The Toronto International Film Festival built on the excitement of Telluride and furthered the Oscar buzz and awards conversations. Jojo Rabbit won the People’s Choice Award. Last year, Green Book won the same award and went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Since 2011, every People’s Choice Award winner has at least received a Best Picture nomination. Jojo Rabbit is director Taika Waititi’s WWII satire about a German boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler. Scarlett Johansson plays the mother who hides a Jewish girl in their home. The movie is based on a novel by Christine Leunens. Marriage Story came in second place for the coveted prize. Parasite came in third.
Joker’s surprising Golden Lion win at the Venice Film Festival was followed by more rave reviews and Oscar buzz at TIFF.
Jennifer Lopez received Oscar buzz for her performance in the movie Hustlers playing a character inspired by real-life stripper Samantha Barbash.
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood received rave reviews snd speculation that director Marie Heller may receive her first Oscar and star Tom Hanks may finally win his third.
Just Mercy received a standing ovation. The Washington Post has speculated it could be the next Green Book. Based on a true story, Michael B. Jordan plays attorney Bryan Stevenson who takes on the case of Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx) who is wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of a white woman. I’m excited that Jordan might finally get an overdue Oscar nomination.
The whodunnit Knives Out killed, opening to great acclaim. Rian Johnson is already considering making a sequel starring Daniel Craig’s character. It has the potential to become a franchise.
The Goldfinch and Lucy in the Sky failed to soar and are officially out of the Oscar race. Steven Soderbergh’s new film starring Meryl Streep, The Laundromat, was also a wash with critics.
Hugh Jackman got good reviews for his new drama Bad Edication. Riz Ahmed is also a strong contender for Best Actor with his portrayal of a heavy metal drummer losing his hearing in Sound of Metal.
The Lighthouse got good reviews, setting Willem Dafoe up for a possible Oscar nomination for the third year in a row. Fingers crossed.
Amazon’s Honey Boy, which Shia LaBeouf wrote about his childhood and stars in as his father, got favorable reviews. Could he get dual Oscar nominations? (BTW, if you haven’t seen him in The Peanut Butter Falcon, put it on your must-see list.)
Eddie Murphy got a standing ovation at the screening of Netflix’s biopic Dolemite Is My Name. I’m a big fan of screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karassewski, so I’m looking forward to this one. This is the kick-off of Murphy’s career comeback that continues with a Saturday Night Live appearance, next year’s Coming 2 America, and a rumored Beverly Hills Cop 4.
Renee Zellweger got standing ovations again for Judy.
Cynthia Erivo was praised for her performance as Harriet Tubman in Harriet. However, the general consensus is that her performance is better than the film. She has a strong shot at a Best Actress nomination but that may be the only nomination the movie receives.
The Oscar race is finally taking shape. Several movies and performances are starting to take their place ahead of the pack. But there are still movies that haven’t premiered yet and plenty of surprises left in store. Keep up with all the latest movie news and reviews by subscribing to the newsletter and liking the Facebook page. The Annual Overstuffed Fall Preview post will be coming soon and you won’t want to miss it.