Both Indiewire’s Anne Thompson and Jeff Wells have invoked the “O” word with the Silver Linings Playbook in Toronto. The David O. Russell film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

Anne says:

#TIFF12 the Oscar race is on: silver linings playbook with a happily smiling harvey behind it will be a major contender across the board.

And Jeff says:

I haven’t felt this knocked over & blown away by such a surprise hit in years. David O. Russell’s biggest hit of his career. Total winner!

Jeff goes on to write a longer review but it seems like a big celebration all the way around. It looks like a good year, once again, for the Weinstein Co. Silver Linings might be sappy enough to win Best Pic (if anyone can convince them David O. Russell is a nice guy and Bradley Cooper is an Oscar-worthy leading man it’s Harvey Weinstein). Also on their slate, The Master, which just won in Venice (but getting 6,000 Oscar voters to pick that one? Nearly impossible) and way, way overdue cinematic genius, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. You have to choose, Sophie. I don’t know how they will juggle these three titles.

Funny, of all of the films the Weinstein Co. showed footage of in Cannes, this one seemed the least interesting. But maybe coming from the behind is always the better way to take on Oscar. But without solid reviews yet it’s hard to say where it will go. This is always the case with much buzzed about films at festivals by bloggers and not critics. Announcing a film is going to be a major Oscar player is incredibly difficult to do early on. But if you go by festival buzz, Argo, The Master and The Silver Linings Playbook just entered the Oscar race, joining Moonrise Kingdom, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Wild cards would be The Dark Knight Rises and Anna Karenina.

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  • Robin

    This may or may not be a serious BP contender (I certainly think it’ll at least be nominated) but one thing’s for certain, we finally have a frontrunner for Best Actress. The way things look at the moment, Lawrence could win this in a walk.

  • Marion Magura

    What about “CLOUD ATLAS”? Is it too much out of your range of your “Hollywood”-type-style conventional movie-telling? Is it too “experimental” in transporting the story that it tells from book to film? Please keep in mind: The oiginal book was condemned to be unable to translate to film by Hollyood-standard. And during a working holiday, the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer were able to write the screenplay and put it on screen. Whereas other projects are in “development hell” forewer and never get made. Am very much impressed what they were able to accomplish in “no time”. And finance an put on the screen indepndenly, wihout any help from a studio.

  • Reechard Mlmn

    DJANGO DJANGO DJANGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Great Dane

    Having starred in Hunger Games certainly boosts Lawrence a LOT this year. But is she really there YET? When the young and “fuckable” win, they usually have to have had a career for many years in spite of their youth – and their role often has a psysical transformation attached – or at least some de-glam (Black Swan, Boys Don’t Cry, Monster, Monster’s Ball, Million Dollar Baby, La Vie en Rose). Does Lawrence look to good/girlie in the film to win? And is it actually a supporting performance? The reviews I’ve read so far about Playbook say she steals the movie, but it also seems from the reviews she’s more ensemble/large supporting player than a co-lead.

    I DOUBT Cooper will get in, though. He has to do ugly or weird to get in and get a nomination. That’s how the pretty poster boys (Pitt, Cruise, Depp) get into the Oscar club.

  • And Robin, to the millions of mainstream moviegoers in this country, if Lawrence wins, it will be actually for her performance in The Hunger Games. Even though Oscar members won’t admit it even on threat of waterboarding.

  • I don’t think we can take another Swinestein pic winning Best Film at the Oscars again. Hopefully all 3 will cancel each other out.

  • phantom

    As divisive as it might be, Jeff Wells and a lot of other are raving about ‘Anna Karenina’, as well. Could this be the type of love/hate contender that could be helped greatly by last year’s new “5%/No1” rule ?

    Also, recent tidbits (I read a lot of festival reviews in the last couple of days) :
    – Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Quartet’ is apparently a charming crowdpleaser
    – Joss Whedon’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is hilarious
    – ‘Cloud Atlas’ is epic, but probably not for everyone
    – ‘End of Watch’ is an above-average cop thriller
    – ‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’ typical, cliched coming-of-age film
    – ‘What Maisie Knew’ wonderful character-driven piece
    – ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ probably excellent, but not for the Academy
    – ‘Imogene’ mediocre with decent performances
    – ‘Passion’ ditto
    – ‘Looper’ is an excellent sci-fi
    – ‘The Company You Keep’ might just be Redford’s best film in years
    – ‘To the Wonder’ will be more divisive than ‘The Tree of Life’
    – ‘Hyde Park on Hudson’ seems to have one good shot at an Oscar nomination : Bill Murray
    – ‘Frances Ha’ is a delight, Gerwig is a delight to watch
    – Elle Fanning is a powerhouse in ‘Ginger and Rosa’
    – ‘The Iceman’ is good/great, Shannon and Ryder are definitely great
    – ‘Stories We Tell’ should be a serious contender in Best Documentary

    Observations so far
    – ‘Argo’, ‘The Master’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ are top5 contenders at the moment…add the very promising, yet unseen ‘Django Unchained’, and we could easily have another Weinstein-year
    – I’m willing to bet that both ‘The Master’ (Phoenix, Hoffman, Adams) and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ (Cooper, Lawrence, De Niro) will get at least 3-3 acting nominations. They have the reviews, the strong bp-chances and most importantly the Weinstein-push. For me the only question remains, where Harvey will campaign Jennifer Lawrence. He already has a strong supporting actress contender (Amy Adams) in a race that seems to have an unseen frontrunner (Hathaway), as well, and he has no lead actress contender…so probably in lead ? She has THG-buzz, she could probably pull it off.
    – Who will score an acting nod from ‘Argo’ ? The Academy goes all-in for Affleck and reward him his first acting nod OR (more likely) someone from the Arkin-Goodman-Cranston trio ? Could the film have multiple supporting actor nominees ?
    – Julianne Moore excels her difficult role in ‘What Maisie Knew’, a film also receiving good reviews, so if it lands a distributor that is game, she could be a late entry in the Best Actress race.
    – As expected, Annette Bening is a scenestealing supporting player in ‘Imogene’, but she probably won’t end up in the top5 since the film doesn’t seem to have viable Awards-buzz.
    – After delivering a huge BO-hit earlier this year, Rachel McAdams turned into a festival darling. Even though both her films (Passion, To The Wonder) divided audiences, her performances are mostly praised.
    – ‘Hyde Park on the Hudson’ is getting lukewarm response, apparently Laura Linney – great as always – doesn’t have a showy role. Despite all that, Bill Murray IS receiving praise.
    – It will all come down to the US-critics, because ‘Anna Karenina’ seems to be very divisive, though considering the risky concept, it was completely expected. It got a standing O at the Toronto Film Festival, and most people are raving about Knightley, Law, Gleeson, Macfadyen and Vikander. For some reason, Knightley’s position this year reminds me of Portman’s two years ago, around this time of the year, right after Black Swan premiered in Venice and Toronto : textbook ‘Best Actress’ performance in apparently divisive, bold film.
    – Alicia Vikander has an excellent shot at becoming this year’s breakthrough ‘It girl’ after receiving great reviews for ‘A Royal Affair’ AND ‘Anna Karenina’, she might even get an Oscar nomination for the latter.

  • Christophe

    “Announcing a film is going to be a major Oscar player is incredibly difficult to do early on. This is always the case with much buzzed about films at festivals by bloggers and not critics.”

    Agreed! If there’s one thing certain at the Oscars, it’s how much Academy members dislike being told what to do by critics, let alone bloggers.

    It sounds preposterous in early September to hail such or such movie as a lock for a BP nom or else, and rule out others. Heck, I’d say even Hyde Park on Hudson still has a mighty good chance despite lukewarm reviews from bloggers. We haven’t heard much from critics yet, I guess we’ll know more by the end of the week. But still, Academy members will vote for whomever they like no matter how big the outcry from the blogosphere.

  • @Phantom thanks for that, you summed it all up perfectly.

  • Alboome

    Look I loved TDKR, so far the best theatrical experience I’ve had this year. But its not getting nominated for best pic nor a director nom for Nolan. Its just not as good as the Dark Knight. And I think the academy is going to want to distance themselves from the shooting as much as possible. In a perfect world I would at least throw a best actor nom to Bale. He’s been consistently great in the 3 films, especially in Rises, and he showed real class in visiting the victims in Colorado.

  • g

    Just finishing up my TIFF experience, 3 great movies. .”Rust and Bone” “Kon-Tiki” and “Argo”, 1 bad “Something in the air” not very good “Land of Hope”‘ just okay “Everyday”, decent “War of Volcanoes”. Had a great time, not a vacation, crazy experience, but worth it!

  • alan of montreal
  • How come there’s no Argo in the contender tracker??

  • Mattoc

    From the sounds of it, De Niro may get his first nomination is 20 odd years.

  • Having seen Anna Karenina, I can understand how some may love it, but it will prove to be divisive. But Keira Knightley surely won’t pull off a Portman. She’s good as Anna, but she’s been better, whereas Natalie Portman gave the performance of her career in Black Swan.

    I was a little irritated and a little bored by Anna Karenina, and I wasn’t expecting that, but, looking back, I’m surprised I wasn’t more irritated and more bored. It’s not a bad film, certainly. Also, it’s got to be the frontrunner for Production Design and Costume Design. The sets are extraordinarily good – like, Curse-of-the-Golden-Flower-good.

  • phantom, that’s an excellent summation!

  • KMS

    Who cares if a Weinstein film wins, as long as it’s a truly worthy film? Weinstein can’t be blamed for backing proven filmmakers. Sure, I don’t like it when his strategizing gives undeserved boosts to certain films (especially at the Globes), but if the film is great then it deserves everything it gets.

  • phantom

    Thanks, Asif and Paddy, and Paddy, I trust your opinion on ‘Anna Karenina’, basically all reviews I read, agreed that the production values are top-notch, they MOSTLY agreed that the performances are good/great and maybe half of them actually loved it, the other half was disappointed to say the least. So yes, it does sound rather divisive.

    It will be interesting to see how the US-critics will take it (apparently it received a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival, attended by a lot of them) AND even more interesting, how the Academy will see it. Last year’s new rule – every bp nominee needs to pull off 5% No1 votes – was basically tailor-made for divisive films. Last year it was ‘The Tree of Life’ and there was a funny comments section a few days ago where rufussondheim ‘created’ the ‘TOL’ bp slot and we all thought if such a thing exists, it will go to ‘The Master this year…but I’m starting to think ‘The Master’ will sail through without a hitch (Harvey is behind it after all), and rufus’s ‘TOL’ slot will go to something like Anna Karenina…or Cloud Atlas…or Life of Pi…or Beasts of the Southern Wild…or On the Road.

  • KMS

    Poor Bernie.

  • Karen

    There’s been a lot of buzz and praise for Jennifer Lawrence in the film. I believe the top contenders for the best actress category are Marion Cotillard, Keira Knightly, and Jennifer so far. However, I doubt Lawrence will win despite the high praise she has been receiving. She’s too mainstream right now (because of Hunger Games), and too young. Her career started aproximately 5 years ago. There’s no way the Academy is taking the chance there.

  • Kiera

    Are you guys going to update your Oscar predictions for best actor/best actress because so far I’m see

  • Pink

    Are you guys going to update your Oscar predictions for best actor/best actress nominations because so far I’m seeing Marion Corillard win for Rust and Bone and Jen Lawrence being nominated for Silver Linings. Everyone in my tweeter feed has been going crazy over her performance in this film so I wonder if Harvey will campaign for her hard.

  • m1

    Okay, I have some predictions:

    Best Actor
    Joaquin Phoenix/Phillip Seymour Hoffman-The Master (depending)
    John Hawkes-The Sessions
    Bradley Cooper-The Silver Linings Playbook
    Hugh Jackman-Les Miserables
    Daniel Day-Lewis -Lincoln

    Best Actress
    Quvenzhane Wallis-Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Jennifer Lawrence-The Silver Linings Playbook
    Marion Cotillard-Rust and Bone
    Keira Knightley-Anna Karenina
    Helen Hunt-The Sessions

    Best Supp. Actor
    Joaquin Phoenix/Phillip Seymour Hoffman-The Master (once again, depending)
    William H. Macy-The Sessions
    Russell Crowe-Les Miserables
    Dwight Henry-Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Leonardo DiCaprio-Django Unchained

    Best Supp. Actress
    Anne Hathaway-Les Miserables/The Dark Knight Rises
    Amy Adams-The Master
    Julianne Moore-What Maisie Knew (can’t believe it’s been so long since she last got a nomination)
    Amanda Seyfried-Les Miserables
    Jacki Weaver-The Silver Linings Playbook

  • m1

    She’s too mainstream right now (because of Hunger Games), and too young.

    If we were talking about another actress Lawrence’s age I would agree with you. But Lawrence has been nominated before and if she’s great enough, her winning might not be a hard thing to believe.

  • KMS

    Everyone seems to be forgetting that Stephen Daldry’s Michelle Obama biopic, The First Lady, could be released in time for Oscar consideration. With a script by Paul Haggis and a (most likely stellar) performance by Meryl Streep in the title role, it could be the surprise game-changer of the season.

  • Craig Z

    PaulH, Please change the fucking record. Also stop talking about the worthyness of films you haven’t seen

  • Libra Tapes

    Just saw the movie. For a romantic comedy it was amazing. Emotionally moving and David o russels funniest movie yet. He brings all of his trademark ensemble disfunction and actually expands on it. This will probably be his biggest film. All ten actors were great but I don’t see anyof them getting singled out during award season. Although deniro and Lawrence are quite impressive.

  • When several films come out of the same festival with similar raves do they split their buzz the way movies/actors sometimes “split their vote” between films?

  • tipsy

    KK is NOT getting Portman buzz, seriously KK fanboys be objective! Lawrence is getting much bigger raves for SLPBthan KK for AK, and I wouldn`t call Lawrence a Portman redux at this stage either. I get you guys want your champ to win but exaggeration won`t help anyone.

    Cotillard won recently. I don`t see why AMPAS would give her the second one so soon when they waited for so long to give American Icon Streep her third.

  • Bob Burns


  • Karger=Fate


  • VVS

    Probably wont even be nominated. This is just Love and Other Drugs the sequel.

  • Filipe

    If the buzz is this high, the Best Actress-push is inevitable. The race is pretty weak this year, with the only sure-fire contender being the kid from BOTSW. And to those wondering how will the Phoenix-Hoffman lead-supporting thing will go on, I’m thinking they’ll both go lead and will both get in without a doubt. So, in my opinion, it will go for something like this:

    Best Actor (so-so number of contenders, but mostly powerhouse performances)
    Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln
    John Hawkes – The Sessions
    Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
    Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
    Denzel Washington – Flight
    (alt: Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook or Jamie Foxx – Django Unchained)

    Best Actress (weak category, not many female-centered films this year, tough to predict as votes will probably be all around)
    The kid with the strange name – Beasts of the Southern Wild
    Naomi Watts – The Impossible
    Keira Knightley – Anna Karenina
    Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
    Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone
    (alt: Meryl Streep for Hope Springs or the old lady for Amour)

    Best Supporting Actor (very crowded category, though no frontrunner at this point)
    Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained
    Sam Rockwell – Seven Psychopaths
    William H Macy – The Sessions
    Matthew McConaughey – Magic Mike
    Bryan Cranston – Argo
    (alts: someone else from Seven Psycopaths, someone else from Argo, Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained, Russell Crowe for Les Miserables)

    Best Supporting Actress (two immediate frontrunners, but weak field too)
    Amy Adams – The Master
    Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables (with a strong push for TDKR – yes, I’m one of those)
    Samantha Barks – Les Miserables (strong role)
    Sally Field – Lincoln
    Helen Hunt – The Sessions
    (alt: anyone from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Amanda Seyfried for Les Miserables)

  • PaulH

    Love and Other Drugs? Manic depressive and bipolarist hook up; high-larity ensues.

  • Cotillard won recently. I don`t see why AMPAS would give her the second one so soon when they waited for so long to give American Icon Streep her third.

    Hilary Swank.

  • phantom

    I think we should abandon the idea that Harvey Weinstein will campaign Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in the same category. Why would he ? If Hoffman goes supporting, BOTH could emerge as frontrunners and go all the way…if he goes lead, he could lose even the nomination due to internal competition OR if he gets in, they could cancel each other out in the final round. Also important factor, Weinstein has Bradley Cooper and Jamie Foxx in the race, as well, and if former’s film turns into the bp frontrunner – something that could easily happen based on the Toronto reception – he could become the one to beat, as well…although I still think when all is said and done, it will come down to two, yet unseen contenders : Daniel Day-Lewis and Hugh Jackman.

  • tipsy

    I get Swank argument but she had stars lined up for her second one more than Cotillard. Her movie was the frontunner and eventual winner. She went through a physical transformation, learned box. She repeated her trailer trash-to-Tinseltown totty story like a parrot on every talk show, interview,etc. AMPAS loves s*** like that.

  • Kholby

    I was at the premiere for Silver Linings and I definitely think it’s a player; however, I would be very shocked to see Lawrence in a leading role nomination. The character is supporting. She was absolutely great. I think the biggest surprise for me was actually Robert Deniro: he played the version of himself that we’ve seen so many times in the last decade and a half, however he played it with such sincerity and honesty that I was absolutely blown away. And… how many times as Robert Deniro cried on screen? Not many that I can recall. Bradly Copper, if played right, has a great chance at a nomination here. He was funny, charismatic, weird, intelligent, unbridled and absolutely a movie star in the old sense of the word while still bringing something fresh and exciting.

    It’s nice to see that the old romantic comedy genre still has a few surprises in it. Throw a little honesty and reality into the mix and you get a pretty damn great movie. So far my favourite of the festival.

    The worst movie with pedigree so far? The Company You Keep. Good god, Robert Redford was horrendous in this movie. Phenomenal cast of actors and NO ONE was used to any great effect. A shame. When the director direct’s himself to such a terrible performance, it makes me SO nervous for the rest of the movie… and boy… was I nervous watching this one. Just a bland, no climax, boring movie that’s trying too hard to be relevant, but totally lacking ANY punch.

  • Kholby

    Lawrence was great… and deserves a supporting Nom… (This is what I was getting at… EDIT BUTTON!)

    All in all I could see:

    Best Picture
    Best Actor
    Best Supporting Actress
    Best Supporting Actor
    Best Adapted Screenplay

    And an outside chance for Best Director.

  • Filipe

    Category fraud is not always possible, in some cases, like Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, they make it possible, which is absurd! But in this case, I don’t see it happening, AMPAS didn’t buy the supporting talk for Kate Winslet in The Reader, even if Harvey were behind it.
    In The Master, it’s clear for everyone who has even just seen the previews or trailers, that they’re co-leads. It’s not always about the campaign, sometimes common sense prevails too.
    And for people that are rooting-like-hell for a Silver Linings Playbook BP win at February, I

  • Filipe

    Oops, accidentally posted.
    And for people that are rooting-like-hell for a Silver Linings Playbook BP win at February, I’m agreeing with Sasha Stone and O’Russell here, you should stop using the word “frontrunner”.

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