North Stars

The Toronto Film Critics Association sings ‘Happy Birthday’ to Sarah Polley


Just days after Bradley Cooper was serenaded at the Palm Springs International Film Festival on his 38th birthday, Canadian filmmaker Sarah Polley got her own surprise birthday song at another awards ceremony.

On Tuesday, the 34-year-old "Stories We Tell" director nabbed the $100,000 Toronto Film Critics Association (TFCA) prize for best Canadian film (as well as the Allan King Documentary Award) for her documentary about her late mother's affair, which resulted in Polley's birth. It turned out to be an extra-special occasion, as it also happened to be Polley's birthday, which host Cameron Bailey lost no time revealing to the crowd.

See also: Sarah Polley: Why I made a film about my mother's affair

"I have to embarrass you because it's your birthday," he said into the mic, and went on to ask the audience to sing "Happy Birthday" to the visibly uncomfortable Ontario native.

"Oh my God," Polley said as the audience began a rousing rendition of the tune.

Polley at the TIFF 2012 premiere of "Stories We Tell." (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)

But the "Splice" star looked genuinely touched and thanked the crowd after they had finished serenading her.

"I just want to say this is a beautiful end to the best year of my life," she said.

See also: The full list of 2013 Academy Award nominees

Not only did Polley see the release of two movies in 2012 ("Stories" and "Take This Waltz"), but also she gave birth to her daughter, Eve, in February. And despite her recent accolades, the new mom is happy for her daughter to grow up to be completely different.

"As a child actor, I was not encouraged to be a child. I felt I had to be incredibly professional, to be a mini-adult who wasn't able to play, or experiment with my sense of wonder or mischievousness," Polley told the U.K. Independent in December. "I have a child of my own now, so it's been fun to watch her sense of joy and wonder and become connected with the idea of what play is."