It’s not everyday you get be within ten steps of some of Hollywood’s biggest names, like Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz, for instance. With glee and anxiety, Novella took up Grey Goose’s invitation to be a part of its inaugural edition of Cocktails and Conversation, set against the backdrop of Lavelle rooftop’s stunning views. Continuing its decade-old tradition of celebrating and supporting the film industry, Grey Goose invited directors and stars of four highly anticipated films that were shown at TIFF 2017 — Woman Walks Ahead, The Current War, Disobedience, and In the Fade. Though the attendees and the location were epitomes of glamour and grandeur, with limited press presence and Grey Goose’s Bloody Caesars and Marys flowing, the three mornings of Cocktails and Conversation were arguably the most intimate and therefore worthwhile press event this year at TIFF. Moderated by Deadline Hollywood’s Joe Utichi, the panel discussed their visions and creative processes.
The first set of Bloody Marys were had with Susana White, Jessica Chastain, Michael Greyeyes, and Steven Knight, the cast of her latest film, Women Walks Ahead. The film, based on true events and friendship between Catherine Weldon and a leader of the Lakota in North Dakota in the 19th-century, delves into the relationship between two unlikely figures. “When I first read the script, it leapt off the page for me,” said White. “First of all, I’ve been looking for a film with a strong female lead. You know, I wanted to tell women’s stories. Catherine Weldon was such an extraordinary person to do what she did at that time. […] And then to see the other unheard voices of the western, the Native American voices…[Steven] turned them into real people, not cardboard cutouts who get shot. […] So it felt very special to me when I came across it and I knew it was a film I had to make.”
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’s Alfonso Gomez-Rejon is coming back this year with a historical blockbuster, The Current War, which explores the relationship between Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), and Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), three creative geniuses of America’s burgeoning love affair with technology, science, and business. The conversation that begin with the actors’ descriptions of their characters soon became a discussion around the impact of personal greed and capitalism on the development and usage of technology and science. Though the film is ostensibly about three great men, the detailed and honest portrayal of them defy the Great Man theory of history and opens up questions about their/our inability see beyond the immediate future.
Disobedience is Sebastián Lelio’s latest alongside his acclaimed A Fantastic Woman, which was also shown at TIFF this year. The movie revolves around the complex relationships between a hasidic couple, Esti (Rachel McAdams) and Dovid (Alessandro Nivola), in London and their childhood friend, Ronit (Rachel Weisz), who’s left the community for New York. As Lelio’s first film set outside of Chile and that delves into three narrative points of view simultaneously, Disobedience is a previously unseen look into Lelio’s style and creative capacity. On what attracted him the script, which is loosely based on Naomi Alderman’s novel of the same name, Lelio said, “On a human level, I just loved the characters and what they are going through. This idea of confused human beings— which are almost like synonyms — trying to do their best, doing the wrong things for the right reasons, and operating against background of more or less fixed ideas and conceptions of the world… so there’s something relatively static in the background but [the characters] are vibrating, are closer to us, because they are changing and are in flux and are complex. I could immediately relate to the three of them.”
Grey Goose’s Cocktails and Conversation was a unique opportunity to talk in earnest about specific films, the film industry at large, and what those involved think of films’ place in today’s cultural climate. Not to mention that it was a chance to nonchalantly sip cocktails with those the likes of TMZ would die to chase around.
You can recreate the Grey Goose Bloody Marys of the Cocktails and Conversation by getting the right ingredients and following the recipe here. Continue following our fashion and lifestyle coverage on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.