The Toronto Film Festival isn’t as big on awards as the Venice festival or Cannes or others. Still, their audience award is often a good barometer for how a movie is going to play to the public (probably because Toronto makes seeing the movies easy for real people who represent real movie goers). Both “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The King’s Speech” won the audience awards and went on not only to box office success, but Best Picture awards. So that means that David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” is off to a pretty good start. It got a good critical reception at the festival and has an audience friendly cast–Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, and even Robert DeNiro, who rumor has it is actually giving a performance, not parodying himself. Looks like its box office prospects are going to be very bright.
Meanwhile, Martin McDonagh’s “Seven Psychopaths” won the Audience Award for the Midnight Madness screening section. That seems appropriate (all I want to know about this movie is this: “Is the dog okay at the end?” If not, I’m not seeing it. Yes, I am that kind of person.)
Here’s the Toronto press release:
The BlackBerry People’s Choice Award is voted on by Festival audiences. This year’s award goes to David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook. The film is an intense, loving, emotional and funny family story from the director of The Fighter, David O. Russell, in which Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence find themselves partners in a secret arrangement to rebuild their broken lives. Robert De Niro yearns to get closer to his son (Cooper), as he tries to keep the family afloat with his compulsive bookmaking. The award offers a $15,000 cash prize and custom award, sponsored by BlackBerry. First runner up is Ben Affleck’s Argo. The second runner up is Eran Riklis’ Zaytoun. The Festival presents a free screening of the award-winning film Silver Linings Playbook tonight. The screening takes plac e at 6 p.m. at the Ryerson Theatre. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first served basis beginning at 4 p.m. at Ryerson Theatre.
The BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Martin McDonagh’s Seven Psychopat hs. Seven Psychopaths follows a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster’s (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu. Co-starring Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko and Zeljko Ivanek. First runner up is Barry Levinson’s The Bay and second runner up is Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End. The BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Bartholomew Cubbins for Artifact. Telling harsh truths about the modern music business, Artifact gives intimate access to singer/actor Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars as they battle their label in a brutal lawsuit and record their album This Is War. First runner up is Christopher Nelius and Justin McMillan’s Storm Surfers 3D. Second runner up is Rob Stewart’s Revolution.
New this year is the NETPAC Award for the Best World or International Asian Feature Film Premiere, as selected by a jury from the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema. Jury members include Laurice Guillen (Philippines), Shelly Kraicer (Toronto/Beijing) and Azize Tan (Istanbul).The award goes to Sion Sono’s The Land of Hope. The jury remarked: “For its subtle, complex and artful account of the social and political aspects of a national trauma that ends in hope and love, the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival NETPAC Award for best feature film is given to The Land of Hope by Sion Sono.”
Earlier in the Festival, the inaugural winner of the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award was announced. The award went to Rola Nashef whose film, Detroit Unleaded, was presented as part of the Discovery programme. Nashef was presented with the award which includes a $10,000 cash prize to put toward her next project.