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A Full Sunday Of Harry Styles At TIFF As ‘My Policeman’ Takes Tribute Award & Notches World Premiere Standing Ovation

On a break from his Madison Square Garden residency, and shortly after the Don’t Worry Darling Venice Film Festival world premiere, Harry Styles hit Toronto as his Amazon Studios Prime Video feature drama My Policeman made its world premiere to a great standing ovation Sunday at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

And there was no meme social-media spitting, or backstage drama; just all good vibes for My Policeman cast and director Michael Grandage. First stop was the Princess of Wales, where Emma Corin, David Dawson, Linus Roache, Styles and the filmmaker were among those taking the stage. Then they were whisked a few blocks away to the Fairmont Hotel to pick up their TIFF Tribute award for Best Performance (for the entire cast; see their acceptance speech below). Then they headed back for a Q&A at the Princess of Wales. And let’s not forget the press conference earlier in the day. All this before Styles reportedly flies back to NYC to continue his concert run. He gets to Los Angeles on October 15 for a 15-night (15 night!) residency at the the Forum.

‘My Policeman’ Toronto Review: Harry Styles And Emma Corrin Caught Up In 50’s-Set Forbidden Love Triangle

My Policeman tells the story of Tom (Styles), a policeman who’s in the midst of a love triangle with Marion, a teacher (Emma Corrin), and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson), at a time when homosexuality was forbidden in 1950s Britain. Flashing forward to the 1990s, Tom (Linus Roache), Marion (Gina McKee) and Patrick (Rupert Everett) are still reeling with longing and regret, but now they have one last chance to repair the damage of the past. The pic is based on the novel by Bethan Roberts (which as Pete Hammond says in his review was actually based on a complicated love relationship between famed novelist E.M. Forster, his male lover of 40 years; a policeman named Bob Buckingham; and Buckingham’s wife May Hockey, who slowly came to realize her husband had a long standing affair with Forster).

Said Styles about working with the ensemble at the post-premiere Q&A: “I think having a base of a real friendship outside the characters obviously allows for the friendships scenes, if you will; doesn’t require much acting. And the in the more intense scenes, there’s a lot of trust and safety there. All of that benefits from a real connection.”

Grandage before the film shared with the crowd a personal story of growing up gay and his father’s words of wisdom to him, “Someone spat the word queer at me in the playground. I came home and asked my father what a queer was. I had no idea. ‘A queer son is a very nasty word for a homosexual.’ This was in the 1970s. That didn’t help actually. I had to ask ‘What’s a homosexual.’ There was a very long pause,” says the filmmaker.

“What I intended to be a supreme form of parenting, he said, ‘A homosexual, son, is a free spirit.’ “

Earlier today during the TIFF press conference for the film, Styles remarked about tackling the bold movie. “The general themes are incredibly timeless. I think that’s why the film works so well. The themes of love and freedom and the search for that is incredibly relevant, whatever time you want to set it in.”

Said Hammond today about Styles in his review, “Between Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman, Styles is quickly proving himself to be the real deal as an actor, and he is very convincing here as a man lost in deception with his wife.”

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