Sunday, September 9, 2018

TIFF 2018: Beautiful Boy, Widows, and Halloween Land Well

Three big films have premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, bringing buzz and intrigue. First is Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet. The initial reviews are great, particularly for those two lead performances. However, in terms of a bigger Oscar push, I'm not as sure. Reviews praise the perforamnces, but many say that it is often a hard film to watch. It luckily has the important factor going for it, similar to other difficult films that have found Oscar footing.

Widows, the highly anticipated Steve McQueen film, landed well with good reviews, and a big push by Fox for its box office run. The studio has already stated that they hope audiences will buoy its Oscar chances, because a genre heist thriller usually doesn't play well with Oscar voters. One particular performance, the great Viola Davis, is standing out among critics, and could play in the crowded Best Actress race.

Finally, outside of the Oscar race, the remake of Halloween became the first film of this long-running franchise, since the first classic, to really hit well with critics. This is not an Oscar contender, although Blumhouse was able to ride Get Out to Oscar glory last year. But it looks to be a big, box-office, and critically acclaimed horror film that gives the franchise and the genre a much needed positive boost. Critics are pointing out Jamie Lee Curtis as the standout among the cast, and give a lot of props to both David Gordon Green and Danny McBride for briging style and humor to the screen. After the Emmys next week, I can do updated Oscar predictions in the wake of all of these premieres.

Remember the Creative Arts Emmys, Part II will be announced this evening!

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