Alfonso Cuarón tells a deeply personal story with absolute precision in "Roma"                "Creed II" is an outstanding sequel and one of the year's best films                Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards        

Do TIFF 2011 winners help the Oscar race? – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: No “Descendants.” No “Artist.” No major Oscar contenders made the list when the Toronto International Film Festival announced its 2011 awards winners on Sunday afternoon, adding very little clarity to the still-developing Oscar race.

Instead, Lebanese foreign film submission “Where Do We Go Now?,” directed by Nadine Labaki (“Caramel”), took home the Cadillac People’s Choice Award, upsetting Michel Hazanavicius’s, which some analysts thought would walk away with the trophy. Labaki’s drama, which I honestly heard very little about, involves about a group of Lebanese women who come up with “some creative schemes to counter violence in their town,” according to a studio’s release.

Of the other announced winners, only Gareth Evans’ “The Raid,” a People’s Choice winner in the Midnight Madness category, generated serious buzz from attendees at the fest.

Would a TIFF award help a film’s fledgling Oscar campaign? Sure. Every feather in the cap helps. But most potential Oscar nominees, including virtually anything produced within the Hollywood studio system, will have to be content with the tangible buzz generated among journalists and Oscar trackers with screenings at last week’s festival.

Up next? The New York Film Festival, where North America will get their first look at Roman Polanski’s “Carnage” and “My Week with Marilyn,” starring Michelle Williams as silver screen icon Marilyn Monroe.

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

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