Run This Town sxsw

This is what people thought of the Rob Ford movie after its world premiere

At long last, a very small fraction of the world has seen Ricky Tollman's hotly-anticipated "Rob Ford movie" Run This Town — and many say the film is everything it's cracked up to be.

The 99-minute-long political dramedy premiered on Saturday at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas, just shy of one year after The Hollywood Reporter first broke news of its existence.

Actors Nina Dobrev (Canadian), Scott Speedman (Canadian) and Mena Massoud (Canadian and also Disney's new Aladdin) sparked a frenzy on the red carpet alongside the film's star, Ben Platt, who is not Canadian but still seems pretty cool.

British actor Damian Lewis, who donned a fat suit and prosthetics to assume the role of late Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, did not attend the premiere, but his presence — or the presence of his character, at least — was definitely felt.

"Run This Town is (secretly) the Rob Ford story through a millennial lens," wrote reviewer Ed Travis for Cinapse after attending the premiere, noting that many in the audience weren't expecting to see Ford.

The movie's description on SXSW's website mentions nothing of the famous 2013 crack-smoking video scandal, after all. Instead, it is billed as the story of a young and ambitious investigative journalist (Platt) and his pursuit of a potentially explosive political story.

"There's nothing quite like that exclusive-to-film festivals feeling of stumbling off the street into a movie theater to see a movie you know absolutely nothing about," wrote Travis.

"And discovering that it is (somewhat secretly) about a rather explosive and infamous story known the world over but never yet told as a feature length narrative."

Now Magazine similarly praised the movie as "funny, furious and surprisingly accurate" — I mean, minus the whole turning Robin Doolittle into a man part.

"As a Toronto native, I was excited to shoot a film about our city that I love and I'm so proud of coming from, and I think it's an important story," said Dobrev of the film to ET Canada ahead of its premiere.

"Both Rob's story as well as millennials, and that fact that they're having such an issue finding work after college."

It is not yet know when the film will be widely released, so a trailer has yet to be shared. Impatient? You can check out the best Rob Ford videos of all time while you're waiting. They'll be just as much, if not more, entertaining than anything out of Hollywood.

Lead photo by

Nina Dobrev


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