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Toronto Film Festival: Breakfast Club recreated in starry script reading

By Neil Smith
Entertainment reporter at the Toronto Film Festival

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image captionDirector Jason Reitman (left) with his Live Read cast

Jesse Eisenberg, Christina Hendricks and others have joined Jason Reitman for a live reading of The Breakfast Club at the Toronto Film Festival.

Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul and Britain's Richard E Grant also took part in the tribute to John Hughes' teen classic.

Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson starred in the 1985 original, which told of five high school students spending a Saturday in detention.

Hughes, who died in 2009 aged 59, was represented by his son James.

Reitman, himself the son of Ghostbusters director Ivan, introduced him from the stage as "a fellow member of the nepotism club."

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image captionThe pared-down event lets the script do the talking
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image captionThe (original) Breakfast Club L-R: Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall

Highlights of the evening included Eisenberg recreating Nelson's famous fist salute and Hendricks emulating the scene where Ringwald applies lipstick without using her hands.

Boogie Nights, The Princess Bride and American Beauty are among the films to receive the live read treatment at previous festivals.

Hughes' film continues to be held in great regard 33 years on, as evidenced by a recent photo showing the cast of the new Wonder Woman film recreating its iconic poster.

The live read event came towards the end of a busy weekend at the festival, which continues until Sunday.

Highlights included the world premiere of Widows, Steve McQueen's update of the 1980s TV series about women turning to crime after their partners' deaths.

Speaking on Sunday, screenwriter Gillian Flynn paid tribute to Lynda LaPlante, creator of the original drama, as a "pioneering force of nature".

"How often do you get to see not one but four amazing, conflicted and complicated female characters on screen?" said the Gone Girl author.

"What was cool about putting them in a heist film was to get to see them work together and see their brains in action."

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Actress Julia Roberts was in town to launch both family addiction drama Ben is Back and her new Amazon TV series Homecoming.

After Saturday's premiere of the former, Roberts praised its writer-director Peter Hedges for a "clear, thoughtful" script that had helped offset the bitter cold of the film's winter shoot.

Saturday also saw actress Geena Davis, British director Amma Asante and others speak at a women's rally in support of gender parity in the film industry.

Thelma and Louise star Davis called for gender-balanced representation on screen and made a plea for "no more missed opportunities" in TV and film casting.

Asante, meanwhile, bemoaned the low percentage of female and specifically black female filmmakers.

"When I last looked, black women directors didn't even make up one percent of the industry we work in," said the director, whose new film Where Hands Touch premiered on Sunday.

"Both in Hollywood and the UK, the will to place women behind the camera… is being drawn from a well that is painfully dry."

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image captionGeena Davis was among the speakers at the Share Her Journey rally

Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller, Melissa McCarthy and Dev Patel were among the other celebrities touting their wares in Toronto this weekend.

For all the stars in attendance, though, this year's event has not been without the occasional high-profile no-show.

Drake had been expected at last week's screening of Monsters and Men, a film about a police shooting in Brooklyn and the bystander who films it.

But instead the Canadian rapper sent a video in which he blamed his absence on tour commitments.

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