Toronto: Robert Downey Jr.'s 'The Judge' Opens Festival's 39th Edition

6:29 PM PST 09/04/2014 by Etan Vlessing

Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga and Vincent D'Onofrio added glitz and glamour to the red carpet outside Roy Thomson Hall

David Dobkin took a jab at Telluride Thursday night as his Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall-starrer The Judge kicked off the Toronto Film Festival with a glitzy world premiere.

"I think what you did was right. When it's a world premiere, it's a world premiere. On the record," Dobkin declared as beaming festival toppers Piers Handling and Cameron Bailey stood by on stage.

The Wedding Crashers director had good reason to praise Toronto.

The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow release was initially booked for a world premiere in the Special Presentations sidebar before being promoted to the plum opening-night slot.

Dobkin, introducing his star-studded cast at Roy Thomson Hall that included Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Dax Shepard, also praised Warner Bros. for backing his family dramedy.

"It's not the kind of movie that gets made often in Hollywood," he told the gold patron-filled audience in Toronto.

When he took his turn at the podium, Downey Jr. praised co-star Robert Duvall for his performance as his estranged father, the town's judge.

"A movie is only as good as the title character," Downey Jr. began, as the The Iron Man star disappointed his ample action movie fans in the audience.

"Unfortunately, I am not the judge. This movie is about judgment, about family, about reconciliation and salvation," he continued.

"But it's really about a dad. And the dad has to be a mountain that Hank has to find a way to climb," Downey Jr. added, in tribute to Duvall who then came on stage to a prolonged ovation from the Toronto audience.

The opening night screening is to be followed with an invite-only afterparty at Montecito on Adelaide Street.

The Toronto Film Festival is to run through September 14.

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