One message from the Toronto Film Festival that has come through loud and clear is that there may be a few more “Oscar locks” in terms of nominations and perhaps wins than Mo’Nique for ‘Precious’.
The reviews for ‘Up in the Air’ are so rabidly loved up that one has to wonder what can stop it? The film has hit a nerve with so many who have seen it that, as of now, it appears to be the film to beat.
Sure those are strong words at this early stage, and things could easily change once some of the other contenders get seen (‘The Lovely Bones’, ‘Nine’, ‘Avatar’, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, ‘Invictus’) however the review from Vareity, Screen International and The Hollywood Reporter are anything to go by we are clearly looking at one of the top ten contenders for Best Picture, one of the five nominees for Best Director and the second lead acting nomination for George Clooney. This buzz is also likely to carry through to the end of the year where it should start racking up a pretty impressive showing in the top ten lists of the year as well as a few critic awards.
What will be interesting is if this film can translate this deafening hype to an Audience win at Toronto (seems likely unless ‘Precious’ sweeps in).
Funny thing about Toronto is that in the past 20 years, the winner of the Audience award has gone on to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar 20% of the time and win the Oscar 10% of the time. However 65% of the winners at Toronto do go on to take part in the Oscar race in some way and in some category so it is a good sign.
In the past ten years this has increased to 80% hence why it is one of the most watched of the early awards.
Then again, things could all go pear shaped late in the game. We could see an in flux of films that were on no-ones radar suddenly taking the critics and awards bodies by storm.
Now that would be cool!