A friend of The Departed (no title, no name, no gender) passed along a view today on the absence of Martin Scorsese‘s The Departed at the Toronto Film Festival. Warner Bros., he/she said, “felt that the movie was too commercial to be presented at a film festival like Toronto’s.
“Playing at Toronto, they felt, can give audiences a sense that it’s an art-house style film. I know that many would disagree with this view, but they felt that there was no real upside in screening it there when they know that they have a hit film on their hands.”
To which I say, “Excuse me?” A good movie is a good movie is a good movie, and critics at Toronto going apeshit for The Departed (assuming they will or would have gone apeshit) would have meant nothing but commercial heat and buoyancy all around. Instead WB kept it out of circulation and let a lot of people think (i.e., speculate, wonder, guess, presume) there was something wrong.
They could have at least allowed visiting critics and columnists to see it here in Toronto, but no — they restricted access only to people taking part in the New York junket. Brilliant neg-head thinking, guys. Hats off.