Twenty Titles to Watch for the Oscars at Toronto


Over at EW, Dave Karger has put together a nice list of ten titles he’ll be watching for Oscar this September.  The festival that happens between then and now is Telluride, where many of the cream of the crop tend to pop up for Oscar scouts.   Here is Dave’s list:

Anna Karenina
Cloud Atlas
Hyde Park on Hudson
The Impossible
The Place Beyond the Pines
The Sessions
The Silver Linings Playbook
To the Wonder
Rust and Bone

His list is formidable. A veteran awards wonk, Dave Karger is gifted with keen Oscar instincts. This year, though, I’m hoping there will be less sheep herding and more focus paid to genuinely good movies, rather than those that are “Oscar movies.” Dave’s list, I think, features a good variety of quality films. He’s looking a little deeper, I think, at what will be coming our way.

I’d just like to add a few more from the Toronto list.  There isn’t much crossover between this and Venice, except the Mira Nair film. There aren’t so many titles at Venice that, sight unseen, scream Oscar.  Or even those worth pushing towards Oscar. But that might change once the fest is afoot.

We’ll keep an eye on all ten from Dave’s list and I’ll include ten more.

Great Expectations — directed by Mike Newell, starring Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham Carter. Like Les Miz, I feel that this Dickens film, if done right, could be just the right kind of medicine for our somber and frustrated times. Leave it to Charles Dickens to set it us right again.
Quartet — Dustin Hoffman as director,  from a Ronald Harwood play and screenplay.  It stars Maggie Smith.  I’m going to take a guess that it has to be pretty good for Hoffman to go and direct the thing.
The Hunt — directed by Thomas Vinterberg. Saw this film at Cannes and it’s a winner.  It is about a man accused of molesting a child and how a village turns against him. He’s innocent, of course.  It is very difficult subject matter but so tightly directed and brilliantly written it shouldn’t have trouble with buzz and finding an audience.  Where will it land with Oscar? It’s tough to say. But it is not our job to dumb it down for them, not this early anyway. Let’s aim high.
The Sapphires — I didn’t see this in Cannes but I’m going to bet that it, being the only feelgood movie in the Weinstein lineup, will get some kind of attention for being an uplifting film in a sea of darkness.
Jane Mansfield’s Car — this is a period film about two families that clash, directed by Billy Bob Thornton.
Much Ado About Nothing — directed by Joss Whedon, he might just be on a roll, a peak career groove where he can do no wrong.
Imogen — directed by Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini.  True, their American Splendor has the distinction of being one of the most critically acclaimed films to earn nothing but a single Oscar nod (screenplay).  Annette Bening and Kristen Wiig though? Written and co-directed by a woman, an added bonus.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist — directed by Mira Nair and starring Kate Hudson and Kiefer Sutherland. I know, I know, the Mira Nair movies never get close to Oscar but am keeping an open mind.
Thanks for Sharing — directed by Stuart Blumberg, co-writer of The Kids Are All Right. It’s about sex addiction and it stars Gwyneth Paltrow but on Blumberg’s cred it deserves attention.
Frances Ha — a black-and-white film by Noah Baumbach, co-written by Greta Gerwig, who also stars.

Eagerly awaiting the Telluride lineup. So far, there is no sign of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master,  Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty or any of the Big Oscar Movies.  Maybe Telluride will get their hands on some of those.


  1. Mikhaill Shurygin 3 years ago

    I’ve heard at Cannes Harvey said The Sapphires is “The Artist” of 2012)

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  2. Mattoc 3 years ago

    I’ll be seeing The Sapphires on the 9th August. I missed out on tickets at the MIFF, but luckily it opens a week later. I also missed out on tickets for Beasts, Amour, The Sessions and a few others. I did get some for Holy Motors and Beyond the Hills though. I desperately wanted to see Amour on my birthday, but no dice.

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  3. Lola 3 years ago

    I’m also looking forward to Great Expectations , Sasha !

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  4. Mattoc 3 years ago

    Loved Maggie in Exotic Marigold, despite the film. Looking forward to Quartet.

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  5. simone 3 years ago

    As much as I love tiff, I wish they hadn’t become such Oscar fodder. Believe me, I love having first access to Oscar type fare, but this is a film festival and we’re suppose to be celebrating all genres of high quality film. Most of which, are too original/controversial/cerebral for Oscar consideration, and that disqualifier pisses me off. Re: Dave’s list, I may be interested in only half of that.

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  6. ChrisFlick 3 years ago

    Nice to see so many Oscar one-offs (Berry, Paltrow, Hudson – nominee) upping their game and getting back in the conversation with better movies.

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  7. Mattoc 3 years ago

    Gwyneth = Shakespeare in Heat

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  8. Patricia Scarpin 3 years ago

    I can’t wait to see “The Hunt”, and Fiennes is always a pleasure to watch (the man is handsome and can act).

    It seems to be a great list, Sasha, but I must say I completely lost interest in “Thanks for Sharing” right after reading Gwyneth Paltrow’s name

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  9. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    I just thought about something. Since The Hunt is not being released in DK until February, it is not eligible for Foreign Language Film this year (as it has to run publicly for one week in its native country). 2013 for Denmark, maybe.

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  10. JFK 3 years ago

    Cloud Atlas looks like a huge mess, so I’m leaving that one off my list. I agree with everything else Dave Karger has listed though. As for your list, Sasha, I’d remove the last four.

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  11. julian the emperor 3 years ago

    True, Tero. I am pretty convinced that A Royal Affair will be Denmark’s submission this year. That movie should tick all the right Oscar boxes handily! I would even consider it a shoo-in for a nomination.

    But Mads Mikkelsen is an international star these days. Could he maybe eclipse the foreign movie tag and be a possible dark horse for best actor? I mean, if Damian Bechir could for a bad movie…why not?

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  12. Max 3 years ago

    I’m oddly fixated by that photo of Helena Bonham Carter. Why are all the drapes and such the same color as her dress and veil?

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  13. Alex 3 years ago

    This doesn’t have anything to do with Toronto, and not really Oscars 2013, but Robert Rodriguez just cast Lady Gaga in Machete Kills. Here’s the link.

    Now the reason I’m posting this is because it would for some reason make me very very happy to see “Lady Gaga” under the Contender Tracker for Actress or Supporting Actress one day.

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  14. Margaret Thatcher's purse 3 years ago

    Great lists on both ends. Let the games commence.

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  15. Eric 3 years ago

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really pumped for the black and white Noah baumbach film. How awesome would it be to have Wes Anderson and Baumbach competing against each other for best director. Throw in PTA and I say we have a line up

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  16. Clayton 3 years ago

    I’m so intrigued by Frances Ha. Greta Gerwig is everywhere this year, and I love it. She’s great.

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  17. keifer 3 years ago

    Any word on when Laz’s “The Great Gatsby” will be released?

    I am anticipating seeing this movie (especially to see Carey Mulligan’s interpretation of Daisy).

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  18. Max 3 years ago

    @Keifer – it’ll be released this Christmas, along with “Django Unchained” and another smaller release I seem to have forgotten. Much better holiday lineup than last year’s “We Bought a Zoo” and “War Horse,” anyway.

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  19. Tero Heikkinen 3 years ago

    “That movie should tick all the right Oscar boxes handily! I would even consider it a shoo-in for a nomination.”

    It’s that good, huh? To me it looked quite TV-ish (based on what I saw in the trailer). But… DAMN YOU, DENMARK!

    Just kidding, Finns are happy if ANY Nordic country gets nominated. Denmark and Sweden usually. Academy does not like us even when we bring something universally praised like Le Havre. Still pissed off about that, as you can see :)

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  20. rufussondheim 3 years ago

    I loved the Scandinavian movie from maybe three years ago that was about two friends, one was an author. It was filmed in Black and White. Sadly, I can’t recall much else about it, but it was really good. I want to say it was from Norway and the English title began with “Re…” but I could be wrong.

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  21. David 3 years ago

    Hey rufussondheim! From the plot that movie definitely sounds like Reprise, but that one wasn’t in black and white. I’m skeptical about A Royal Affair even with it’s good festival showing only because I didn’t dig the trailer, but I guess we’ll see how it’s received here – there’s no reason for me to rule it out just yet.

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  22. Joao Mattos 3 years ago

    In that photo, Bonham-Carter seems ready for a live action version in the title role of the Corpse Bride.

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  23. Paolo 3 years ago

    Roll on Toronto! I am heading over for the festival – can’t wait to see Derek Cianfrance’s new movie with Ryan Gosling.

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