The only big sister we ever had isgone.Toronto film critic AngelaBaldassarre succumbed to canceron the morning of November 15.She wrote widely about movies,collecting some of her work in TheGreat Dictators: Interviews WithFilmmakers Of Italian Descent andReel Canadians: Interviews FromThe Canadian Film World. Most recentlyshe reviewed for Sympatico-MSN.
For her colleagues, though, hermost important gig was as thevice-president and lifeblood of theToronto Film Critics Association.Through most of the past decade,Baldassarre kept an unruly bunchof critics talking to each other, organizingour annual awards dinnerand connecting us to the internationalfederation of critics,FIPRESCI.Thanks to Angie, some ofus travelled around the world tojoin our peers on film festival juries.She herself served on juries inMoscow, Chicago, Amsterdam andToronto.
Thanks to Angie, Paul ThomasAnderson came to dinner on afrigid January night. He?d won theTFCA?s top prizes for Magnolia, andhe brought partner Fiona Apple toa little Italian restaurant on St.Clair. St. Clair West was Baldassarre?sfront yard. She was born inToronto, but was always proudlyItalian. She didn?t much advertiseit, but she was part of SophiaLoren?s extended family.
As a big sister, Angela wasn?tshy about her opinions. She neverdeveloped Canadian diffidence.She fought to make a family of thepeople in this city who write aboutmovies. She fought cancer, twice.And just when it seemed like she?djoined the convent of single professionalcritics, she found love,married and gave birth to herdaughter Arianna. She lived in theactive tense.