Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” at TIFF

The big top.

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It was a splashy couple of days in Toronto as the marquee attraction called The Martian arrived, for its premiere, with a full roster of stars, the iconic director, multiple screenings, press conferences, red carpets, and a party.

The film in question is directed by Ridley Scott, and the main star is Matt Damon (along with Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, and Kate Mara, to name a few). The press conference was jammed to the rafters, but everyone seemed to be at ease, enjoying the moment. Scott, whose body of work has traversed ancient history and well into the 22nd century, has in a way melded some of his grand themes into a slightly, but only slightly, futuristic look at interplanetary travel, and the common conundrums, dilemmas, crises that attend every era of humankind.

The Martian shows the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in one of its many guises: that of augmenting the Hollywood system, full of glamour, money, and big time movie stars. It is only one part of TIFF, certainly, and over the years they have seemed to get bigger and better at this sort of thing. The crowds lining the streets around the theatre, the rises in vocal approval as stars appeared—all part of the piece. Is the movie, after all that, a good one, a great one? The way to find out is to see it yourself.

Photos courtesy WireImage/Getty for TIFF.

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September 15, 2015