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TIFF Day 9 – 55 Steps, My Days of Mercy, Plonger

In the home stretch with only one day ahead, the penultimate day of the Toronto International Film Festival had three main premieres to keep fans busy.

The first was for 55 Steps, directed by Bille August which tells the story of a mentally ill woman who fights in court to have greater self-control – namely she fights for informed consent.  The film stars Helena Bonham-Carter in the lead role with Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Tambor playing the lawyers who help her battle the psychiatric establishment.  Only Bonham-Carter was on hand for the premiere (along with director August), however as is usually the case her personality on the red carpet was more than enough to keep fans happy.  What’s gotten particular attention is actually her bag, on one side simply stating “Queen”, but on the other saying “All I need is love and Wi-fi” – don’t we all!

While many on this side of the pond will know Melanie Laurent for her acting roles in films such as Inglorious Basterds and Beginners, she actually is also an accomplished writer/director having previously made films The Adopted (2011), Breathe (2014) and now her latest, Plonger.  Plonger is, of course, the French verb meaning ‘to dive’, and the film is about a woman who leaves her family to find herself while on the journey takes up deep sea diving.  This isn’t the only film here about a woman leaving her family – The Escape with Gemma Arterton, which premiered earlier in the festival also followed similar themes (minus the deep sea diving of course!). The director and her stars, Gilles Lellouche and Maria Valverde were on hand for the premiere.

The last red carpet premiere of the evening (in fact the last before the closing gala Saturday) was that for My Days of Mercy.  The film stars Canadian Ellen Page (also at the festival with zombie flick The Cured) and Kate Mara (also here with Chappaquiddick).  Unlike earlier this week, Mara was without new husband Jamie Bell at this premiere, however she and Page look like they are fast friends, taking lots of adorable photos on the red carpet.  The film follows the budding love story between the two, though each is on opposite sides of a very personal involvement in the death penalty debate.  The film also stars Amy Seimetz (also in Lean on Pete), and is directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer.

The Toronto International Film Festival has its final day September 17, 2017, though there are some screenings through until the 18th.  Information on films and tickets is available at

Check out all of our TIFF coverage

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