Sunday, September 15, 2013

12 Years a Slave Wins TIFF People's Choice Award

Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech, and Silver Linings Playbook are all recent winners of the Toronto International Film Festival's Audience Award, all went on to Best Picture nominees (two winning), and general love from the Academy. This year's clear critical favorite (so far) has been 12 Years a Slave, which has emerged from the pack after the Toronto/Venice/Telluride trifecta as the Oscar frontrunner, has also gotten a thumbs up from the audience. I think this is a crucial breakthrough for the film. According to early reviews, it is brilliant, but also hard to watch at times, with a definite stark and grit that has been characteristic of McQueen's earlier efforts Hunger and Shame. But this award may indicate that audiences are willing to endure the painful aspects of the film to see what is considered already a great film. Two other major Oscar players Philomena and Prisoners were second and third respectively, which is also a nice boost for two films that played well on the festival circuit, but will need a boost going into the long Oscar season. Some of the other big winners of this year's festival are listed below:

People's Choice Midnight Madness Award - Why Don't You Play in Hell?

People's Choice Documentary Award - The Square

NETPAC Award World or International Asian Film Premeire - Qissa

FIPRESCI Jury Prize - Ida

FIPRESCI Discovery Award - The Amazing Catfish

Best Canadian Feature Film - When Jews Were Funny

Best Canadian Short Film - Noah

Best Canadian First Film - Asphalt Watches

Discovery Award (Previously Announced) - All the Wrong Reasons

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