Prior to 2009, the Hampton’s International Film Festival’s audience award went to films no one has ever heard of. But in 2009 Young Victoria won. It was being heavily pushed for the Oscar race, and most especially for its star, Emily Blunt. It got nowhere but that put the Hampton’s Fest on the map. The next year, the King’s Speech won, the following year, The Artist won and this year? The Silver Linings Playbook.
1993 – The Flight of the Innocent
1994 – The Last Good Time
1996 – Alive and Kicking
1997 – The Cyclone and Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health
1998 – The Tic Code
1999 – Train of Life
2000 – Fresh Cut Grass
2001 – Italian for Beginners (great movie, zero Oscar nods)
2002 – Nowhere in Africa (went on to win the Oscar for Foreign Language)
2003 – Spinning Boris
2004 – The Breakup Artist
2005 – Sweet Land, and Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Oscar nom for Foreign Language)
2006 – Emma’s Bliss
2007 – 4 Minutes
2008 – Troubled Water, and The Pig
2009 – The Young Victoria
2010 – The King’s Speech
2011 – The Artist
2012 – The Silver Linings Playbook
Indeed, this slate represents a cavalcade of WTF until 2009. There is probably a discussion to be had about how the Oscar race can clear crop many of these smaller fests from awarding films that come out of nowhere. I don’t know if it’s better for a fest to be a stepping stone in the Oscar race or not. Does it make it more high-profile, as it has the Telluride Film Fest? Is this what little festivals aim for? Or do they want to be kept smaller and more authentic? It’s hard to say.
But the fact remains that it’s a three-fer for The Weinstein Co with The Hampton’s International Film Fest and the Toronto Audience awards.
Both The King’s Speech and Silver Linings have now won both Hampton’s and the People’s Choice award in Toronto. The Artist did not win. Naturally, this will kick Silver Linings right to the top of most people’s lists. That Dave Karger and Steve Pond have it at number one is a replay of the last two years — thus your safe bet is to predict Silver Linings Playbook to take all. But there are significant differences between the three films and if you can figure out what makes two of three of them different you win this round.
Two out of three of them deal with a physical disability – one is a stutter, the other is bi-polar disorder. All three of them are about a man being supported by a woman and that man succeeding in the end. But there are definitely some major differences. Can you spot them?