Silver Linings Playbook takes top prize at this year's Toronto Film Festival
The 37th annual Toronto International Film Festival wrapped up a week ago, with Silver Linings Playbook winning the converted People's Choice Award - the festival's top prize.
Directed by David O. Russell (The Fighter), the film stars Bradley Cooper as an ex-teacher struggling to get his life and relationships back together while balancing a new potential romance with Katniss Everdeen - I mean, Jennifer Lawrence. The film also stars Robert De Niro and Chris Tucker in his first non-Rush Hour role in 15 years. Past winners of the People's Choice Award include: The King's Speech, Precious, Slumdog Millionaire, American Beauty and even The Princess Bride. Other big-named films making a splash included Ben Affleck's Argo, a political drama involving a CIA agent who uses a fake film production as a decoy to rescue American hostages in Iran. The film, which was the runner-up for the People's Choice Award, is undoubtedly one of the most highly
anticipated films of the fall. Additionally, fresh off its hot
streak from the Venice Film Festival, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master earned rave reviews and has already become a huge Oscar contender. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as an animalistic Navy veteran who gets swept under the wing of a questionable religious leader played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. This year, Toronto also featured two critically polarizing films. The first being Cloud Atlas, a timejumping sci-fi drama starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, co-directed by the Wachowskis (of The Matrix fame). The second being To the Wonder, director Terrence Malick's follow-up to his masterful and poetic The Tree of Life. Both will certainly generate fueled discussions after their releases this year.
It was also a big year for literary adaptations. There was the
new version of Great Expectations starring Harry Potter alums Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane. Another Potter star, Emma Watson, co-stars in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, an angsty high school drama which
also made its world premiere. Keira Knightley plays the lead in Anna Karenina, yet another picturesque costume drama and her third collaboration with Atonement director Joe Wright. There was also room for smaller films such as Imogene starring Bridesmaids helmer Kristen Wiig and Frances Ha featuring indie darling Greta Gerwig (who co-wrote the film with director Noah Baumbach). Even Joss Whedon, who had quite a year with The Avengers, was back with another film: an adaptation of the Shakespearean drama Much Ado About Nothing. The 3D version of Finding Nemo managed to squeeze its way into the TIFF Kids section. The Toronto International Film Festival still remains to be one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world, not only for its high-caliber premieres, but because many of the featured films go on to win Oscars or end up on critics' top ten lists.
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