Madonna in Toronoto, has oscar hopes

Madonna Finds Friends in Toronto

Evan Agostini/AGOEV, via Associated PressMadonna promoting her film "W.E.", her directorial debut, at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday.

TORONTO—Madonna showed up on Monday to fight for her new film, "W.E.," at the Toronto International Film Festival. But nobody called her out.

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At a noon news conference, the toughest question from the reporters who managed to ask one ran something like this: "Since you have not had the same acclaim for making movies as in your music career, do you feel pressure?"

"Of course, I do, because it's new and I had the same kind of pressure when I began my music career."

Another reporter asked, gently, whether Madonna the filmmaker cares about critics.

"I do when I think that it's a fair criticism," Madonna answered. "I can tell when people are reviewing my film and whey they're reviewing me personally."

As fireworks go, it didn't add up to much, given the harsh reaction to "W.E." at the Venice Film Festival just over a week ago. Critics came down hard on the movie, a back-and-forth pair of love stories about a contemporary woman who is preoccupied with the affair between Wallis Simpson and King Edward III. In fact, some were calling the encounter "Death in Venice."

But in Toronto, an accommodating reporter just wanted to know if Madonna had Oscar hopes.

"My legs and my fingers are crossed," said Madonna.

Clearly, "W.E." should have skipped Venice, and come first to Toronto — the festival where just about everybody loves just about everything.

Swathed in bright red, to match her lipstick, Madonna offered some thoughts about her approach to the director's craft. "I equate a dolly tracking shot and a woman walking down the street," she said at one point. Go figure.


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