TIFF Lightning Round: Jennifer Connelly Makes Accidental Enemies


A few of today's news and developments of note from the Toronto International Film Festival:

· After its underwhelming debut Thursday night, Creation received a second, more controversial round of Toronto publicity when a major fest sponsor singled out star Jennifer Connelly as his "former favorite actress" -- and reportedly tore her photograph in half as party guests looked on. His reasoning? The Oscar-winner made only the briefest of appearances at Creation's opening-night fête, hosted by TIFF benefactor Astral Media. Her emotional defense came at Friday's Creation press conference, when Connelly announced she'd been struggling with the first anniversary of her father's death. Astral exec John Riley released a statement saying he "was in no way serious when I made the comments, and the ripping of the picture was for effect." Well! Mission accomplished. [Toronto Sun]

Penelope Cruz still isn't pregnant, Terry Gilliam finds peace, and more fest nuggets after the jump.


· Penélope Cruz responded to her own family news (or lack thereof) on the red carpet, denying for the 121st or so time that she is pregnant with Javier Bardem's child. "I start getting some presents from friends saying, 'Congratulations, you're pregnant,'" Cruz told reporters at the Toronto premiere of Broken Embraces. "And I say, 'No, I'm not, so return the presents. "It's amazing." Oh -- and the movie's not too bad either. [USA Today]

· News flash: Distributors are skittish about acquiring dramatic titles at the festival. Cue Creation director Jon Amiel: "If you're making a movie about a dead, bald Englishman, you're not making a movie that even the indie distributors are flocking to buy these days." Good point: Give him some hair and have him study poetry instead of biology. And just like that... [Reuters]

· Hell, even Terry Gilliam found a buyer for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and seems relatively sanguine: "I've given up getting neurotic about it," he told an interviewer. "I don't want to end up like Stanley Kubrick. You can't control it all. At a certain point, the thing's gotta survive on its own." [The Wrap]

· In all likelihood, George Clooney will be nominated for an Oscar this year for his performance in Up in the Air -- despite himself. [THR]