"Slumdog Millionaire," "The King's Speech," "American Beauty"...as the pre-screening ads at TIFF this year reminded viewers, the Audience Award at the festival has usually been a strong augur of Oscar potential, and in 2012 it looks like the season may belong to David O. Russell's latest effort.
With awards being handed out today, it has been announced that "Silver Linings Playbook" has taken the coveted, viewer-voted prize. And it's hardly a shocker. Between this film and Ben Affleck's "Argo," the pair of films arguably enjoyed the best buzz at the fest with near unanimous positive reception from both audiences and critics.
Starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker, Russell's film tells the tale of a man recently released from a psychiatric institute who seeks to rebuild his life after a bitter divorce. He crosses paths with an equally damaged young woman, and together they try to move on with their lives. The movie is a flat out hilarious crowd-pleaser, but that also feels fresh and invigorating. While the performances are all very strong, Jennifer Lawrence now becomes a major (and well-deserved) contender for Best Actress as hers is easily the highlight of the film and one that had many around Toronto talking (read our review here).
This is big news for The Weinstein Company and you can expect them to give this a major push as it heads toward its November 21st release date. Full list of winners below.
People's Choice Award:
"Silver Linings Playbook," directed by David O. Russell
Runners-up: "Argo," directed by Ben Affleck and "Zaytoun," directed by Eran Riklis
People's Choice Award For Documentary:
"Artifact," directed by Bartholomew Cubbins
Runners-up: "Storm Surfers 3D," directed by Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan, and "Revolution," directed by Rob Stewart
People's Choice Award For Midnight Madness:
"Seven Psychopaths," directed by Martin McDonagh
Runners-up: "The Bay," directed by Barry Levinson and "John Dies at the End," directed by Don Coscarelli
Best Canadian Feature Film:
"Laurence Anyways," directed by Xavier Dolan
Best Canadian First Feature Film:
"Antiviral," directed by Brandon Cronenberg and "Blackbird," directed by Jason Buxton (TIE)
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section:
"In the House," directed by François Ozon
Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section:
"Call Girl," directed by Mikael Marcimain
NETPAC Award For Best Asian Film:
"The Land of Hope," directed by Sion Sono
Award For Best Canadian Short Film:
"Keep a Modest Head," directed by Deco Dawson