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Risqué parties signal curtain at glitzy fest

From Saturday's Globe and Mail

Hallelujah. Someone at the festival finally got naked.

Well, okay. The two go-go dancers who doffed their duds at the Drake Hotel on Thursday night were actually hired professionals from Remington's live male entertainment club.

And the French Exit party, with Toronto's reluctant porn star Bruce La Bruce as host, wasn't an official festival event or connected with any film in particular.

Still, for a year that has lacked any serious scandal thus far, these hunky boys in their baggy briefs were certainly a welcome sight to this weary party reporter.

The 30th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival wraps up today with an awards reception this afternoon — now held on a new day (Saturday as opposed to the usual Sunday) and new place (the Hilton Hotel as opposed to the usual Four Seasons). And tonight, of course, is the final closing blowout party at York Quay Centre.

Most of the A-list Hollywood stars had already hit the road by Wednesday, but a few big names rolled in for the home stretch. Last night, LL Cool J, Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, Piper Perabo, Kevin Spacey and Justin Timberlake were all tipped to make an appearance at the Ultra Supper Club for a private dinner and pre-party for tonight's closing gala, Edison.

Last evening also saw the premiere of Chiara Tilesi's much buzzed-about All The Invisible Children. Spike Lee, Katia Lund, Jordan Scott and Stefano Veneruso had all promised to attend.

On Thursday night, outgoing Bond man Pierce Brosnan made all the girls giddy at the Fifth nightclub on Richmond Street, where Stuff magazine and Alliance Atlantis held a swanky soiree for the premiere of Matador.

But to the dismay of all his fans downstairs, Mr. Brosnan, who stars as a self-indulgent professional hit man in the film directed by Richard Shepard, spent most of the evening in the private roof-top dining room with co-star Greg Kinnear.

LL Cool J was also rumoured to have put on a private performance that night at an undisclosed Richmond Street nightclub. Meanwhile, over on Bulwer Street, the city's craziest heavy-metal freaks all gathered for a massive air-guitar session to celebrate the documentary debut of Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.

Yes, the festival madness is still lighting up Toronto, but you kind of know it's over when the tabloid gossip hounds have already moved on to the latest Hollywood breakup.

Such was the case with Allison Swan, a reporter from Bonnie Fuller's Star magazine, who was told yesterday to ditch the festival and start chasing musician Jack White, the former boyfriend of actress Renée Zellweger.

Just this week, Ms. Zellweger announced the end of her whirlwind, four-month marriage to country singer Kenny Chesney.

"Have you heard anything?" Ms. Swan asked, as she headed over to the Four Seasons to camp out in the driveway.

Sorry, babe. After 27 parties in nine days, I'm packing up the dancing shoes and heading home to detox.

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