There's an interesting phenomenon going on at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. Female filmmakers were a big part of the festival's opening weekend. (The fest might be 9 days long, but that first weekend is the time that packs the punch -- the time when the stars descend, the parties commence, and the big films have their premieres.) But this isn't only relevant to festival goers. These fests showcase tomorrow's films, so in some ways, TIFF is a peek into the future. And it's one where women defy what's expected of them.
At the moment, I'm calling it the Anna Kendrick effect. While she might be one of the youngest Tony Award nominees ever, this actress shot into the public eye with a supporting role in that incessant, sparkly piece called Twilight. Her performance was fine, but she really wasn't given enough for a large buzz to commence, especially while under the shadow of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. But now she's got a co-starring role in Jason Reitman's new Up in the Air -- a role where she must hold her own against George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. And she does. In fact, she's so good that her performance has been getting a lot of buzz up here in Toronto -- and it's proved one thing: We might see women and blow them off as nothing more than the crazy jealous friend, but there can be a lot of other talent in there if given a solid role to prove it.