August 27, 2015
        What were the Ten Best summer releases of 2015?                Eddie Redmayne: The Danish Girl / Official US Poster                Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep: SUFFRAGETTE New Poster                Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds, Gena Rowland to Receive Academy's 2015 Governors Awards                Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio - Which acting contenders this year are most due for their first win?                "Joy" is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt                "Straight Outta Compton" is making the case for Oscar consideration                "The Martian": Oscar predictions for August                Rooney Mara: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Bradley Cooper will heat up the Oscar race in "Burnt"                "Carol" gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race                Carey Mulligan is an Oscar contender                Hollywood Contenders for 2015 Best Actor: Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Fassbender                Hollywood Contenders: 2015 Best Movie Blockbusters: Jurassic World, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Fast & Furious 7...                Lily Tomlin in 'Grandma' represents a true Best Actress contender        

TIFF ’10: Zach Galifianakis in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”

By Sean O’Connell

Hollywoodnews.com: We continue to preview anticipated titles screening at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival in our “Road to Toronto” feature.

The fest kicks off on Sept. 9, and HollywoodNews.com will be on the ground bringing you reviews, interviews, and a clearer glimpse at the ever-shifting Oscar race.

To read our previous preview columns, punch “TIFF” into our search window. Today, we’re moving on to Focus Features’ suicidal comedy-drama, which they hope becomes a serious Oscar contender. And that’s no joke.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

The Plot: Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is a 16-year old who checks himself into a mental health clinic filled with colorful characters. He even falls for fellow teenage patient Noelle (Emma Roberts).

The Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson,” “Sugar”)

The Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoe Kravitz, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, Jeremy Davies

The Scoop: Hollywood’s celebration of all things “Galifianakis” continues as the “Hangover” star appears in another anticipated film. (He’ll also share the screen with Robert Downey Jr. in “Due Date,” out later this year.) Gilchrist isn’t a household name yet, though he has earned some cred with fine performances on Showtime’s “The United States of Tara.” And while the supporting cast is rock solid – from Viola Davis to Jeremy Davies – we’re most interested in the directing duo of Boden and Fleck, who have made two very durable pictures and seem poised to break into the mainstream with this lighter flight over the “Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Awards Potential: The Academy could respond favorably to Galifianakis playing against type (his role, based on trailers, seems more serious that, say, Alan Garner from “Hangover”). We’ll know more about Roberts and Gilchrist’s chances at breaking into the supporting categories once we’ve seen the film. Of course, with a very strong performance, “Funny Story” could easily slip into the Adapted Screenplay (it’s based on Ned Vizzini’s novel of the same name) and/or the Best Director categories.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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