October 23, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

TIFF ’10: Danny Boyle and James Franco in “127 Hours”

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 scaling a mountain – literally – with Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle and his leading man, James Franco.

127 Hours

The Plot: Franco plays Aron Ralston, an American mountain climber who, in 2003, was forced to amputate his right arm when it became trapped beneath a boulder while he was climbing in Utah.

The Director: Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “Trainspotting”)

The Cast: James Franco, Kate Mara, Lizzy Caplan, Amber Tamblyn, Clemence Poesy

The Scoop: Boyle’s no longer an underdog in the Hollywood system, having earned his first Oscar nomination – and win – with 2008’s “Slumdog.” Most will be anxious to check out “127 Hours” just to see how he follows up that admired film. Asking “Slumdog” screenwriter Simon Beaufoy to tag along and adapt Ralston’s book accounting the ordeal seems like a smart move on Boyle’s part. And Franco continues to impress me with his role selections. Anyone who saw him in “Milk” or the recent “Eat Pray Love” knows he continues to take his craft seriously.

Awards Potential: All three names associated with “Hours” – Boyle, Franco and Beaufoy — could find their way into their respective races. Right now, early Oscar predictors seem to like the film’s chances, as bloggers have placed “127 Hours” on preliminary Bets Picture charts. It’s early, though, and we’ll know more as the film screens.

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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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