Toronto International Film Festival, here we come! – AWARDS

By Sean O’Connell We are bearing down on the Toronto International Film Festival! Last-minute interviews are being booked. Buzz out of Venice and Telluride dictates sudden schedule changes. For the most part, my TIFF calendar is locked and blocked. I give it until Friday morning before something wonderful blows the whole schedule to smithereens!

Two flights, a bus and a train will take me to Canada for one of the year’s most anticipated film festivals, a launch pad for most of the films we’ll be talking about all Oscar season. Which pictures will distance themselves from the crowded pack?

Bets are on “The Master,” Paul Thomas Anderson’s scintillating drama that reportedly features riveting performances by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. I’ll finally catch The Master Saturday morning.

But in the days leading up to TIFF, the wires hummed with positive feedback on an array of Oscar hopefuls. Ben Affleck’s “Argo” amazed the Telluride audiences. Marion Cotillard has emerged as a “must see” for her performance in “Rust and Bone,” so that has been penciled in for my first TIFF slot on Thursday morning. Sarah Polley’s documentary, “Stories We Tell,” also built significant buzz in Venice, so I’ll try and see it on Friday morning.

Other titles on my calendar for this year include:

“Anna Karenina”
“On the Road”
“Cloud Atlas”
“Frances Ha”
“Seven Psychopaths”
“To the Wonder”
“Hyde Park on the Hudson”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“The Impossible”
“The Sapphires”

TIFF, of course, is a marathon. It’s all about pacing. But it’s a cinematic smorgasbord of rich offerings. We’ve been lucky enough to cover the fest from the ground in Toronto for years. We appreciate you reading our updates. Keep it here for up-to-the-minute reports from Toronto, the first major step on the 2012 Awards Season.

Read more of our exclusive Awards interviews:
Producer Harvey Weinstein
“Lawless” director John Hillcoat
“Writers” director Josh Boone

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