On the Town with Shinan: Katie Holmes' Canadian compliments and fêting Franks

By Shinan Govani

Our compliments to Sarah Polley.

Katie Holmes, we hear, has been leaning on the Canadian triple-threat as she pivots to the next phase in her career. Calling her an influence, the A-list mom and generational standard-bearer talked recently about her plans to direct a film of her own in the coming months – a project she probably wouldn't be doing without Sarah.

“She had really inspired me to take a chance,” Katie confirmed whilst talking to USA Today about her pal, the Toronto-based auteur behind the Oscar-nominated Away From Her and the much-hailed documentary Stories We Tell. Sarah and Katie famously starred in the enduring cult-movie Go more than ten years ago, and have remained friends and confidantes ever since.

All We Had: that's the debut novel, by Annie Weatherwax, that Katie has optioned and with which she plans to work both behind and in front of the screens. And, in the manner of the directorial debuts of many actors, it sounds to me like a project that mirrors at least part of the real-life trajectory of the ex-Mrs. Cruise: the story is about a single mother and her daughter, taking a coast-to-coast journey.

But if it's Katie singing the praises of our Sarah these days, the inspiration, it would seem, is a two-way street. Sarah – who started off as a child actress in CBC's Road to Avonlea and then quickly became “dark” and “jaded” (her words) – has previously said that it's Katie who propelled her to look at the world just a little differently. “I was always looking at you and going, 'She's having a good time and bringing light to set...,” she told Katie when she was interviewed by her for a piece in Interview magazine a couple years back, “It's not like you'd had some sheltered life; you had been in the public eye for so long already at that point. So it was bewildering to me how you retained a sense of yourself and...being grateful for where you were.”

“It was a kind of a good lesson for me,” Sarah concluded. “I did kind of take a check on my attitude after that.”

Meanwhile:

The “other Frank” was not far from Frank Toskan's mind when he was honoured at Toronto's Design Exchange last weekend, at their annual gala. “Gone too soon,” he said about Frank Angelo, his “partner in life and business”, who died in 1997 and with whom he founded the beauty juggernaut MAC Cosmetics, right in this very town.

There was ample nostalgia at the induction, held at a VIP reception before the bigger scenester bang. Long before the company was acquired by Estee Lauder and would become an industry standard, raising close to $315 million (US) via the MAC AIDS Fund and represented by faces ranging from Rihanna to RuPaul to Dita Von Teese, the “two Franks” were literally cooking things up here, on Carlton Street. Toskan, who was a make-up artist, began by experimenting in the kitchen behind what was Angelo's hair salon, working on a tiny range of lipsticks, eye pencils, bases and powders. “Now, did Frank make this lamb, too?” one party guest quipped while appetizers were later going around and Joey Arias, the legendary New York-based drag cabaret artist, was doing a little ditty on some stairs.

And the award for best-dressed at the affair? That would probably have to be gala co-chair and society fixture Victoria Webster, decked in a smokin' hot party dress inside a grisly fur coat that evoked Royal Tennabuams from the front, and PETA from the back, where painted in red were the words 'Meat is Murder.'

Finally:

Spotted lunching at Nota Bene, here on Queen West the other day? That would be Monty Python legend John Cleese.

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