Sony dinner brings out the stars

Josh Brolin, Lucy Punch talk about working with Woody Allen

TORONTO -- Tom Bernard and Michael Barker know how to throw a party. The co-executives of Sony Pictures Classics hosted a lovely dinner at Creme Brasserie celebrating a large slate of their films at the festival.

"We have 10 films this year," said Barker as he finally sat down to dinner, while guests were already midway through theirs. "And the cast of 'Barney's Version,'" hasn't arrived as yet," revealed Barker. "They are coming in from Venice and delayed at the airport."

Among the SPC lineup at the fest are films such as "Another Year," "Made in Dagenham," Tamara Drewe," "Inside Job," "Of Gods and Men" and "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger."

Guests seated inside the restaurant and outside under a white tent enjoyed samosas, mini-burgers, salmon, steak and chicken. Seen in the crowd -- Anthony Hopkins, Stephen Frears, Dominic Cooper and Gemma Arterton.

The animated Josh Brolin milled around greeting friends such as Minnie Driver. So how was it working with Woody Allen in "Tall Dark Stranger?", I ask. "Energetic, intense and witty," replies Brolin. "He creates anxiety and you perform well." Contrary to rumors that the director doesn't talk to his cast, Brolin said, "He talks to me all the time."

Later I run into Lucy Punch (swathed in a gorgeous leather-skirted Louis Vuitton dress). Also co-starring in "Tall Dark Stranger," the actress shared that it was intimidating for her this being her first time under Allen's direction.

Sally Hawkins was glowing in a red dress. I asked her about the role of female empowerment in "Made in Dagenham," based on a true story. "Its very different from the last film, every woman can relate to it, there are lots of prejudices." Hawkins played a giggly free-spirited character in her last film, "Happy Go Lucky."
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