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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

OSCAR WATCH: TIFF Awards


This past Sunday, the award winners for TIFF 2015 were announced and somehow, I ended up missing all the winners. But such is the nature of the beast at such a gargantuan festival, and now I have a number of films to look forward to. Of course, the big story was the reveal of the People's Choice Award winner, which has built up a reputation as a strong indicator for Best Picture Oscar success. This year, that honor went to Lenny Abrahamson's "Room", which was a slight surprise, beating out the popular "Spotlight" into 3rd place. But the question remains, will the Academy really find room (pun intended) for "Room" in the Best Picture lineup?

The answer to that question is especially tricky this year, which seems to be one of the most wide open races in recent history. Although "Spotlight" and "Steve Jobs" have launched to raves, no film thus far has received the slam dunk notices that propelled films like "12 Years a Slave" in the past. What it does prove however, is that Brie Larson will indeed be a force to be reckoned with in Best Actress, even if "Room" ultimately misses out. Additionally, the 3rd place showing for "Spotlight" further confirms that it will play gangbusters to audiences when it finally releases. I think we have our frontrunner.

In terms of the other awards handed out, their impact on the Oscar race is likely to be minimal. At best, we may see some of these being submitted by their respective countries as Foreign Language submissions next year. The NETPAC winner for Best Asian Film premiere "The Whispering Star" could also be Japan's submission next year, but they are always impossible to predict. Among the FIPRESCI critics' prizewinners, Czech-Slovak co-production "Eva Nová" could potentially follow in the footsteps of "Ida", which also won a FIPRESCI award at TIFF 2013.

As we head into the New York Film Festival and AFI Fest though, we'll soon have a clearer idea of where everything stands. For now, here's the list of award winners from the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival:

People's Choice Award (Narrative Feature)
Room
2nd Place: Angry Indian Godesses
3rd Place: Spotlight


People's Choice Award (Documentary Feature)
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight For Freedom
2nd Place: This Changes Everything
3rd Place: Al Purdy Was Here


Discovery Programme Award
Black

FIPRESCI Award (Discovery)
Eva Nová

FIPRESCI Award (Special Presentations)
Desierto

Midnight Madness Award
Hardcore
2nd Place: The Final Girls
3rd Place: Green Room


NETPAC Award
The Whispering Star

Platform Award
HURT
Special Jury Mentions: Neon Bull, The Promised Land, and The Clan

Best Canadian Feature
Closet Monster
Special Jury Mention: My Internship in Canada

Best Canadian First Feature
Sleeping Giant

3 comments:

  1. I'm getting really excited about Room, especially due to the fact that it's got my indie darling Brie Larson. Also looking forward to The Final Girls...my friend was in that!

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    1. I'm dying to see 'Room' too. Looks so good.

      That's so cool about your friend!

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