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Oscar Watch: Five Toronto Film Fest Movies With Award-Season Buzz

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Toronto Film Festival, Silver Linings Playbook
Toronto Film Festival, Silver Linings Playbook  JOJO WHILDEN/The Weinstein Company

The Toronto Film Festival ended Sunday; the Oscar campaign rolls on today. 

Here's a quick look at five films that come out of Toronto with press to impress an awards-season voter: 

1. Silver Linings Playbook: The Bradley Cooper-Jennifer Lawrence comedy-drama from The Fighter's David O. Russell took the popular vote, winning the People's Choice Award—just as future Best Picture winners The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire did before it. "Uproariously funny and surprisingly moving…," Entertainment Weekly's Dave Karger wrote. "[S]hould be a home run with the Academy."

Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence hang out in Toronto

Ben Affleck, Argo Warner Bros.

2. Argo: Ben Affleck's Iranian-hostage-crisis drama with a let's-put-on-a-show twist owned the headlines. "Argo, Silver Linings Lead Toronto Buzz," noted Reuters. But the film has more than alphabetical order going for it. "Hollywood plays a heroic role in the film," the Hollywood Reporter reminds. One possible problem: As a film, Time's Richard Corliss judges, "Argo is just so-so."

The Master, Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman Weinstein Company

3. The Master: That the Paul Thomas Anderson L. Ron Hubbard-inspired saga was one of the "two hottest tickets" at Toronto, per Vogue, was good. That it killed at the real-world box office this past weekend was even better. (By the way, the other hottest ticket supposedly was Anna Karenina, which rated a standing ovation, but seems "guaranteed to divide audiences" with its "radical departure" from the classic costume drama, Lou Lumenick wrote in the New York Post.)  

Selena Gomez does Toronto with Justin Bieber

Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Cloud Atlas Jay Maidment/Warner Bros. Pictures

4. Cloud Atlas: The Wachowskis' ambitious epic with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, which even costar Hugo Weaving thinks may be "too much" for moviegoers, needed a Toronto ovation—and it got it. For what it's worth, the film's festival audience was "heavily larded with friends of the family," the New York Times reported.   

The Sessions, John Hawkes, Helen Hunt Fox Searchlight

5. The Sessions: "There's no question," Indiewire's Anne Thompson writes, that John Hawkes and Helen Hunt "will be in the Oscar race." The film, about a paralyzed virgin (Hawkes) and his sex therapist (Hunt), has been warming up since Sundance. Toronto made it so hot, its theatrical release got pushed up.   

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