What happened to Pippa at the Toronto Film Festival

Toronto turned out to be one of those shards of light that illuminate the days around them, before and after. I wasn’t expecting much, because there are so many films in Toronto, I figured the audience was a little tired by the 15th of September, it had gone well in Deauville, and…I don’t know, I always arm myself against indifference or plain old rejection in any screening. But the response to the film was very strong. The audience of 2000 got all the laughs, from the beginning, and they seemed to take such delight in the performances. All the risks in tone change and performance–especially on the part of Winona and Maria Bello, who needed to hit the biggest notes– seemed to pay off. So it worked with that audience, anyway–there was a long standing ovation at the end, and I got reports of people being moved. Two days later, there was a smaller, daytime screening, and, though the spirit of the screening was calmer, the laughs were in the same places, and people came up and told me it meant something to them personally. The main thing, to me, is that Robin’s sublime performance is beginning to get the attention it deserves. I really think that she has done something so rare, she has somehow infused a characterization with a soul. You look at Pippa and you see her spirit flickering in there…

2 Responses to “What happened to Pippa at the Toronto Film Festival”

  • jijim fouratt:

    Just came from a sag screening in NYC .. So deeply moved by your emotionally authentic Private Lives of Pippa Lee .. the totality of the human experience textured with humor, sadness and just plain craziness seduced me completely.

    Cast were to an actor and to a character pitch perfect . and thank you for giving Winona a role to show why she is one of our best actresses and giving Lola a scene she makes indelible… beautiful multi-layer script, visual resonance that humanizes Greek sized vivid creatures . and the perfect tone and resonance of the score and music including Lucinda over the role ..


    jim fouratt
    227 Waverly Place

  • Regina McBride:

    Dear Rebecca Miller-
    Last night I watched The Ballad of Jack and Rose. It haunted and devastated me. All night I awakened with the tension of the story in me. The characters were so real and so deeply moving. I was shocked when I looked at critical response on the internet and saw that some of it was lukewarm, and some of it outright negative. To me, images that some called “heavily symbolic” in places, felt deeply organic. It is (I am sure) the very difficult material you are brave enough to take on, that people just don’t know what to do with in themselves.

    One of my novels (The Nature of Water and Air) which takes place in Ireland, also explores this difficult subject matter of non-abusive incest. Gabriel Byrne optioned it for a film, and he and I worked on the screenplay for over a year. Ultimately, he admitted to me that he was too afraid of the incestuous relationship to do the film. He was afraid he’d never work again. Any negative response to The Ballad of Jack and Rose, I am certain, comes mostly out of fear.

    It is an absolutely beautiful, powerful film and I deeply admire you for making it.

    Regina McBride

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