So here's an interesting wrinkle in the 40th edition of TIFF (née the Toronto International Film Festival, née The Festival of Festivals). Yesterday at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, where we were waiting to speak with super-famous stars and celebs (no big deal), my Globe colleague Johanna Schneller informed me that distributor Lionsgate Films had moved operations to an uptown hotel, away from the epicentre of the festival.
The reason: They didn't want to work out of the Trump Hotel, where they'd originally been holed up. The reason for that? Well, Donald Trump.
According to Johanna, who tweeted about all of this, there are no major press junkets at the Trump International Hotel this year, something that was confirmed by the hotel's front desk representative. It seems people want nothing to do with Trump, the controversial presidential hopeful and punchline, however tangentially (Trump is reportedly only a minority shareholder in the hotel itself).
The fact that Lionsgate is representing two films that don't square with Trump's brand of hysterical right-wing politics—Sicario, about the violent fallout of Mexican/U.S. border relations, and Freehold, about the trials of a same-sex couple fighting for equal pensions rights – might have something to do with it. (I reached out to Lionsgate's U.S. reps, but they didn't respond to my request before press time.)
It's just another troubling sign of Donald Trump's evolution to real-life political pariah and villain, as opposed to just a cartoon villain.
And speaking of cartoons, the human tornado of neckerchiefs and pocket squares and bracelets and tendrils of greasy hair that is Johnny Depp was at TIFF Bell Lightbox today, speaking about his role as gangster James (Whitey) Bulger in Scott Cooper's Black Mass. Depp joked that Cooper revived his career, then sort of doubled-back on the joke, suggesting that he's had nothing but successes for the past 20 years. (Certainly, last year's Mortdecai was a grand slam in terms of providing film journalists and Twitter users inexhaustible fodder for jokes about how positively stupid it was.)
Still, I think it's fair to assume that Black Mass, which sees Depp – who, it's easy to forget, was once considered a real actor – playing a snarling Irish-American mob boss, and not a moustachioed, art-dealing dandy or a swashbuckling, sea-faring dandy or a giggling, chocolate-factory-owning dandy, could reasonably be considered a revival of Depp's long-laughable career. It's certainly pitched as such.
Maybe it will be the beginning of a new era for Depp. At least until Mortdecai 2: Black 'Stache hits cinemas in 2016.