Tales from the opening night

Just before Away We Go screened at the fest last night, John Krasinski, who stars in the film with Maya Rudolph, popped by to mingle with festivalgoers sipping champagne in a private room next to the theatre.

He confessed to being starstruck at the sight of Sean Connery, with whom he shared a red carpet entrance. "How can you not be excited," he said with a big smile. "It's Sean Connery!" Krasinski waxed enthusiastic about being in Edinburgh for the first time and the beauty of the city. He said he was excited about being here and hoped to get a closer look at the castle.

Though, he added, a full day's schedule of interviews looms during his short stay. He had heard about the Oasis concert tying up traffic, so when he was formally introduced to the audience before the film by director Sam Mendes, he strode up to the microphone and announced: "Ladies and Gentlemen--Oasis!"

As the jurors gathered for the after party in one of several wood-paneled rooms in the University's student union, New Yorker Frank Langella and Sacha Horler, of Sydney, marveled about how light it stayed late into the night here.

Very different from the US or Australia. Langella, who spent most of the pre-party chatting with Connery, went on to say the last time he'd been in this city he was 17 years old as part of a student touring musical performance. He brought his 26-year-old daughter Sarah along for this trip.

Sarah plans to squeeze in some sightseeing and visit the castle tomorrow, along with my daughter Danielle, while we jurors spend the afternoon watching films. Here's hoping John Krasinski can slip away from reporters and find time to do a bit of sightseeing as well.

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About Claudia Puig

Claudia Puig is the film critic for USA Today, and is on the Michael Powell Jury at this year's Festival.

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