Now that Oscar campaigns involve a full five months of press events, splashy parties and ukulele deliveries, the Toronto International Film Festival has become the unofficial kickoff of Oscar season. Last September, film-mad Torontonians had the chance to see 16 feature films that are now up for an Academy Award (between drinks at Soho House and rubbing shoulders with Bono, of course). Not to worry if you missed a few—before the little golden men are passed out on Sunday night, we take a look at the movies that started their Oscar journey right here in Toronto. Click here to check out all 16, to see what awards their up for and to view their cinematic trailers »
(Images: Hollywood, afternoon; Toronto, journalistjeff)
The Artist has been nominated for a staggering 10 awards: best picture; best actor in a leading role (Jean Dujardin); best actress in a supporting role (Bérénice Bejo); best art direction; best cinematography; best costume design; best film editing; and best music (original score).
The Descendants was only one of George Clooney’s efforts this year, and it has received a fair share of nods: best picture; best director (Alexander Payne); best actor in a leading role (George Clooney); best film editing; and best writing (adapted screenplay).
Moneyball not only has an all-star cast (names like Brad Pitt and Johah Hill), but it’s based off a popular novel too. It’s up for a total of six Academy Awards: best picture; best actor in a leading role (Brad Pitt); best actor in a supporting role (Jonah Hill); best film editing; best sound mixing; and best writing (adapted screenplay).
Albert Nobbs is one of those movies where a celebrity (Glenn Close) undergoes a wild transformation. That, coupled with some excellent acting, makes it seem inevitable that the film will at least win one award. Its nominations include: best actress in a leading role (Glenn Close); best actress in a supporting role (Janet McTeer); and best makeup.
A Separation explores a marriage that may end in divorce because the couple can’t decide between fleeing Iran in search of a better life or staying and taking care of an ailing parent. It has already received international acclaim, so it’s no surprise that it’s up for best foreign language film and best original screenplay.
A Better Life is a moving story about a father and son who try to make it in America—an well-trod territory, to be sure, but an emotional journey nonetheless. Demián Bichir is nominated for best actor in a leading role.
The Ides of March has George Clooney and Ryan Gosling and yet it’s only nominated for best writing (adapted screenplay). Hmph.
By now you’ve heard the Drive soundtrack at every party you’ve been to this year. Yet it’s only nominated for best sound editing. The Academy is clearly not Gosling’s biggest fan.
Anonymous alleges that William Shakespeare didn’t write a single word of his plays. The Academy cares not for the words of this film. It is nominated for best costume design.
W.E. was panned by critics. Now it is nominated for best costume design.
Paradise Lost 3 documents the lengthy trial and incarceration of the West Memphis Three. It’s nominated for best documentary feature.
Pina, a tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch, has been nominated for best documentary feature.
Undefeated combines American football with hokey American dream sentimentalism. It is nominated for best documentary feature.
Footnote is about a father and son (again!) who see each other often but barely know each other. Hijinks ensue. This Israeli picture is nominated for best foreign language film.
In Darkness follows the lives of a group of Jews who have been hidden in a labyrinthine sewer network in Nazi-occupied Poland. It received a nomination for best foreign language film.
Monsieur Lazhar is about an Algerian immigrant who is brought in to a school to replace a teacher who has committed suicide. The teachers and students learn about grief in the process. The Quebec film is nominated for best foreign language film.