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David Poland

By David Poland

32 Weeks To Oscar: Toronto Gala Roll-Out Begins

Today was the first Galas announcement from the Toronto International Film Festival.

There are some very interesting titles on the list, but not a lot that looks like it could leap—especially within a few months—into moving into the Oscars race in a serious way. But you never know. Some of the familiar and/or interesting names on the list of directors premiering their films at TIFF: Kelly Reichardt, Nicole Holofcener, Richard Ayoade, Richard Shepard, Sylvain Chomet, Mike Myers, David Frankel, Paul Haggis, John Curran, Jonathan Glazer, Roger Michell, Matthew Weiner, Keanu Reeves, Ralph Fiennes,John Ridley, Jason Bateman and Atom Egoyan.

In terms of Oscar movies, the festival opens with The Fifth Estate, which is good news/bad news. TIFF has vastly improved their opening night selections in the last few years, so I don’t consider it a problem to be slotted there anymore. But maybe it says more about what isn’t right about Devil’s Knot, the new Atom Egoyan about the West Memphis Three, than about what’s right with Bill Condon’s latest. In the end, the movie is all that really matters. And I am expecting a good one. (And good news for Cumberbitches… he has 2 other films at TIFF – Osage & Slave.)

Another nine serious Oscar contenders are also on the Gala/Special Presentations schedule;
August: Osage County
Dallas Buyers Club
Labor Day
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Twelve Years a Slave

I expect we will see the addition of Cannes titles Nebraska and Inside Llewyn Davis to the TIFF list. Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips is expected to go to Venice (and thus, probably Toronto, but probably not Telluride). Hard to imagine why Out of the Furnace wouldn’t show up in Toronto. If Wolf of Wall Street does any festivals, I’d expect it to be at NYFF. Spike Jonze’s Her… who knows?

Still holding out, it would seem (wait for the NYFF announcements), are late entries Lone Survivor and The Counselor, Grace of Monaco, and three big expectation titles, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, and Monuments Men.

I’m tired already.

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29 Responses to “32 Weeks To Oscar: Toronto Gala Roll-Out Begins”

  1. Keil S. says:


  2. YancySkancy says:

    Keil: Cumberbitches are Cumberbatch fans.

  3. Keil S. says:

    Nice. Hadn’t even read the whole article…just noticed what I thought was a hilarious typo.

  4. Jamie says:

    And for all who love him: YES HUGH JACKMAN CAN ACT


  5. I’ve heard Captain Phillips could do Telluride but that was a number of weeks ago.

    Out of the Furnace is skipping all fests. I guess it could do the cheap LA premiere/AFI Fest thing like Relativity did with “The Fighter.” It would have been a perfect Telluride movie, and given the cast, would have made a splash at Toronto. Alas.

    Wall Street does make a lot of sense for NYFF, for obvious reasons. Hmm.

  6. Chris L. says:

    “Her” is the one I’m most eager about. Is there any sort of buzz on “Third Person,” though? With that cast, seems like it might be worth a look, given that “Valley of Elah” was a considerable leap forward from “Crash.” (Which isn’t by itself saying much, I know…)

  7. Smith says:

    I hadn’t really focused on the fall releases, but this is a pretty exciting list of titles and filmmakers. If even half of these deliver on their potential it’s going to be a great fall.

  8. palmtree says:

    I’m loving the new Gravity trailer. Anyone still laughing about it?

  9. LYT says:

    It’s interesting – readers at my site are thoroughly, vocally disinterested in seeing Gravity, primarily because they don’t like hopeless situations and think the plot is pretty obviously one.

    Nor do many of them recognize Cuaron’s name. So among the sci-fi fanbase this has less of a guaranteed turnout than I thought.

  10. leahnz says:

    the ‘gravity’ trailer was pretty cool, but a) the people losing their shit over how awesome it is must be on some serious psychotropic weed or something; and b) i thought cuaron had said somewhere that he was going for the realistic sound design for space whereby there is none, so only intercom voices and the astronauts breathing and such would be heard, but there was booming and crashing and all sorts of noise in the trailer when the debris hits the spacecraft and all hell breaks loose, so now i’m confused (or maybe i’m misremembering what i read)

  11. Monco says:

    Trying to stay as in the dark as possible about Gravity but I just read an article that says it opens with a 17 minute tracking shot. Nothing that hasn’t been done before to be sure but it seems to me that this will at least be building off visual themes from Children of Men which can only be a good thing in my opinion. Couldn’t care less about it’s Oscar chances though. As someone who use to consider the show my Superbowl, I now think it is an absolute joke. I like it better if I movie I highly regard doesn’t get nominated such as The Master.

  12. Smith says:

    leah – not sure if you’re referring to the original trailer or the one that just came out (all one take), but in the latter, there’s no diegetic sound except for dialogue – everything else is the music track. i’m kind of hoping they drop the music for the film itself – would love to see the movie play out in near silence, but that’s probably wishful thinking.

  13. leahnz says:

    smith, thanks for the heads up — i’d just assumed the one i saw only two days ago before ‘the world’s end’ was the most recent trailer but i see what you mean in the newer one (linked above by palmtree, just assumed it was the one i’d already seen) featuring a continuous shot (nice) with the dramatic score; fingers crossed for the sound of silence as indicated by cuaron in the film, hopefully the silent vacuum of space was deemed too quiet for marketing, trying to drum up excitement and butts on seats.

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Leahnz: What did you think of The World’s End? I can’t talk about it yet.

  15. leahnz says:

    Joe haha that link, you sly devil you (i don’t understand though – was it sad that only you and one other person even bothered to show up for the screening, or happy because you were the only two invited? hopefully the latter) anyway i’m an unabashed wright/pegg/frost fan so i’m hardly the toughest critic, but i (and seemingly everyone else in the theatre) thought it was hilarious, and weird and cringeworthy (ie gary king haha) and endearing and unexpectedly downbeat and tragic and strangely touching and limb-flailingly action-packed, with the expected dallop of wright/pegg social commentary on the human condition – quite a combo really, and a bit of a tour de force for pegg. i mentioned in the other thread my new pithy movie quote is “let’s boo boo” for when i want to leave, and that i may just take a crazy straw on my next sojourn to the pub for some pints.

  16. christian says:

    “readers at my site are thoroughly, vocally disinterested in seeing Gravity, primarily because they don’t like hopeless situations and think the plot is pretty obviously one.

    Nor do many of them recognize Cuaron’s name.”

    LYT, that says more about your readers than the film….

  17. Joe Leydon says:

    Leahnz: I think I may have been the only local critic invited because I’m interviewing the guys this weekend.

    The funny thing is, I’ll get the impression that Edgar Wright really wishes audiences could come into the movie without knowing anything about what is revealed at the half-hour mark. Unfortunately, since the beans are spilled in all the advertising…

    Reminds me of another movie I wrote about back in 1999.

  18. palmtree says:

    christian, nailed it! Seriously, anyone who says art should be there to make them feel hopeful about life is probably an enemy of art.

  19. Sam says:

    Most of the people who see Gravity will not know Cuaron’s name. However much we enjoy being elitist around here, people like us are not good barometers of box office potential.

  20. The Big Perm says:

    Exactly…like everyone on the internet is shocked, shocked that Pacific Rim didn’t do that well. I would have been more surprised if it had.

  21. palmtree says:

    Yes, elitism is a poor judge of mass taste, but then again, this was originally an Oscar thread. If it gets the noms, it could likely get past $100 mil, which is just fine. Gravity has probably half the budget of Pacific Rim. There isn’t as much of the need to justify itself through a huge gross.

  22. anghus says:

    I would put Children of Men in my list of the twenty best films ever made.

  23. leahnz says:

    interesting, Joe (i actually knew pretty much NOTHING about ‘arlington road’ when i went to see it on a whim at a matinee showing when my son was an infant – i used to do that a lot just to get out of the house and away from babyville for a bit so i didn’t go nuts – and i thought it was a terrific little flick from the horribly shocking opening scene to the last dreadful reveal) — but yeah certainly no secret due to the ‘world’s end’ marketing…i don’t think i can really say anything more specific without spoiling it but that seems a real pity the film-maker’s wishes about how a film should be marketed are just disregarded like so much dryer lint, must be really frustrating.

  24. Triple Option says:

    I’ll admit I’m more game for Gravity since seeing the latest trailer.

  25. Steven Kaye says:

    Who cares about Toronto? The best film of the year – Blue Jasmine – starts its roll-out this weekend, featuring the winner of the 2014 Oscar for Best Actress, Cate Blanchett.

  26. Sam says:

    Can’t wait for the weekly posts about how Blue Jasmine beats Man of Steel, Pacific Rim, etc, at the box office, based on how by that point they’ll have slipped down the charts for the individual weekends Blue Jasmine is making all its money.

  27. pj says:

    Good TIFF lineup. Cant wait to see where the dust settles.

  28. YancySkancy says:

    After its first showings today, BLUE JASMINE had already grossed more than THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON and BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN combined.

  29. palmtree says:

    We knew all knew he loved Woody Allen, but did any of you know he can TIME TRAVEL? Don’t mess with Steven Kaye or he’ll make sure your parents never meet.

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