BY THE CINEFILLES
Jason Reitman could honestly be an honorary Cinefille. Aside from directing and writing some great movies with interesting, layered characters of both genders (Juno, Young Adult, Up in the Air), and being the son of a comedic film god (Ivan Reitman), Jason is, like us, a bonafide film nerd, jumping at any chance he gets to celebrate his favourite flicks. Case in point: his incredible live readings.
What began as a alternative programme at LACMA where Reitman would round up modern stars to read the scripts of famous films (think The Breakfast Club, The Princess Bride, Reservoir Dogs, The Big Lebowski) in front of audiences has become a newbie Toronto International Film Festival tradition that the Filles couldn’t be more obsessed with. Reitman did his first TIFF reading — a Bryan Cranston-lead version of American Beauty — last year and he’s back again this Friday with a recasting of P.T. Anderson’s porn opus Boogie Nights.
Although we are honestly more excited than Dirk Diggler in the presence of his obscenely large self about the Boogie Nights live read, we also can’t help but think ahead — to where he might go next. Here are five suggestions for future TIFF live readings from five Filles.
THELMA AND LOUISE
I propose Reitman’s version of this tale of two best friends (Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon) hitting the open road following the murder of a possible rapist take a modern spin, with the leads changing from two straight women to one straight woman and a gay man. Thelma could be played by Reitman favourite Mae Whitman, and Whitman’s Perks of Being a Wallflower co-star Ezra Miller could make a great Louise (or, I suppose, Louis). By changing the gender and sexuality of Louise, Reitman could provide a poignant commentary on both sexism and homophobia in America. – Emily
I ♥ HUCKABEES
This movie is one of my favourite movies of all time for its indelible characters, unique story and brilliant screenwriting–the perfect ingredients for an interesting live read. It’s the story of an existential journey with some trippy visuals at times, which could make a live read a bit of a challenge for those unfamiliar with the movie, but it would without-doubt be an intriguing idea. Most intriguing of all would be a new delivery of Albert’s (Jason Schwartzman) “You Rock, Rock” monologue. My suggestion for the role of Albert? I’m going to go with the equally quirky Michael Cera (a familiar face for Reitman). It would be very different, but I’m sure also very refreshing and entertaining. – Michelle
One of the essential aspects of picking a movie for a live read is, of course, a spectacular script. Although this Alexander Payne black comedy based on the Tom Perrotta novel features some truly stellar performances (I still say Reese Witherspoon should have gotten some Oscar gold for playing ever-determined Type A high schooler Tracy Flick), it’s biggest strength is undoubtably in its whip smart writing. Even the narration — which switches between characters throughout — is sharp. I’d love to see Emma Stone take on Flick’s many obsessive monologues, with Paul Rudd battling back as Tracy-hating teacher Mr. McAllister, who was played by a perfectly resentful grown up Ferris Bueller (er, Matthew Broderick) originally. Stone and Rudd worked for Reitman previously, playing the leads in his live read of The Apartment. – Emily
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Unbeknownst to me until moments ago, Jason Reitman already did a live read of The Breakfast Club. And why wouldn’t he? It’s one of the most beloved movies of all time. However, he used a much older cast than I’d imagine (like Jennifer Garner, Patton Oswalt, James Van Der Beek). I think The Breakfast Club is always relevant and it would be fun to see some of today’s young Hollywood tackle the roles of a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse. Here’s my perfect cast.
Kristen Stewart in the role of Allison Reynolds, originated by Ally Sheedy
Jennifer Lawrence in the role of Claire Standish, originated by Molly Ringwald
Nicholas Hoult in the role of John Bender, originated by Judd Nelson
Logan Lerman in the role of Brian Johnson, originated by Anthony Michael Hall
Josh Hutcherson in the role of Andrew Clark, originated by Emilio Estevez
J.K. Simmons in the role of Carl, originated by John Kapelos
Paul Giamatti in the role of Richard Vernon, originated by Paul Gleason – Danita
Although Reitman has already done a Coen bros film (The Big Lebowski), there’s no denying that the duo have some of the most original, quirky scripts of all time with unforgettable characters and quotable dialogue. I’d love to see his take on the film that made the bros a household name, not to mention, a chance to hear another leading lady’s take on the Minnesota accent, say maybe Maggie Gyllenhaal? And for the role of Jerry, I’m going to suggest one of the actors with some of the best confused and scared expressions ever: Steve Zahn. – Michelle
Check out Jason Reitman’s TIFF 2013 live read of Boogie Nights on Friday, September 6 at 6 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre.
Be sure to keep coming back to Cinefilles for daily coverage of the fest.