Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist

Nick (Michael Cera) is a high school senior still pining over being dumped by his girlfriend Tris (Alexis Dziena). Dragged out by his friends and bandmates to play a gig in Manhattan one night, he runs into a classmate of Tris, Norah (Kat Dennings). Pushed together by friends and circumstances, Nick and Norah soon find themselves on an overnight quest through New York City to find both Norah's best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor), and a secret show put on by their favourite band, "Where's Fluffy?"

Many, including the festival website itself, have mentioned the film in the same context as Juno, mainly because of its indie feel, hip dialogue, and presence of Michael Cera, but it's probably not completely fair to do so. There's less of a narrative backbone in Nick and Norah, so they don't start from the same place; this film is really just about two people connecting over the course of one night.

There have been some mixed reviews of this film, but I still came out having enjoyed it. I liked Michael Cera better in this film than in Juno, but that might just come from him having a much bigger part here, although the character probably has a bit to do with it too. I liked Kat Dennings in her role. And Ari Graynor was a scene-stealing hoot. The film will probably find its core audience with those in their teens and twenties.

The director Peter Sollett (Raising Victor Vargas) and cast was in attendance, and did a Q&A after the film. There weren't many good questions and it was hard to hear some of the responses, but the few that stood out are below:

One song that each cast member would put on their own mix CD:

  • Jonathan B. Wright: Heaven
  • Aaron Yoo: Kreuzberg by Bloc Party
  • Rafi Gavron: Love of My Life by Erykah Badu
  • Michael Cera: ?
  • Kat Dennings: Straight Out the Jungle by the Jungle Brothers
  • Ari Graynor: Freedom by George Michael
  • Jay Baruchel: The theme from The Littlest Hobo
  • Alexis Dziena: La La Love You by the Pixies

Favourite scene to shoot:

  • Kat Dennings: the drag show, because she always wanted to go to one.
  • Michael Cera: shooting in the restaurant because they got to eat lots of food, perogies and apple cider.
  • Alexis Dziena: shooting a strip tease in freezing weather.

How did they get a Yugo to last through an entire shoot: there were three Yugos, but only one actually drove.

Some photos from the Q&A:

From left-to-right: TIFF programmer Jane Schoettle, Alexis Dziena, Jay Baruchel, Ari Graynor, director Peter Sollett, Kat Dennings, Michael Cera, Rafi Gavron, Aaron Yoo, and Jonathan B. Wright.

From left-to-right: Alexis Dziena, Jay Baruchel, Ari Graynor, director Peter Sollett, Kat Dennings, and Michael Cera.


While in line for jcvd, someone spraypainted a stencil that said, "where's fluffy"... Now it makes sense

I'm pretty sure Michael Cera's song was "C'est ecrit dans le ciel". It's an interesting choice, but the lyrics would certainly qualify in the movie's context.

My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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