Toronto Film Festival: Michael Moore Can’t Save ‘Borat’ Breakdown; Crowd Flips

Sara Vilkomerson reports from a madhouse up in Toronto:

borat Toronto Film Festival: Michael Moore Cant Save Borat Breakdown; Crowd Flips
Such an entrance. Photo: Getty Images.

Paulo Costanzo–of Road Trip, Joey and Canadian birth–was freaking out. “This is the best fucking night of my life,” he screamed from his seat at last night’s midnight screening of Borat. Agent and limousine liberal Ari Emmanuel lurked up in the teeming balcony.

Sasha Baron Cohen had arrived for the Borat premiere on a cart pulled by six women and a tiny pony, each of them in yokes, the women all in shtetl chic. Isla Fisher, Mr. Cohen’s tiny gorgeous fiance, in a glittery tank and low-slung jeans, hid behind a nearby tree.

Inside the theater, to introduce the show, Mr. Cohen brought out the flags of Canada and Kazakhstan and kissed them both.

The film began. The first 20 minutes of Borat are the funniest thing you could ever hope to see on film. The audience was in hysterics. Then the projector broke.

Forty minutes passed; apologies from the stage. The Fox publicity staff looked positively green. The restless crowd began to chant “Michael Moore! Michael Moore!”

Mr. Cohen did some shtick and introduced “Larry Charles and some fat man.” Mr. Charles—co-creator of Seinfeld and exec producer of Entourage—and Michael Moore came to the stage. Mr. Moore had been the one trying to fix the projector. This was all like some insane dream sequence. Mr. Charles was dressed in a sort of Hasidic costume. Was Mr. Moore tired, someone wanted to know? “You can’t sleep these days if you are an American,” he said.

Later, Mr. Moore said that he’d be making out with John Travolta in the lobby. Mr. Charles signed a kid’s tardy note for the next day’s school. Mr. Charles had not yet seen Snakes on a Plane—but Mr. Moore had.

By 1:40 a.m., it became clear that the remainder of Borat would not be shown. The screening was postponed for Friday night. Everyone went desperately looking for a drink.
Sara Vilkomerson