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TIFF: What Toronto Film Fest Lineup Signals For Oscar Race – Analysis

Pete Hammond

I was interviewing Bradley Cooper yesterday and we talked about the emerging 2013 awards season. “I guess we’ll know by Toronto what it’s going to look like this year,” he said remembering he was in back to back World Premieres there last year with Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond The Pines (which Focus bought at TIFF).

That’s certainly true to some degree but in terms of Oscar tea leaves, today’s announcement of the first leg of this year’s all-important Toronto International Film Festival lineup was both significant and a bit of a head scratcher that will have awards watchers looking even more intently to Telluride, Venice and the New York Film Festival to get a more complete picture of just what this season is shaping up to be.

Related: Toronto Fest Unveils Gala Premieres For Oscar Bait Films

Though there were many expected contenders among the 17 galas and 56 special presentations listed , there were curious omissions of movies that might have seemed like no-brainers to go to Toronto. Where for instance were the expected North American debuts of Cannes favorites like The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, Robert Redford‘s tour-de-force work in J.C. Chandor’s stunning All Is Lost or Alexander Payne‘s very well-received Nebraska? Are these movies holding out for a prestigious NY slot instead?  I would be willing to bet (call it a hunch) that all three turn up in Telluride over the Labor Day weekend just before TIFF begins.  Payne loves Telluride and goes even when he doesn’t have a film to show. Redford and the Coens would seem naturals for long overdue Telluride Film Fest tributes. Neither has ever been (of course Redford has his own little ski town festival to keep him occupied). This is the perfect opportunity for that and because Telluride doesn’t announce its schedule in advance  and doesn’t label anything as a “premiere” other fests don’t mind movies that they are debuting sneaking in there first. Read More »

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Toronto Adds Premieres, Sets Midnight Program

By | Tuesday August 17, 2010 @ 8:43am PDT
Mike Fleming

The Toronto International Film Festival has announced the rest of its galas and premieres, and set a program of midnight screenings. The festival has added a diverse roster of films ranging from the Clint Eastwood-directed Hereafter to the Casey Affleck-directed Joaquin Phoenix documentary I’m Not Here to Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire followup 127 Hours, to the Will Ferrell-starrer Everything Must Go. Here are the additions to the program:

GALA PREMIERES

* Last Night, Massy Tadjedin, USA/France World Premiere. The festival’s closing night film. A married couple are apart for a night when the husband takes a business trip with a colleague to whom he’s attracted. While he’s away, his wife encounters her past love. The film stars Keira Knightley, Eva Mendes, Sam Worthington and Guillaume Canet.

*Sarah’s Key Gilles Paquet Brenner, France World Premiere. Based on Tatiana de Rosnay’s best-selling novel, Sarah’s Key tells the story of an American journalist on the brink of making big life decisions regarding her marriage and her unborn child. What starts off as research for an article about the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 in France ends up as a journey towards self discovery as she stumbles upon a terrible secret. The film stars Kristin Scott Thomas, Mélusine Mayance, Niels Arestrup, Frédéric Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy and Aidan Quinn.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

*127 Hours Danny Boyle, USA World Premiere. The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s (James Franco) remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm … Read More »

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Toronto Sets First Batch Of Films In Festival Slate, Kicking Off Oscar Season With High Profile Premieres

Mike Fleming

The 35th anniversary edition of the Toronto Film Festival has set the first part of its film program. So far, the fest has announced 15 Gala premieres and 35 Special Presentations, and 25 World Premieres. Toronto has secured many of the highest profile films, including many that figure to factor in the Oscar race. Here’s the film rundown for the fest, which runs from September 9-19:
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Toronto Fest Taps Hockey Pic For Opener

By | Wednesday July 14, 2010 @ 7:16am PDT
Mike Fleming

Sure, the Toronto International Film Festival is about the jockeying of high-profile pics that starts Oscar season, but hey, it is held in Canada. The September 9 opener? The world premiere gala presentation of Score: A Hockey Musical, a film about a teen hockey phenom who realizes the Canadian dream by being discovered on the ice, and gaining overnight fame. Michael McGowan wrote and directed, and Olivia Newton-John, Marc Jordan, Noah Reid and Allie MacDonald are in the cast, as are Canadian music, broadcast and hockey stars.

Score: A Hockey Musical captures key elements of Canadian identity – our passion for our national pastime, our unique musical style and our special brand of humour,” says Piers Handling, Director and CEO of TIFF. “We’re pleased to welcome back Michael McGowan to the Festival to help us kick off 11 days of exciting programming.”

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