Monday, September 21, 2015

Oscars 2016: Room Wins People's Choice at Toronto

As I have mentioned before, the Toronto International Film Festival is like an apex for awards season: Some films either enter or leave a hot frontrunner while others stumble out. But one film that went in with pretty solid buzz out of the Telluride Film Festival is the film Room with Brie Larson. But imagine my surprise that Room ended up winning the People's Choice Award at Toronto. The People's Choice Award is often an indicator as to what will be a hot commodity to perhaps a frontrunner in the awards race as films like 12 Years A Slave, The King's Speech, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Imitation Game have taken that prize. They would go on to be nominated and collect at least one trophy if not Best Picture.

Before the winner was announced, I figured it would go to Spotlight since it is already considered a frontrunner by critics or even The Danish Girl due to its topical nature. Spotlight will still maintain its footing, but I think in spite of its timeliness, The Danish Girl is losing its footing due to critics being split down the middle. It'll probably still get nominated but I don't think it is becoming the heavy frontrunner people predicted it would be early on.

But now that Room won the ultimate prize, I think it'll be a stronger contender for Best Picture and especially Best Actress for Brie Larson who now has an easier chance to break through amongst her competition that includes previous winners and Oscar club members Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Lily Tomlin, Saoirse Ronan, and Carey Mulligan. I'll still keep Larson on my predictions, though. When the film gets a limited release on October 16th, then slowly expands, we'll also see if it can build up some audience support. If it does, then couple that with critical support, then we might have ourselves a "little movie that could" a la Boyhood or Slumdog Millionaire. 

What do you guys think? Do you now see this as a potential Oscar threat? Please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!