Eight TIFF 2017 movies that could end up being Oscar contenders
The end of summer’s blockbuster season signals the beginning of Oscar season, with dozens of prestige films swinging for the critical fences. Here are eight movies coming to the Toronto International Film Festival that are hunting for Academy Awards.
CAST: Jake Gyllenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Clancy Brown
DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay
An adaptation of Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman’s memoir, Stronger deals with one man’s quest to regain normalcy after losing his legs in the explosion. Gyllenhaal and ex-clone Tatiana Maslany star in this true tale of courage, heroism, pain and recovery.
The Mountain Between Us
CAST: Idris Elba, Kate Winslet
DIRECTOR: Hany Abu-Assad
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Cinematography
After a chartered flight goes sideways, a pair of outrageously attractive passengers find themselves dependent upon each other in the majestic, isolating terror of a wintry wilderness. The movie, shot in western Canada, stars an Oscar winner (Winslet) and a Golden Globe winner (Elba). If the on-screen chemistry is there, they could both be in for a few more awards.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
CAST: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell
DIRECTOR: Martin McDonagh
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Picture, Best Director
McDonagh (In Bruges) works magic with character-driven dark comedies about people cast to the fringes. In this one, foul-mouthed Mildred Hayes (McDormand, already an Academy Award winner) posts a trio of billboards that call out her town’s police chief (Harrelson) for failing to capture her daughter’s murderer. Stellar actors and topical themes—racism, war, sexism—give Missouri good timing and great awards potential.
CAST: Carey Mulligan, Jason Clarke, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund
DIRECTOR: Dee Rees
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay
This fist-clenching ensemble drama, set in the Jim Crow–era American South, was well received at Sundance, and its stock should rise with its TIFF screening. Equal parts heart and insight, and anchored by the always awesome Mulligan, Mudbound reworks Hillary Jordan’s novel about a family coping with racism and poverty in the wake of World War II.
CAST: Matt Damon, Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac
DIRECTOR: George Clooney
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay
With an all-star ensemble cast and a script by Joel and Ethan Cohen, this flick promises to be a fun, yet poignant, satire of 1950s American suburbia. Suspense, deceit and social commentary undergird a story that’s about coveting your wife’s sister, but also so much more.
Call Me by Your Name
CAST: Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer
DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay
Call Me by Your Name is the newest offering from Italian auteur Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash, I Am Love). Elio (Chalamet) plays host to his father’s hunky 24-year-old research assistant, Oliver (Hammer), only to find himself torn between his beautiful girlfriend and an awakening attraction to his new male friend.
The Current War
CAST: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston
DIRECTOR: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Director
The Academy loves watching U.S. history brought to life in new, elaborate and expensive ways. Thomas Edison (Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Shannon) are positivity electric (heey-oh!) as they battle for dibs on the creation of marketable electricity in 1870s America. Gomez-Rejon’s skill and imagination turn a geeky science war into an epic.
Battle of the Sexes
CAST: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Sarah Silverman, Elisabeth Shue
DIRECTORS: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton
IN THE RUNNING FOR: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Costume Design
You’d need the doubles court boundaries to contain all the overt chauvinism and Oscar power in this zippy recreation of the legendary 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. As King, defending Best Actress champ Stone trades serves with 2015 Best Actor finalist Carell (as Riggs) in a flick scripted by Oscar winner Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and directed by the Little Miss Sunshine team of Faris and Dayton.