Toronto: Standing ovation for 'Fifth Estate'

05:00 AM, Sep 06, 2013

Benedict Cumberbatch arrives at 'The Fifth Estate' premiere at TIFF. George Pimentel WireImage/


Written By by Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY

TORONTO—Going first can feel perilous.

Just ask director Bill Condon, who took the stage for the Toronto International Film Festival’s opening gala on Thursday night with his cast, debuting the new political drama, The Fifth Estate. The film pulls the curtain back on Julian Assange (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) and the rise of WikiLeaks.

The festival audience seemed to embrace it wholeheartedly, giving the film a standing ovation as credits rolled.

Afterward, Condon seemed relieved. “I’m very happy to have shared it with this audience,” he said. “I was feeling nervous but also OK, because it is Toronto. And I think it is just such a great film-loving and open-minded audience. I found that was true when we showed Kinsey here, and it felt the same way tonight.”

Will The Fifth Estate power up awards season? At the champagne-fueled after-party, where Cumberbatch and his castmates hung out, Deadline’s Pete Hammond called the film “this generation’s All the President’s Men.” We’ll see if the DreamWorks tale, told chronologically from WIkiLeaks’ inception through its hugely controversial release of 251,287 diplomatic cables in 2010, inspires a mass audience when it hits theaters on Oct. 18.