Connect with us


Oscar Hopefuls, Audience Award Competitors – The Hollywood Reporter



The forty eighth Toronto Worldwide Movie Pageant, from which I simply returned, technically runs by way of Sunday, however by this level, just about each movie within the lineup has screened at the very least as soon as. So, I believed I’d seize this chance to share some impressions of this 12 months’s fest and the awards hopefuls that performed there and in addition provide some knowledgeable hypothesis about which movie might choose up some wind behind its award season sails on Sunday when the fest publicizes the winner of its TIFF Viewers Award.

What was the vibe at this 12 months’s fest?

Given the continuing strikes of actors and writers, pink carpets and pre-screening introductions have been far much less star-studded than in different years. My concern was that this — and the truth that only a few of the award season’s most extremely anticipated movies had elected to premiere at TIFF — might actually depress attendance. That, in flip, may need posed an existential menace to a big group with a employees that works year-round and was already coming off the tough information that it could be dropping its principal sponsor since 1995, phone big Bell (as in, the TIFF Bell Lightbox venue).

However after I bumped into TIFF CEO Cameron Bailey at a reception late within the fest, he indicated that competition attendance was truly up 12 months over 12 months, as was apparently the case on the concurrent Venice Movie Pageant. I’ve no manner of independently verifying that, however I additionally haven’t any cause to doubt Bailey. Possibly numbers have been low final 12 months due to lingering COVID issues, so they’d nowhere to go however up? Who is aware of? However I’m comfortable if TIFF, which I’ve been attending/overlaying since 2007, remains to be going sturdy.

I will even say that, regardless of the strikes, there nonetheless have been fairly just a few huge names on the fest. To make certain, the attendance of a number of was clearly incentivized by the competition’s provide to honor them at the TIFF Tribute Awards, a gala dinner that raises cash for TIFF’s philanthropic efforts. This 12 months’s honorees have been Spike Lee, who didn’t have a movie on the fest, and a handful of people that did: Pedro Almodóvar, author/director of the Sony Classics quick Unusual Method of Life; Patricia Arquette, director of the gross sales title Gonzo Woman; Colman Domingo, star of the gross sales title Sing Sing, which was simply purchased by A24 (and in addition of Netflix’s Rustin); Vicki Krieps, star of the gross sales title The Useless Don’t Damage; Łukasz Żal, cinematographer of the A24 movie The Zone of Curiosity; and Shawn Levy, director of the Netflix restricted collection All of the Gentle We Can not See.

In the meantime, many presenters on the Tribute Awards additionally had ties to tasks taking part in on the fest, together with Barry Jenkins, who was presumably accompanying his companion Lulu Wang, director of the Amazon restricted collection Expats; Willem Dafoe and Camila Morrone, stars of Arquette’s movie; Taika Waititi, director of the Searchlight movie Subsequent Aim Wins; and Viggo Mortensen, director of Krieps’ movie.

A handful of different stars have been on the town merely to attend fest premieres, due to waivers or varied different extenuating circumstances. Amongst them: Nicolas Cage, star of the A24 movie Dream Situation; Christian Friedel, star of The Zone of Curiosity; Elliot Web page, star of the gross sales title Backspot; and Neve Campbell, government producer of the documentary Swan Music.

Which have been the fest’s highest-profile world premieres?

Not that it mattered to the common Torontonian, however just about all of the movies with any awards aspirations that got here to TIFF this 12 months had beforehand screened at different main movie festivals. They got here from Sundance (Netflix’s Truthful Play); Berlin (Sony Classics’ The Instructor’s Lounge); Cannes (The Zone of Curiosity, Neon’s Excellent Days and Anatomy of a Fall, the Palme d’Or winner); Telluride (Netflix’s Nyad and Rustin, Focus’ The Holdovers, Apple’s Fingernails and The Pigeon Tunnel, Sony Classics’ They Shot the Piano Participant and gross sales titles Daddio and Wildcat); and Venice (Neon’s Origin, the most recent from Ava DuVernay, and gross sales title Reminiscence, starring Jessica Chastain and that fest’s greatest actor winner Peter Sarsgaard). One — opening night time choice The Boy and the Heron (GKIDS), the most recent animated image from Hayao Miyazaki — had already been theatrically launched in Japan.

In the meantime, just about none of the movies that TIFF was set to world premiere got here in with a lot awards buzz in any respect — however just a few left with some.

My sense was that even the backers of Wire Jefferson’s American Fiction (Amazon/MGM) and Kristoffer Borgli’s Dream Situation (A24), two good and humorous social satires, have been stunned by the extent of enthusiasm with which these movies have been greeted. Each now strike me as actual contenders for lead performing (Jeffrey Wright and Nicolas Cage, respectively), screenplay (Jefferson for tailored and Borgli for unique), and even perhaps image and directing noms.

Rising with considerably narrower Oscar prospects are two completely entertaining studio pics: Sony’s Dumb Cash, a Craig Gillespie-directed/Paul Dano-led dramatization of the COVID-era GameStop brouhaha. The movie most likely stands its greatest shot within the tailored screenplay class, and possibly additionally the very best ensemble SAG Award race. Apple’s Flora and Son, which, like the sooner John Carney movies As soon as and Start Once more, is an enthralling music-centric dramedy that might be a power within the unique music class. (“Meet in the Middle” is arguably the standout of a number of sturdy choices, the compositions of that are central to the movie’s plot, which is one thing that usually appeals to music department voters).

Becoming a member of the very best documentary characteristic race, in the meantime, is Netflix’s Stamped from the Starting, directed by 2023 MVP Roger Ross Williams. He additionally helmed this 12 months’s narrative characteristic Cassandro (Amazon/MGM), documentary characteristic Like to Love You, Donna Summer season (HBO Max) and docuseries The Tremendous Fashions (Apple). Stamped goes deep on the historical past of racism in America, not in contrast to DuVernay’s aforementioned narrative movie (though that one additionally appears to be like at prejudice past America’s borders), for which Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor shall be a greatest actress contender.

Lastly, there have been just a few movies that prompted pre-fest awards hypothesis however performed to me as purely industrial: Searchlight’s Cool Runnings-like comedy Subsequent Aim Wins, starring Michael Fassbender, and Amazon/MGM’s dramedy The Burial, led by Oscar winners Jamie Foxx and Tommy Lee Jones.

What about gross sales titles?

There have been just a few that had distributors buzzing, none extra so than Hit Man, which reunites filmmaker Richard Linklater with Glen Powell, the actor he had beforehand forged in his movies Quick Meals Nation and All people Desires Some!!, and who’s evolving right into a full-fledged star. “This is the sort of movie that a big studio would have bought [at TIFF] in the old days,” one high-level exec informed me on the fest. It is going to certainly promote quickly, most likely to a streamer.

I additionally checked out James HawesOne Life, a dramatization of the lifetime of Holocaust hero Nicholas Winton, who you’ve most likely seen in this legendary clip. The movie isn’t with out its flaws, however I do know that some distributors are serious about choosing it up due to the shifting portrayal of Winston as an older man by two-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, who might theoretically be campaigned within the supporting actor race.

After which there’s Ezra, Tony Goldwyn’s affecting movie a few father (Bobby Cannavale) and his autistic son (William Fitzgerald). The forged additionally contains Rose Byrne, Robert De Niro and Goldwyn’s Ghost co-star Whoopi Goldberg. “With the right support, I am 100 percent certain that this film can break through to a wide audience the way CODA did,” Goldwyn informed me earlier this week.

So what’s profitable the viewers award?

Over the prior 16 years that I’ve lined TIFF, 14 TIFF viewers award winners went on to nominations for the very best image Oscar, and 5 of these movies received — Slumdog Millionaire (2008), The King’s Speech (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2013), Inexperienced E-book (2018) and Nomadland (2020). That’s a fairly spectacular observe file.

But it surely’s unimaginable to confidently predict which movie will win the TIFF viewers award in any given 12 months, not least as a result of the method by which votes are tallied is a bit opaque. Voting is performed on-line. The fest, in an try and be honest, supposedly curves scores based mostly on the scale of the venue(s) through which a movie screened and what number of instances a movie screened. And the fest apparently has anti-ballot-stuffing measures in place, however who is aware of how efficient these are?

So, one can solely provide semi-educated guesses, drawing upon one’s personal impressions of movies and one’s sense of how others on the fest reacted to movies (by way of applause within the theater, chatter round city, and so on.). And even then, one could be very flawed. As an illustration, I’d have wager something that Juno had the viewers award wrapped up in 2007, based mostly on the super response it acquired within the room following its premiere however, in some way, Japanese Guarantees as a substitute walked away with it. After which in 2011, much more shockingly, the Lebanese movie The place Do We Go Now? beat out the likes of The Artist, The Descendants and Moneyball.

With that throat-clearing out of the way in which, I’d enterprise a guess that the viewers award will go to American Fiction. If not, maybe Dream Situation, Sing Sing, Dumb Cash, Rustin, Nyad, The Holdovers or Origin. Hit Man can’t be completely dominated out however not since The place Do We Go Now? has a movie with out U.S. distribution received the viewers award.

What’s subsequent?

TIFF’s 2023 version is now within the rearview mirror (although competition attendees’ “argh”-ing remains to be ringing in my ears), so it’s time to start out fascinated about the subsequent stops on the awards circuit.

Subsequent week, Disney will start screening Gareth EdwardsThe Creator, a sci-fi flick starring John David Washington that the studio thinks might be greater than only a below-the-line contender (suppose District 9).

Then, the New York Movie Pageant will run Sept. 29 by way of Oct. 13, and can host the North American premieres of Bradley Cooper’s Maestro (Netflix), Michael Mann’s Ferrari (Neon) and Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla (A24), all of which went over tremendously in Venice.

October will even carry the Newport Seaside Worldwide Movie Pageant (Oct. 12-19); the Middleburg Movie Pageant (Oct. 19-22); the SCAD Savannah Movie Pageant (Oct. 21-28), which, amongst a number of thrilling programming, shall be internet hosting tenth annual Docs to Watch panel that I reasonable annually (panelists shall be introduced subsequent week); and AFI Fest (Oct. 25-29), which is ready to open with the world premiere of Sam Esmail’s Julia Roberts/Mahershala Ali automobile Depart the World Behind (Netflix).

So fasten your seatbelts, the race is simply rushing up.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *