The Toronto International Film Festival announced this year's award winners and moviegoers in the Great White North have once again found a way to influence the always competitive Oscar race.
David O. Russell's adaptation of Matthew Quick's novel "The Silver Linings Playbook" won the notable People's Choice Award this year. Ben Affleck's "Argo" and Eran Rikli's "Zaytoun" were first and second runners up. "Playbook" now joins "Slumdog Millionaire," "The King's Speech" and "Precious" as recent awards season players who were able to snag the festival's most publicity worthy honor. Even if it doesn't lead to Oscar glory, the win certainly is a key indicator that The Weinstein Company may have a much needed box office smash waiting in the wings.
Having attended the world premiere of "Playbook" at Roy Thompson Hall, it was clear the audience adored the unexpected love story. Moreover, Weinstein not only has a serious best picture player on their hands but a best actor candidate in Bradley Cooper, a best actress contender in Jennifer Lawrence and directing and potential screenwriting and directing nods for Russell. And don't be surprised if Robert De Niro sneaks into the best supporting actor field for his first nomination in 20 years.
[Watch an extended clip from "Silver Linings Playbook" at the top of this post.]
Among the festival's other honors, CBS Films' "Seven Psychopaths" took home the Midnight Madness People's Choice Award giving the CBS film division their first awards worthy picture in their short history. The dark comedy starring Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson arrives in theaters on Oct. 12. Barry Levinson's warmly received "The Bay" was first runner up in this category. Sundance Film Festival Midnight selection "John Dies at the End" was second runner up.
In something of a shock, the People's Choice Award for Documentary went to "Artifact." The doc focusing on the difficulties of Jared Leto and his band Thirty Second to Mars in the music business beat out "Storm Surfers 3D" and "Revolution." It was assumed that Sarah Polley's critically acclaimed "Stories We Tell" would win this honor, but doc went home empty handed.
Other winners included "Laurence Anyways" for Best Canadian Feature Film and "Antiviral" and "BlackBird" for Best Canadian First Film. The FIPRESCI International Critic's prizes when to Francois Ozen's "Dans la maison" and Mikael Marcimain's "Call Girl."
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
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