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The Toronto International Film Festival, to be held September 6 to 16, 2012 in Canada's most vibrant and exciting metropolis, has become one of the most important film events on the festival calendar. Showcasing more than 250 films and hosting industryites from around the world, Toronto can "make or break" films looking for international distribution and a chance at Oscar gold. From glitzy red carpet premieres to challenging art films to cutting edge new media, the Festival offers something for every taste.
Little Oscar Buzz At Toronto This Year
Friday, September 12--------This year, Oscar didn't come to Toronto. Since the Academy Awards calendar was shortened in 2003, Toronto loomed large as the place to premiere Oscar contenders for the end-of-year awards season.
In the past few years, films such as Atonement, No Country For Old Men and Last King of Scotland began their Oscar trajectories in Toronto. Many of the Galas here, which have contained some past awards successes, have been poorly received (including The Burning Plain, The Other Man, The Duchess, Blindness, Synedoche, New York and Burn After Reading). In addition, many films that pundits were betting would be on the Toronto roster simply were not ready in time. That was the case for such Oscar hopefuls as Gus Van Sant's Milk, the Brad Pitt-starrer The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; and the pairing of Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman in Baz Luhrmann's outback epic Australia.
[img_assist|nid=17624|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=140|height=93]Some films that have received buzz that could translate into Oscar gold. Veteran actor Martin Landau (who already won a Best Supporting Oscar for his role as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood) has drawn praise for his vulnerable performance in Lovely, Still, an American indie co-starring fellow Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn. And don't discount the chances of Cannes Film Festival Best Actor award winner Benicio del Toro to repeat history at the Oscars for his portrayal of revolutionary Che Guevera in the 4 1/2 hour long Che.
Anne Hathaway, one of the busiest young actresses in Hollywood, is being singled out for her career-shifting performance as an out-of-control actress in Jonathan Demme's dysfunctional-family drama Rachel Getting Married. Similar buzz is developing for British actress Sally Hawkins for her standout performance as a chipper school teacher in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky.
[img_assist|nid=17710|title=|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=140|height=93]The lone film that has emerged as a genuine standout, with the potential to be a major contender in the Oscar race is The Wrestler, the story of a washed-up professional wrestler who is making a comeback, both in his life and in the ring. The film just won the Golden Lion at the Venice Fim Festival this past weekend. Mickey Rourke will surely be dubbed the "comeback king of the year" for his performance and director Darren Aronofsky, whose last two films were major box office disappointments, seems ready to cop his first Best Director nod. This is one Toronto film that could go all the way......
Sandy Mandelberger, Toronto FF Dailies Editor
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