The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival is a highly anticipated and followed showcase that exhibits some of the world’s best and brightest in the film community. Original stories are on display and producers vie for the hottest ticket on the ballot. Of the 239 films shown, eleven took home official awards. With a fantastic lineup of movies– some touted as sure Oscar bait this year– the festival was filled with chills, thrills, and psycho pills, proving that the Toronto knows how to differentiate itself from the rest of the festivals.
BlackBerry People’s Choice Award Winner: “Silver Linings Playbook”
This award is for the most popular film as voted on by audiences at the festival. David O. Russell (“The Fighter”) directs acting school alum Bradley Cooper as a teacher who returns home to live with his folks (Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”) in Philly, following his release from a mental hospital. While coping with returning to reality, Cooper gets involved with a young widow (Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games”) who is just as off-kilter. The dramedy also stars Julia Stiles and Chris “Where Have You Been” Tucker.
BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Award Winner: “Artifact”
Bartholomew Cubbins examines the nature of the music business today though intimate access to actor/musician Jared Leto and his band 30 Seconds to Mars. The film covers the band as they record their album “This is War,” and fight record label EMI in a nasty lawsuit. No one gets in the way of an artist and his music.
BlackBerry People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award Winner: “Seven Psychopaths”
A veritable dream team of actors bring this quirky, sure-to-be cult hit, to life. Writer/director Martin McDonagh follows a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) as he tries to complete a script. His best friend, an unemployed actor who could probably use a stint in acting school (Sam Rockwell), wants to help and the pair quickly get involved in a dognapping scheme gone awry, mixed up with serial-killers who prey on serial-killers and other off the wall characters. Weedy Harrelson, Christopher Walken, Tom Waits and Harry Dean Stanton also lend their talents to this “wacky, blood-spattered commentary on the psycho-killer thriller.”
City of Toronto & Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature: “Laurence Anyways”
A jury of industry professionals chose Xavier Dolan’s French-language romance as the best feature film by a Canadian filmmaker. Described as “Wuthering Heights relocated to the wilds of Montreal, with a transgender Heathcliff and a punked-out Catherine” the film is visually breathtaking and a daring examination of the nature of love and sexuality.
Award For Best Canadian Short Film: “Keep a Modest Head”
One of several French-language winners, this Deco Dawson short film is a unique eulogy for Jean Benoît, the last official French Surrealist.
The SKYY Vodka Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film: “Antiviral” & “Blackbird”
Brandon Cronenberg’s “Viral” is a satirical examination of our celebrity and spectacle-obsessed culture set in a dystopian future. In “Blackbird,” Jason Buxton examines the culture of fear and social media that has evolved in the wake of the Columbine tragedy and other school shootings.
International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize) – Discovery: “In the House”
This French-language film from François Ozon is an adaptation of Juan Mayorga’s “The Boy in the Last Row” and is described as a “chilling, crystalline thriller.”
NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) award: “The Land of Hope”
Director Sion Sono tells the tale of a (fictional) rural family’s struggle to survive after the nuclear crisis resulting from the Thoku earthquake.
Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award: “Detroit Unleaded”
Rola Nashef took home an award for her first feature-length film about a Lebanese-American youth coming of age as he takes over the family business.
For a closer look at other TIFF hits, watch the video below from The Guardian UK.
Article written by Sarah Owens
Sarah loves music, theater, films and books. She is a multi-media guru who is always hungry for information. She is originally from Akron, Ohio, and now calls the Denver area home.