Toronto Film Fest starts with a bang

Gordon-Levitt and Willis fight over who's going to pay for breakfast.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt sports a blunderbuss and a fake nose in Looper, the Rian Johnson writ-and-directed  time-travel thriller that opened the 37th Toronto International Film Festival last night with a gala screening at  Roy Thomson Hall. The blunderbuss is for blowing away unlucky folks from thirty years in the future, targeted by the mob and sent back in time to be eliminated. Gordon-Levitt is the hitman, standing there in a prairie field with his giant-barreled blunderbuss at the ready, waiting for the mug from 2077 to materialize. Then bang!

Gordon-Levitt doesn’t quite look like Gordon-Levitt in Looper. He’s got a prosthetic proboscis going, the reason for which becomes clear when Bruce Willis pops up: Gordon-Levitt and Willis are the same guy, separated by decades, and Johnson’s makeup team have tweaked Gordon-Levitt’s beak to make it look more like the Die Hard dude’s. Both Gordon-Levitt, who starred in Johnson’s 2005 sleeper, Brick, and Willis, who didn’t, were at the giant Roy Thomson Hall for the gala screening. Emily Blunt, who has a pivotal role in this dystopian shoot-‘em-up (hordes of homeless), tagged along, glamorously.

Screened for the press last night: Seven Psychopaths, a bloody, boozy, over-the-top joke from Martin McDonagh, in which his In Bruges star, Colin Farrell, plays an alcohol-addled Hollywood screenwriter caught up in a dognapping scam gone wrong. Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken out-ham each other, epically, as partners in the canine abduction con, and Woody Harrelson is the tattooed bad guy, a mite perturbed that his shih tzu is missing.

And Marion Cotillard, the Oscar winner of La vie en rose, is here with Rust & Bone, from A Prophet director Jacques Audiard. It’s tough stuff, a love story about a Marineland killer whale trainer (Cotillard) and a just-about-homeless guy (Matthias Schoenaerts) who first meet at a club where he’s landed a job as a bouncer. After a grim accident, they reconnect.  Another best actress Academy Award nom?