THE LIBERTINE, starring Johnny Depp, screens to thunderous applause at the Toronto Film Festival!

Johnny Depp’s most recent film, THE LIBERTINE, was screened as a work-in-progress at the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday night, September 16th. The Zone had several lucky representatives in the audience, including Laura(tco), Linda B, RustyRed, Babs, and FANtasticJD, who have reported their experiences as they sat at the screening surrounded by critics and industry executives. Here is a summary of their reactions:

Director Laurence Dunmore spoke briefly to introduce the movie, but there was no Q&A. There was no sign of Johnny Depp or John Malkovich at the screening. THE LIBERTINE ran approximately two hours and fifteen minutes, and Johnny’s character is in nearly every scene. The Zoners unanimously report that (a) Johnny’s performance as the doomed Earl of Rochester is magnificent and shattering and quite possibly his best work ever, and (b) the film will almost certainly earn an NC-17 rating in the United States if it remains in the version shown Thursday night. Director Dunmore did indicate that there is some editing still to do, and Zoners report that a couple of the scenes looked slightly out of focus, but that might have been artistic intent and not an editing flaw. The film is raunchy and sensual, very funny in places, and will summon tears in the end. Although there is plenty of sexual activity throughout the film, and some of it is quite explicit (hence the probable NC-17 rating), Zoners report that Johnny always keeps his clothes on (no surprise there) and most of the bawdiness involves extras. Nor is there any scene in which Johnny exchanges a kiss with another man. All the Zoners kept a sharp eye watching for that moment, since it had received so much pre-screening publicity–and it never happened.

All agree that the film is outstanding and Johnny is brilliant and unforgettable as the Earl. Although the screening audience was not composed of Depp fans–in fact, it was reported to be “full of distributors” eager to assess the film, and of course dozens of critics eager for a sneak peek–THE LIBERTINE received thunderous applause at the end. We hope those distributors are forming a line outside John Malkovich’s door today and are making very generous offers to bring THE LIBERTINE to the U.S. as soon as possible. To read more about THE LIBERTINE’s Toronto screening, see Laura(tco)’s post on the News & Views forum, and posts from RustyRed and LindaB on DeepinDepp’s Friday morning thread.

A final note–FANtasticJD reports that THE LIBERTINE carries a dedication to Johnny’s late mentor, Marlon Brando. How fitting that Johnny should dedicate his most daring performance to the man who reshaped twentieth-century film acting.

Comments are closed.