I recently saw Elijah's film "Try Seventeen" at the Toronto
International Film Festival, and here is a little report I
did on it for you! BTW, he WAS there, and I did get to see
"Try Seventeen" had been sold out since the second day the
Toronto International Film Festival opened. I planned to
line up early and get Rush tickets five minutes before the
show began, assuming there would be any!
I got to the Uptown theatre at ten to seven, a good two
hours before the movie would begin, and already there was a
line of about fifty or so people waiting in the Rush tickets
line (not just for "Try Seventeen" though...for three other
movies as well). I waited patiently for about twenty
minutes, when a man walked down the line to where I was and
asked what line I was in. I replied the Rush tickets line,
and he asked what movie I was seeing. When I told him "Try
Seventeen" he pulled one out of his pocket and told me that
he'd sell me an extra one he had. SOLD! And for $3.75 LESS
than what I would've paid at the box office. So...being very
early now, and with much time to spare, I wandered around
until it was 8:00pm. I made my way back to the Uptown and
got in yet another long line for people WITH tickets to any
of the three movies being screened.
I happened to be standing in front of a woman with whom I
struck up a great conversation with, about film making and
about Elijah Wood. Apparently, he was supposed to be in
town! Well! She told me about a friend of hers who
"followed" him wherever he went. I grinned and thought that
it reminded me of a few Ringers! :)
Finally, at about seven to nine, very late, we were let
into the theatre. We sat down and noticed all the reserved
seats in the back left corner of the theatre. Who would be
here? we wondered.
While we waited, it became obvious to me that we were
sitting in front of some movie producers! Their publicist
was on her cell phone behind me, arranging for them to get
tickets to the big party after the movie. Five executive
producers from various production companies were discussing
projects they wanted to work on and ones they had. I'm not
quite sure of their names, but I believe included were: Tim
van Lowen, Mr. Jenkeo, Mr. Checaik, and Mr. Rellim. One was
from MGM Studios, one from Millenium Films ("Try Seventeen")
and one was currently working with Elijah Wood, Jennifer
Love Hewitt, Christina Ricci regarding a movie about the 18
hours before the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. I couldn't
hear what the title of the movie was...so if one day a movie
like this shows up, you can say you hear about it first
here! (Maybe...) Also included in the production of this was
Anyway, back to the movie. Finally, one of the Film Fest
directors took the microphone set up in the front and
introduced herself, and then told us that after the movie,
there would be a Q & A session with Jeffrey Porter
(Director). Mr. Porter came up to the mic to much applause,
and hoped we'd enjoy the movie, and then he said that
joining us for the Q & A would be...ELIJAH WOOD! There was
much cheering. Oh yes, also present were co-stars, Aaron
Pearl (Canadian!), Chris Martin, and Daniella Evangelista
So, finally, the movie started, twenty-three minutes late,
and the audience was great! We laughed, we cheered, we
clapped and we laughed some more. I can't wait for the
soundtrack to come out, it will be something I'll definitely
buy! Great music! The dialogue was clever and witty, and as
I've said, the audience laughed! Elijah's character "Jones",
is innocent and naive, but also somehow very independant and
he's VERY imaginative and finds a way to get people to
believe he's older than just seventeen. I really enjoyed the
movie! (Watch out for the bar bit in the race track scene!
Hehehe...) There IS a lot of drinking and smoking in the
movie, but Mr. Porter addressed that in the Q & A.
I thought the movie was going to end in a very predictable
fashion, but it did take a slight deviation from what I'm
sure everyone expected, but there was the "happily ever
after" that is expected from a teen movie.
Finally, the Q & A with Jeffrey Porter and Elijah Wood
began. I'll try to recall everything (I took notes) but of
course the wording and phrasing will be a bit different (had
to write FAST!):
****WARNING, may contain some spoilers*****
We welcomed and applauded (again) for Mr. Porter, and he
told us Elijah would be right with us, he had gone upstairs
for a moment...and when he did come down --
Elijah: I'm surprised you all stayed for the Q & A, cheers
on that. (He raised his bottle of water to us, and we...
yup... we cheered!)
Q: regarding the music on the soundtrack - I didn't quite
hear this question, but I believe the person asked if
Elijah had any influence on what music was used in the
Elijah: replied that he didn't get all of his choices on the
track and then there was a bit of banter about that clip of
him on the radio show in BC
Q: Did you mean to make the film so generic? Devoid of any
Jeffrey Porter: Yes. It was also the writer's (George Kephart)
intention as well. It takes place in Kansas, and the only
indication is on the car license plates.
Q: What other coming-of-age movies do you like? Any
Jeffrey: The Graduate. Couldn't you tell? (much laughter) In
fact, I just watched it again recently.
Q: This is for Elijah. We know you can play an adult hobbit,
but when will you play an adult human character?
Elijah: (laughs very hard) Well....there is a movie coming
out, Thumbsucker, maybe that will be it.
Q: When playing Jones, did you find you related to the
Elijah: (more laughter) In what way? (audience laughs) Some
of it. (more laughter - you have to see the movie to
Q: What made you choose to shoot in BC?
Jeffrey: Less expensive. Good geographic location, as close
to Kansas with the location, best all around location
heartland look, flat open spaces, and excellent crews.
Q: What was it like to work with Mandy Moore?
Elijah: Good. I've never seen anything she's been in, but
she's good. Very natural.
Jeffrey: Elijah and Mandy both had their own contingent of
fans when shooting in BC. We were shooting in that house for
so long, and it rains a lot in BC (much laughter from
audience here) that we erected a tent for the fans outside.
Q: Regarding the smoking in the movie, was that very
Jeffrey: Jones is a sponge. He picked up the smoking from
Jane. You see he picks up things from the other
Q: What other projects are you working on?
Jeffrey: I'm working with George Kephart again. (He stands
up in the audience, we clap.) A crief story on how the script
came to me. Someone gave the script to Michelle (a partner on
the production) and I was dating her at the time too,
(audience laughs and cheers), and she had thrown it in the
pile which is basically the recycling bin. Well, I was going
through the bin, and I found this script that had coffee
stains and writing all over it, and I read it, and the writing
was so fresh and good. And I called the number on the cover,
and it was a Kansas number, and it was George Kephart. And we
never met until we started shooting, and it was basically
phone conversations, and now here we are.
And that was it...most people left right after, but a few
(including yours truly) ran down the front to try to get
Elijah's autograph. Unfortunately for me...they started to
really kick people out, because I believe there was another
movie coming in at midnight) and I did catch a glimpse of
Elijah up close (wearing a very nice blue dress shirt), but
didn't get to get an autograph. Oh well. I waited right
outside the theatre after, but I think they went out a back
door somewhere, so he slipped through my grasp.
Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera either, as cameras
and recording devices aren't allowed in the theater
(although there were quite a few flashes going off during
the Q & A).
All in all, it was a great experience, and I did enjoy
Elijah's acting in this movie. I wanted to ask a question
about the other casting choices, but time did not allow it.
I thought Mandy Moore did a really good job too! However,
when it comes out in wide release, you can go see it
yourself make your own review!