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Woody and Renny tread the red carpet

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

The Galas WOODY AND RENNY At 6:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, Woody Allen continues his love affair with things English with Cassandra's Dream, starring Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell. That's followed at 9:30 p.m. by Cleaner, Renny Harlin's new thriller starring Samuel L. Jackson and Eva Mendes.


Tonight's top parties bring the worlds of film and fashion together. Undoubtedly, the toughest invite to score is InStyle's yearly late-night bash (Windsor Arms Hotel, 18 St. Thomas St., 10 p.m.) which is co-hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (operative words being "Hollywood" and "Foreign"). At the newly redesigned Chanel boutique around the corner (131 Bloor St. W.), Woody Allen will host a small post-screening dinner for his movie Cassandra's Dream. Last, there's SIR magazine's book launch party for David Drebin, a Toronto photographer in L.A. and New York known for his fashion and film work (Ultra Supper Club, 314 Queen St. W., 10:30 p.m.). Amy Verner

The Canadian highlights Cochochi

Israel Cardenas, Laura Amelia Guzman (Mexico/U.K./Canada)


Splendidly shot on 16 mm, this debut is the simple story of a journey by Evaristo and Tony, indigenous brothers living in Mexico's rural northwest. After their primary-school graduation, the brothers are asked to deliver medicine to a far-off village; not wanting to walk, they poach their grandfather's horse, which, sure enough, ends up lost. The two boys separate to find it, and day turns into night. Wonderfully acted by non-professionals, Cochochi features breathtaking images of a region little explored on film - not to mention a distinctive language (the Tarahumaran dialect of Raramuri). This delicate narrative explores a serious issue for any native population - the question of whether to integrate with society at large or hold onto traditional ways. Mark Peranson

6:30 p.m., Scotiabank 4

Shake Hands with the Devil

Roger Spottiswoode (Canada)


Having been scooped by Peter Raymont's documentary on the same subject, this dramatic version of Canadian General Roméo Dallaire's experiences as a hands-tied UN peacekeeper during the Rwandan genocide struggles to present a new facet to the atrocity. The results range from well-intended to clumsy. The action moves between the ominous events in Rwanda and sessions with the general (well-played by Roy Dupuis) in a psychiatrist's office, where characters from his past appear in conversation with him. In the Rwandan scenes, there are some poignant moments. But other elements feel misguided, especially the presence of a generic reporter (Debra Kara Unger) as a witness to Dallaire's predicament. Liam Lacey

3 p.m., Scotiabank 14

Also see ...

Le Scaphandre et

le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)

Julian Schnabel (France)


Schnabel won the best-director prize at this year's Cannes festival for this film, and deservedly so. It's a superb adaptation of the famous memoir by the late editor of French Elle, Jean-Dominique Bauby (memorably played by Mathieu Amalric), who, in 1995, fell victim to a debilitating ailment called Locked-in Syndrome. In Bauby's case, this meant speechlessness and virtually total paralysis, leavened only by the ability to see with one eye (his left) and to communicate by blinking that eyelid. James Adams

6 p.m., Elgin Man From Plains

Jonathan Demme (USA)


Late last year, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter released Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, a "strange little book about the Arab-Israeli conflict," said The New York Times. Now comes a documentary about Carter's U.S. campaign to promote a book criticized by many as unsympathetic to Israel. Directed by Jonathan Demme (who tenderly presented a musician in the concert film Neil Young: Heart of Gold), the graceful Man from Plains chronicles a protest-dogged book tour from coast to coast, revealing a subject who is unwavering in his beliefs, but bruised by the vitriol he experiences along the way. Brad Wheeler

2:15 p.m., Varsity 8

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