<p>Forest Whitaker in &quot;Lee Daniels' The&nbsp;Butler&quot;</p>

Forest Whitaker in "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

'Lee Daniels' The Butler' takes less crowded original screenplay path under 'inspired by' classification

The WGA agrees, but will the Academy? Remember 'Syriana?'

You may have heard about Wil Haygood's 2008 Washington Post article "A Butler Well Served by This Election," which told the story of Eugene Allen, an African American butler who served 30 years of presidents in the White House, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan. His story, and that article, became the inspiration for the film "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and in some ways, it could be argued as an adapted screenplay.

However, surely sensing that there was leeway, and no doubt taking note of how typically competitive the Best Adapted Screenplay race is this year, The Weinstein Company has kept the rhetoric on "inspired by." Ergo, the distributor will be angling for Best Original Screenplay consideration on the awards circuit. I called the WGA's credits department this afternoon, and indeed, the guild classifies the script original as well.

Given the liberties taken with Allen's story, this isn't really a surprise. We've been running on an adapted assumption around here but there we are. But I'm nevertheless reminded of a somewhat similar situation back in 2005 regarding the screenplay for Stephen Gaghan's "Syriana." I remember it well because I broke the story.

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<p>&quot;Mother, I Love You&quot;</p>

"Mother, I Love You"

Credit: Film Studio Tanka

Latvia's 'Mother, I Love You' the latest child-focused entry in foreign Oscar race

Coming-of-age tale won awards at the Berlin and Los Angeles fests

From "Forbidden Games" to "Cinema Paradiso," "Kolya" to "In a Better World," the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar race has long been friendly to films driven by child protagonists -- the more winsome the kid, the better. Last year saw a harder-edged variation on the formula succeed, as Canada's child-soldier drama "War Witch" scored a nod. This year, however, voters are already spoilt for choice when its comes to determining this year's semi-annual child's-eye slot; I've already lost count of the number of times I've typed "coming of age" during this year's submission process.

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<p>Jay Baruchel at the &quot;This Is The End &quot;&nbsp;premiere in June.</p>

Jay Baruchel at the "This Is The End " premiere in June.

Credit: AP Photo/Chris PIzzello

Jay Baruchel on 'Goon' sequel, when Batman met Commissioner Gordon on 'Robocop' and more

Plus: Does he really dislike Los Angeles?

TORONTO - Let's just call it as it is: Jay Baruchel is a freakin' cool dude. The self-described movie nerd took the train into Toronto Tuesday to help promote "The Art of the Steal," a new heist comedy that premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. And, thankfully, the 31-year-old Montreal resident is still as blunt and friendly as ever when talking to the press.

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<p>Colin&nbsp;Firth and Nicole Kidman in&nbsp;&quot;The Railway Man&quot;</p>

Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in "The Railway Man"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Toronto: Weinstein buys 'Eleanor Rigby' and 'The Railway Man'

Harvey continues to load up his 2014 slate

Harvey Weinstein is busy as ever this festival season. After picking up "Tracks" during Telluride/Venice and "Can a Song Save Your Life?" at Toronto, he's landed two more distribution deals up north as the festival begins to draw to a close.

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<p>Daniel&nbsp;Radcliffe and Zoe&nbsp;Kazan in &quot;The&nbsp;F Word&quot;</p>

Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in "The F Word"

Credit: CBS Films

Toronto: CBS Films picks up 'The F Word' with Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan

A romantic comedy for a new generation finds a home

I remember a little script on the Black List called "The F Word." Shows how much I've been paying attention that I didn't know it was being made, let alone ready to show in Toronto. So it was, so it is and so it's been acquired, by CBS Films.

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<p>Ryan Gosling in &quot;Only God Forgives.&quot;</p>

Ryan Gosling in "Only God Forgives."

Credit: TWC-Radius

'Only God Forgives,' 'The Impossible' among 46 films in running for European Film Awards

Once more, 'Blue is the Warmest Color' must wait until next year

Last year, I had the great pleasure of attending the European Film Awards -- the continent's answer to the Oscars -- in Malta. As predicted by pretty much everyone, Michael Haneke's "Amour" cleaned up that night -- much as it did almost every Best Foreign Language Film prize on the awards circuit across the pond. This year, it seems a much more competitive field, as indicated by the longlist of 46 films for this year's EFAs.

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<p>Daniel Radcliffe at the Toronto International Film Festival press conference for &quot;The F Word.&quot;&nbsp; Two other films of his, &quot;Kill Your Darlings&quot;&nbsp;and &quot;Horns,&quot;&nbsp;are being screened at the festival this year.</p>

Daniel Radcliffe at the Toronto International Film Festival press conference for "The F Word."  Two other films of his, "Kill Your Darlings" and "Horns," are being screened at the festival this year.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Daniel Radcliffe admits it would 'break' him to never act again

Plus: How did Amanda Bynes come up in conversation?

TORONTO - Things are going well for Daniel Radcliffe.

It isn't easy transitioning from playing one of the most iconic figures in recent literary and cinematic history for over half your life to seemingly less magical roles. Or, perhaps that should be edited to note the transition is about an industry and not the actor himself. Because, as you'll learn, even Radcliffe has had to fight for roles in independent films you'd assume would kill to have someone with his notoriety on board. 2013, however, has seen the fruits of his labors. In January, he received strong reviews for his portrayal of Allen Ginsberg in the period drama "Kill Your Darlings." Sony Classics acquired the picture and it screened at the Venice Film Festival last week. It plays the Toronto International Film Festival this evening.

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<p>Matthew McConaughey in &quot;Dallas Buyers Club&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey in "Dallas Buyers Club"

Credit: Focus Features

Matthew McConaughey bursts into crowded Best Actor field with career-best 'Dallas Buyers Club' portrayal

How does anyone on the outside even begin to crack this field?

I honestly can't wait to talk to Matthew McConaughey again this year. We sat down at Sundance to discuss Jeff Nichols' "Mud" in some detail, but I'm ready to really dig in on what has driven the actor to such a profound turnaround in his career. It's been covered in fits and starts and superficial flourishes by the media, but I'm ready to get serious. It's fascinating to me.

We've been keyed into the "McConaissance," as it were, for quite some time. Over a year ago we were pondering 2012 as a watershed year for the actor, noting the kinds of talent he was working with: Nichols on "Mud" (which premiered at Cannes in 2012), William Friedkin on "Killer Joe," Steve Soderbergh on "Magic Mike," Lee Daniels on "The Paperboy," Richard Linklater on "Bernie," etc. When you're trying to turn your career around, the first thing you do is sign up to work with a different breed of filmmaker.

This year, "Mud" has finally arrived and become one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year. McConaughey has landed the lead role in Christopher Nolan's next big blockbuster, "Interstellar." Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" is still to come, the trailer for HBO's "True Detective" promises an intriguing transition to television for the actor and, oh, that Oscar buzz we were expecting to accompany his performance in Jean-Marc Vallée's "Dallas Buyers Club?" It's here.

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<p>Scarlett Johansson in &quot;Under the Skin&quot;</p>

Scarlett Johansson in "Under the Skin"

Credit: A24

Toronto: A24 picks up 'Under the Skin' with Scarlett Johansson and 'Locke' with Tom Hardy

Indie distributor is wheelin' and dealin' early in the fall fest circuit

The funny thing about Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" is that we pretty much called it. Okay, not in print, but Greg Ellwood and I were talking to A24 publicity at the Telluride Film Festival last week and he put it bluntly: "So, you'll be picking up 'Under the Skin,'" he said. "It's an A24 film if there ever was one." And so it is.

I'm glad A24 is out there grabbing titles like this, films that challenge even in the indie vein and might not be attractive buys in the current market for the companies that might have grabbed them in the past. And mostly, I'm just excited I'll definitely be able to see Glazer's latest, which I kept missing at Telluride and again missed at an LA screening after the fest (it's been playing Toronto this week).

Greg called the film a "near-masterpiece" at Telluride, noting that "Glazer has created a conversation piece that will be talked about long after the blockbusters of this year and next have come and gone." He gave high marks to Scarlett Johansson for her performance as well. Guy, meanwhile, called it "the riskiest, most extravagantly sensual and image-fuelled film in Competition at Venice."

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<p>Paulina Garcia (far right) in Chilean Oscar entry &quot;Gloria.&quot;</p>

Paulina Garcia (far right) in Chilean Oscar entry "Gloria."

Credit: Roadside Attractions

Chile's 'Gloria,' Australia's 'The Rocket' among recent entries in foreign Oscar race

Where do we currently stand in this wide-open category?

While in Venice, I lost track somewhat of the submissions process for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar -- and at this stage, with the deadline for entries only a few weeks away, turning your back on the process for even a few days means you feel significantly behind. Last time I checked in, five films had been submitted; today, by my count, the number has gone up to 22. I've gathered them all on the category's Contenders page for your reference, and even done some preliminary ranking based on the entries so far; expect considerable movement there as new films join the race. As always, inside tips and insights from our international readers are most welcome, so don't be shy.

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