Toronto Wrap: Winners, Oscar Contenders and Also-Rans

Festivals
by Anne Thompson
September 18, 2012 4:29 PM
5 Comments
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Kristen Stewart in "On the Road" Comme au Cinema
IFC introduced the shorter (by 15 minutes) version of "On the Road" in Toronto, complete with its most formidable asset, Kristen Stewart, who charmed the fest media like a pro. The company picked up Venice opener "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," directed by Mira Nair, as well as Neil Jordan's stylish take on the vampire thriller, "Byzantium." IFC also pushed Cristian Mungiu's Romanian Cannes and Oscar entry "Beyond the Hills."

Fox Searchlight, which already has plenty on its plate, did not make any buys, allowing "What Maisie Knew," from frequent collaborators David Siegel and Scott McGehee, to go to Millennium, a strange home for a lovely but tricky-to-market film starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan as narcissistic and neglectful parents. Instead the distributor stcuk to promoting its Oscar-contender "The Sessions," starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt.

Focus Features had a mixed bag of tricks. On the one hand Working Title's "Anna Karenina" scored well with audiences and Oscar-watchers, and the company scooped up arguably the biggest title available: Derek Cianfrance's "A Place Beyond the Pines," starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. On the other, "Pines" is a tough watch and may prove a hard sell, and "Hyde Park on Hudson," starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney, was a dud on all fronts.

HBO scored a win with Alex Gibney's hard-hitting assault on the Catholic Church, "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," and acquired, not surprisingly, frequent HBO documentarian Liz Garbus's entertaining feminist take on Marilyn Monroe, "Love, Marilyn."

Here's a summing up of the fest's winners, awards contenders and also-rans. I saw some, missed some, interviewed some (many are still-to-be-posted) and will catch up with many in the months ahead.

AWARDS CONTENDERS

  • "Silver Linings Playbook" (Russell, USA, TWC)
  • "Argo" (Affleck, USA, WB)
  • "Anna Karenina" (Wright, UK, Focus)
  • "The Sessions" (Lewin, USA, Fox Searchlight)
  • "The Master" (Anderson, USA, TWC)
  • "The Impossible" (Bayona, USA, Summit/Lionsgate)

FOREIGN FILM CONTENDERS

  • "Amour" (Haneke, Austria, SPC)
  •  "Barbara" (Petzold, Germany, Adopt Films)
  •  "Pieta" (Kim, South Korea)
  • "No" (Larrain, Chile, SPC)
  • "Beyond the Hills" (Mungiu, Romania, IFC)
  • "A Royal Affair" (Arcel, Denmark, Magnolia) or "Love is All You Need" (Bier, Denmark, SPC)
  • "Reality" (Garrone, Italy, Oscilloscope)

DOC CONTENDERS

  • "The Gatekeepers" (Moreh, Israel, SPC)
  • "Stories We Tell" (Polley, Canada, Roadside)
  • "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God" (Gibney, USA, HBO)
  • "West of Memphis" (Berg, USA, SPC)
  • "Love, Marilyn" (Garbus, USA. HBO)
  • "The Central Park Five" (Burns, USA, PBS)
  • "Venus and Serena" (Baird & Major, USA/UK)

BEST OF THE REST

  • "Rust and Bone" (Audiard, France, SPC)
  • "Looper" (Johnson, USA, Sony)
  • "End of Watch" (Ayer, USA, Open Road)
  • "Cloud Atlas"(Wachowskis, Tykwer, WB)
  • "What Maisie Knew" (Siegel/McGehee, USA, Millennium)
  • "Ginger and Rosa" (Potter, UK)
  • "The Hunt" (Vinterberg, Denmark, Magnolia)
  • "On the Road" (Salles, USA, IFC)
  • "The Sapphires" (Blair, Australia, TWC)
  • "A Hijacking" (Lindholm, Denmark)
  • "Seven Psychopaths" (McDonagh, UK, Lionsgate)
  • "The Place Beyond the Pines" (Cianfrance, USA, Focus)
  • "Sightseers" (Wheatley, UK, IFC)
  • "The Bay" (Levinson, USA, Roadside)
  • "The Attack" (Doueiri, Libya/France/Qatar/Egypt/Belgium)

LESS THAN MEETS THE EYE

  • "The Paperboy" (Daniels, USA. Millennium)
  • "At Any Price" (Bahrani, USA, SPC)
  • "Hyde Park on Hudson" (Michell, UK, Focus)Passion (DePalma, France/Germany, TK)
  •  "To the Wonder" (Malick, USA)

MUST-SEES BASED ON BUZZ (alphabetical)

  • "The Act of Killing" (Oppenheimer, Denmark/Norway/UK)
  • "Bad 25" (Lee, USA, ABC)
  • "Byzantium" (Jordan, UK, IFC)
  • "The Company You Keep" (Redford, USA, SPC)
  • "Ernest & Celestine" (Aubier, Patar & Renner, France/Belgium, GKIDS)
  • "Frances Ha" (Baumbach, USA)
  • "Greetings from Tim Buckley" (Algrant, USA)
  • "Here Comes the Devil" (Bogliano, Mexico/USA)
  • "Imogene' (Pulcini/Berman, USA, Roadside)
  • "Kon-Tiki" (Sandberg, Norway/Denmark/UK)
  • "Lore" (Shortland, Australia)
  • "Midnight's Children" (Mehta, Canada)
  • "Much Ado About Nothing" (Whedon, USA, Roadside)
  • "No Place on Earth" (Tobias, USA/UK/Germany, Magnolia)
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (Chbosky, Summit/Lionsgate)
  • "Paradise: Love" (Seidl, France/Germany/Austria, Strand)
  • "Quartet" (Hoffman, USA, TWC)
  • "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" (Nair, India/Pakistan/USA, IFC)
  • "Song for Marion" (Williams, UK, TWC)
  • "Thanks for Sharing" (Blumberg, USA, Roadside)
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5 Comments

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  • daveylo | September 19, 2012 10:52 AMReply

    I saw most of the films you listed above in Toronto. One surprise for me was the Spanish film Ghost Graduation which should play well to art house audiences. Very funny and a sweet tribute to '80s films and John Hughes movies in particular. Also striking was Dangerous Liaisons with Zhang Ziyi.

  • Michael | September 18, 2012 8:16 PMReply

    Thanks, Anne. Terrific blog as always.

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