them.
Complete with arcade pinball games that feature in the move, the stars and director, and plenty of food and drink, Hugo Boss threw a lavish soiree following the TIFF premiere of Endings, Beginnings featuring the best of Toronto’s social scene including eTalk’s Tyrone Edwards, Elaine Lui and Soho House’s Markus Anderson. Shailene Woodley was seen embracing Anderson while Jaime Dornan hung out with Sebastian Stan and director Drake Doremus. Guests enjoyed bites of Ontario striploin tartare, B.C. albacore tuna crudo, Fogo Island cod fritters. Partygoers danced through the evening to electronic-soul tunes between sips of cocktails and wine.