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        

“The Help” stars heading to Zurich to close fest – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: The Toronto International Film Festival receives a ton of credit for attracting as many stars for its red carpets and Gala screenings as its does commendable films with awards aspirations. But as with any behemoth (and believe me, TIFF is a monster), there’s always someone in the rear view looking to take your place.

Could the Zurich Film Festival become the next must-attend film festival on the movie lover’s calendar?

THR reports that “The Help” stars Viola Davis and Emma Stone are flying to Zurich to walk the red carpet and help promote their red-hot smash hit. Tate Taylor’s adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel closes the fest on Oct. 2, and will use the opportunity to keep the August release on awards trackers’ radars as the season rolls on.

But Davis and Stone aren’t alone. Laurence Fishburne presides over this year’s Zurich jury. Jeremy Irons, Sean Penn, Paul Haggis and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu also plan on attending this year’s festivities, And, as reported, Roman Polanski plans to attend and receive a career award he was supposed to pick up two years ago.

As for the fest’s schedule, it’s brimming with Oscar-caliber titles such as George Clooney’s “The Ides of March,” Michel Hazanavicius’s winning “The Artist,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Contagion,” Steve McQueen’s “Shame,” David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method,” Jonathan Levine’s “50/50,” Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball,” and Lars Von Trier’s “Melancholia.”

The Zurich Film Festival kicks off on Sept. 22, and runs through Oct. 2. And as of now, I’m paying close attention.

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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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