Opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival is reserved for a Canadian title, to give the mother country a chance to shine before the spotlight is divided among dozens of (usually) higher-profile films. This year, Jeremy Podeswa's Fugitive Pieces was selected for the honor. Anne Thompson of Variety wrote a good profile of the director. A capsule review in the Toronto Sunnoted that it was "not a festive way to launch" the festival, "but this haunted and haunting drama signals a year of seriousness and quality."

Writing in The Globe and Mail, Rick Groen called it a "good movie" and "an even better example of what the movies do more easily, more powerfully and more indelibly than any other medium." Peter Howell of the Toronto Star felt it was a "smart choice to open the fest ... yet for all of the merits of Podeswa's painterly approach to Michaels' source novel, Fugitive Pieces seems curiously drained of drama. The message is uncertain." NOW Magazine has a capsule view which comments favorably on the cinematography and the performances.

James Berardinelli of Reelviews described Fugitive Pieces as "forgettable." He said: "The film has lofty goals, but comes across as leaden and pretentious." Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere attended the press screening this morning, though he didn't last very long: "I was out the door after 30 minutes, but I was looking at my watch after the first 15 minutes. I don't care if it kicks in at the one-hour mark or whatever -- I won't sit through films like this." Wells is not a fan of lead actor Stephen Dillane: "He kills each and every film and play that he's in with his withered, crinkly-faced dweeby-ness." Look for a review from our own Ryan Stewart a little bit later -- assuming that Ryan didn't get run over by Jeff Wells on his locomotive race out of the theater.