Scantily-clad strippers and softly-spoken kids´ TV stars were on show Saturday as the Toronto film festival hit its stride with a wide range of hotly anticipated premieres.
Screams from the red-carpet crowd could be heard blocks from the city center as Jennifer Lopez headed a cast of glamorous leading ladies for the world premiere of “Hustlers.”
Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”) and singers Cardi B and Lizzo appear in the star-studded movie about New York strippers who turned the tables on wealthy businessmen during the financial crisis.
The real-life tale — billed as a female “Wolf of Wall Street” — depicts how a group of women resorted to increasingly criminal tactics, such as spiking men’s drinks before emptying their bank accounts, as the stock market crash hit strip club receipts.
Lopez said the film puts a spotlight on how society is more harsh to judge women than men “when they´re stealing or robbing people blind.”
Men “are doing it on this big corporate level and these girls are doing it that kind of small street level — and they get off and (the girls) go to jail,” she said.
Introducing the film, director Lorene Scafaria dedicated it “to strippers and sex workers everywhere.”
Earlier, Tom Hanks kicked off the evening with “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” based on the unlikely true friendship between a cynical investigative journalist and Fred Rogers, the impossibly nice US television presenter he is sent to interview.
The movie, directed by Marielle Heller on a gala night dedicated to female filmmakers, blends Rogers’ trademark nursery-rhyme stylings with hard-edged family drama, and drew a lengthy ovation at its world-first showing.
While describing Hanks as the perfect casting to play a beloved national treasure, Heller insisted the “Forrest Gump” star’s preparations for the role had been “transformative.”
“He did not just slip on this cardigan and ‘boom’ he was Mr Rogers — he actually truly goes to a very deep place,” she told AFP.
Hanks said had been too old to watch the long-running “Mr Rogers´ Neighborhood” program while it aired, admitting he “didn´t get” the “really weird black and white TV show” as a child, but was won over by its host.
“Mr Rogers doesn’t want anything except for people maybe to understand themselves and the world a little better,” he said.
Matthew Rhys, the Welsh actor who plays the film´s journalist, said Rogers — who died in 2013 — “bucked the norm” of goofy custard pie-throwing theatrics on kids´ TV.
“That´s the last thing children want — they want calm, they need to be treated maturely,” he told AFP.
– ´Sinister undercurrent´ –
Across the street, Eddie Murphy marked his big screen comeback by attending the premiere of “Dolemite Is My Name,” his biopic of US comedian Rudy Ray Moore, famed for his outlandish 1970s Blaxploitation character.
The “Beverly Hills Cop” star, who recently announced he would return to stand-up comedy from next year, received a standing ovation from the Toronto crowd.
Also in town were 007 actor Daniel Craig and “Captain America” Chris Evans for “Knives Out,” the Agatha Christie-style whodunnit movie from “Star Wars” director Rian Johnson.
Craig praised the cast for the film — described by the Hollywood Reporter as a “deviously irreverent crowd-pleaser” — as “a lightning in a bottle situation.”
Earlier on Saturday, Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx called on America to tackle the “sinister undercurrent” of racism in its justice system, after his courthouse drama set in a starkly polarized Deep South debuted the previous night.
Foxx and Michael B. Jordan — two of Hollywood´s top black A-listers — co-star in “Just Mercy,” the true story of a black man put on death row in Alabama in 1988 for the murder of a young white woman he did not commit.
“We wanted to make sure people understand how tragic it is, and how commonplace it is — it happens all the time,” said Foxx, who plays wrongfully convicted Walter McMillian.
The Toronto International Film Festival, the largest in North America, runs until September 15.
Pakistan’s leading star Mehwish Hayat, who had been actively vocal in condemning the ‘jingoistic’ behaviour by Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, took the internet by storm after she posted a picture with the megastar’s husband and singer Nick Jonas.
As the two unlikeliest of people bumped into each other at the US Open Men’s Semi-finals, fans over on this side of the border couldn’t help but wonder if she conveyed her thoughts to Nick Jonas about his wife and the disagreements she had with her that garnered international attention as well.
While the picture and the caption itself was something that left many startled, the reactions of netizens made the entire meetup between the two all the more amusing and interesting.
While some people were just plain curious as to what the Bollywood star’s reaction would have been, others decided to ship the singer with the Pakistani beauty instead as they threw in some references from Priyanka’s infamous BeautyCon statement as well.
Here are some of the best reactions:
Eight policemen arrested for torturing woman in Vehari
Lahore: Eight policemen including a DSP and an SHO have been arrested for subjecting a woman to torture in Vehari.
According to Geo News, the woman was taken into custody and shifted to an alleged private torture cell after being accused of stealing gold jewelry.
The woman was dropped outside her house after her condition deteriorated due to torture.
Taking notice of the reports, Punjab IG Arif Nawaz Khan order authorities to arrest the policemen involved in the inhuman treatment.
The police are said to have lodged a case against 13 people including eight policemen.
The TV channel reported that the police swung into action after Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took notice of the matter, prompting Regional Police Office (RPO) Multan to visit the family of the woman.
The RPO assured the family that action would be taken against the people involved.
A statement issued by the Punjab Police said that 13 people including two sons of a landlord have been nominated in the FIR for torturing the woman.
The IG said that police have no place for black-sheep involved in establishing private lockups and using torture against suspects.
CM Buzdar said that the torture on woman is the worst example of police culture.
He said that suspending the policemen involved in the sad accident would not be enough and ordered authorities to sack the policemen from their jobs.
Tennis champ Serena Williams may have lost to Canadian teenage prodigy Bianca Andreescu at the US Open Final but she sure had her best mate Meghan Markle cheering for her from over the bleachers.
The Duchess of Sussex arrived in New York City to turn cheerleader for her close friend, six-time US Open champion Serena Williams as she played the final against the teenage sensation.
The Duchess radiated as she showed support to the champ donning a button-down, mid-length denim dress with a tie belt while she also exchanged pleasantries with Serena’s husband, co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian.
Bianca Andreescu defeats Serena Williams at the US Open Final on Saturday.
Meghan was spotted occupying the seat in Serena’s box at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, making this her first public appearance with her four-month-old son Prince Archie.
Meghan and Serena’s friendship has stood the test of time as they first met nearly nine years ago at the 2010 Super Bowl.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew is making the most of his time in the country by not just delving into Pakistani delicacies but also learning how to cook them.
Turning to Twitter on Sunday, the British diplomat shared pictures with his followers of him being taught how to make one of the country’s most popular dishes –Daal and roti.
“While still hot outside, I stayed in to have my first lesson in Pakistani cooking. Started with the basics: daal and, below, roti,” read his tweet.
The tweet was met with welcoming responses from his Pakistani followers who cheered him on over his little feat.
Famed Hollywood filmmaker Woody Allen who has been trying to rub off the stain on his reputation of late, after getting embroiled in the #MeToo fiasco, has come forth addressing the entire debacle.
During an interview with France 24, the 83-year-old ‘Manhatten’ director spoke about the movement and the allegations placed on him, saying throughout his career, he has treated women as equals.
“I should be (poster boy #MeToo movement)… I’ve worked with hundreds of actresses, not one of them has ever complained about me; not a single complaint. I’ve employed women in the top capacity for years and we’ve always paid them the equal of men,” he said.
He went on to add: “I’ve done everything the MeToo movement would love to achieve.”
While Allen was accused earlier in 2017, headlines shifted their focus back on the director in the wake of statements issued by Hollywood star Scarlett Johannson who defended the alleged harasser saying: “I believe him, and I would work with him anytime. I have been very direct with him, and he’s very direct with me. He maintains his innocence, and I believe him.”
Allen was accused of sexual abuse in 2017 by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow through an op-ed piece for Los Angeles Times.
Lovebirds Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin were prepping up to tie the knot once against in a second wedding ceremony, but it looks like their plans have been taken over a raging tempest.
While Hurricane Dorian has led to ample destruction and inconveniences in the region, the duo’s wedding date has also fallen prey to the intense squall as a report by TMZ suggested that their wedding has now been moved away from its initial date of September 30.
A source revealed to the publication: “Justin and Hailey are devastated about the hurricane and have decided that, if it destroys their wedding venue, they are delaying the wedding to a later date.”
On the other hand, the insider further revealed that while a California ceremony is perhaps getting talked about as an alternative, the two are really keen on having the wedding in South Carolina.
“They really want to have the ceremony at their favourite hotel in South Carolina, but are really in limbo with any decision-making until they figure out the storm situation,” said the source.
Islamabad: Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday stepped up his criticism of India’s space activities accusing New Delhi of “adding into space debris”, a day after Indian mission to make soft landing on the Moon failed.
“Endia is adding into space debris, ealrier “Mission Shakti” failed and now “Chandrayaan”, irresponsible attitude of #ModiSarkar from region to space is disastrous for the world,Galaxyies and the planet is a delicate business politicians must not be allowed to play foolish gimmicky,” he said on Twitter.
To corroborate his claim the Science and Technology minister also shared a link to a foreign media report titled “More than 50 pieces of debris remain in space after India destroyed its own satellite in March “.
According to report that appeared in “The Verge”, by destroying one of its own satellites in space, India is posing a small but potential threat to other functioning spacecraft that might pass close by.
“It’s possible that some of this debris could stay in orbit for a full year before falling back down to Earth,” the report quoted space trackers as saying.
Indian Prime Minister’s hopes dashed to the ground on Saturday as the much-trumpeted space programme suffered a huge setback after losing contact with an unmanned spacecraft moments before it was due to make a historic soft landing on the Moon.
In a video shared widely on social media, PM Narendra Modi sought to comfort the glum scientists and a shocked nation from the mission control in Bangalore, saying India was still “proud” while clasping the visibly emotional space agency head in a lengthy hug.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls on PM Imran today.
ISLAMABAD: State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi Sunday called on Prime Minister Imran Khan here and discussed the bilateral and regional matters.
More: Pakistan, China, Afghanistan to boost counter terror effort
The Chinese foreign minister who arrived here Saturday mainly to attend the trilateral foreign ministers’ dialogue between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, was accompanied by Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Luo Zhaohui, China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing and senior Chinese officials.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and senior officials were also present during the meeting.
Tehran: The acting head of the UN atomic watchdog, Cornel Feruta, arrived in Tehran on Sunday for high-level talks with Iranian officials, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
The International Atomic Energy Agency official´s visit comes a day after Iran announced its latest step in reducing its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal.
The Romanian diplomat was to meet Iran´s Atomic Energy Organisation chief Ali Akbar Salehi, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran´s Supreme National Security Council, ISNA said.
The IAEA said the visit was part of its “ongoing interactions” with Tehran, including “verification and monitoring in Iran under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA),” the technical name for the 2015 deal.
The accord gave Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Iran´s Atomic Energy Organisation said on Saturday that it had fired up 20 IR-4 and 20 IR-6 advanced centrifuges — a third step it has taken back from the nuclear deal.
Despite the latest move, the agency said Iran would allow the IAEA to continue monitoring its nuclear facilities in accordance with the 2015 agreement.
In response, the IAEA said it had noted Iran´s latest move and indicated its inspectors were ready to check its compliance.
“Agency inspectors are on the ground in Iran and they will report any relevant activities to IAEA headquarters in Vienna,” spokesman Fredrik Dahl said.
Iran has taken a series of retaliatory steps to reduce compliance with the deal after the United States withdrew from it last year and began reimposing sanctions against the Islamic republic.
On July 1, Iran said it had increased its stockpile of enriched uranium to beyond the 300-kilogramme limit set by the agreement.
A week later, it announced it had exceeded the deal´s uranium enrichment limit of 3.67 percent.
Feruta´s visit to Tehran comes a day before the IAEA board of governors convenes for a quarterly meeting in Vienna, at which its verification and monitoring mission in Iran will be discussed.
In its latest report on August 30, the watchdog said it was continuing to verify compliance through cameras and on-site inspections.
But in an apparent hint at worries about access, it said “ongoing interactions… require full and timely cooperation by Iran”.