I’ve officially got a Mack truck of a cold, so I’m sure to be a pleasant seat mate on our flight to British Columbia this morning. What’s more annoying – sitting beside a coughing woman for a 6 hour flight, or sitting beside her for ELEVEN whole movies?
Kiefer Sutherland’s going to be kicking around too. He was born in England (so was Cattrall if you want to get technical) but his daddy Donald Sutherland is a Canadian gentleman, and his grandpappy was a famed Canadian politician (Tommy Douglas was his name – he was Premier of Saskatchewan for a damn long time, and is applauded for ushering in our universal health care). The Sutherland boys have been hitting up the festival circuit big-time this year (they were at TIFF too) because they have a new movie to show off: Forsaken, a western that also stars one of Sean’s old school mates. Kiefer’s brother Rossif Sutherland is starring in another Whistler movie, River, which means there are THREE Sutherlands competing for best Canadian feature performance. Kiefer’s getting a special tribute at this festival so he’s taking home hardware one way or another.
Robert Carlyle isn’t remotely Canadian, but he’s getting honoured too. The Maverick Award, they call it – given to a risk-taker. He’s taken it all off in The Full Monty, is up for a Trainspotting sequel, plays a fairy tale creature on TV’s Once Upon a Time, and now he’s directing himself (and Emma Thompson) in The Legend of Barney Thomson.
And of course, this wouldn’t be a Canadian event without some very Canadian pastimes: the Whistler Film Festival is taking over the nearly tracks leftover from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics to stage a bobsleigh race, and of course the annual celebrity ski race, starring the likes of Jason Priestly, Atom Egoyan, Bruce McDonald, Norman Jewison, and anyone else who can find ski pants and will brave the epic gondola ride to the top.
When we’re ready to warm up, we might catch the screen writer’s panel, featuring Emma Donaghue, who wrote Room and 9 other writers, including the woman behind Pixar’s Inside Out (Meg LeFauve), and Brian Sipe, writer of Demolition, who we last met at TIFF, and Jon Herman, the white guy who wrote Straight Outta Compton.
And I’ll be trying to stoke my courage to ride Whistler’s famous peak to peak gondola. It’s strung between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb mountain and is both the longest (3.024km) and highest (436m) gondola lift in the world, which means I hate it on principle and am literally shaking in my boots. To make matters worse: glass-bottomed gondolas! So you can fully, 360 degree, imagine your plunging death in high-definition detail.
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