Welcome to For Your Consideration, the Collider show that breaks down awards season with hosts Scott Mantz, Perri Nemiroff and Jeff Sneider. Today we recap the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and discuss which films emerged with significant Oscar buzz.
For starters, Jeff fell hard for Bradley Cooper‘s A Star Is Born, suggesting that Cooper delivered both in front of and behind the camera, and depending on his competition, could be the one to beat in the Best Actor race. Lady Gaga feels like a shoo-in for a Best Actress nomination, even if the role seems tailor-made for her talents. While Scott felt that Cooper directed the hell out of the movie, he also noted that the film represents the fourth version of this story, and Cooper didn’t do enough to spice it up or make it his own. Perri said that’s why she was so impressed with the film — because even though she knew the story beats, she loved these characters and their relationship. We’ll have to wait and see if critics and audiences hold the prior versions of A Star Is Born against this modern update.
Alfonso Cuarón‘s Roma was another film that had critics’ tongues wagging in Toronto. Perri said she fell in love with Roma, and was grateful to have had the chance to see it on the big screen. This is a Netflix title, so while it will receive a modest theatrical release, most people will watch this film from the couch in their living room. Jeff said he thought Roma was beautiful, but it didn’t move him from an emotional standpoint. Scott thinks the first half the film is a bit slow, but the second half takes more of an emotional hold because by that point, you’ve become invested in the characters. All three of the FYC hosts believe that Yalitza Aparicio is a strong contender for a Best Actress nomination. Scott goes on to wonder whether the fact that Roma is a Netflix movie will hurt its Oscar chances, but Jeff argues that talk of a Netflix stigma is overblown, as the streaming service seems to employ half the town, and hundreds if not thousands of voters.
Steve McQueen‘s Widows was a hot topic of discussion, and Jeff thinks it could fill this year’s Hell or High Water slot, but admits that the heist film is still on the bubble in terms of a Best Picture nomination. It felt like a fun Saturday night movie to Jeff, but Scott was much higher on it, pointing to the pedigree of McQueen and his Oscar-winning leading lady, Viola Davis. Scott called the movie “a female Heat” and praised its direction, while Perri was a bit more measured in her praise, saying that while McQueen does a decent job balancing the thrills and the grief in Widows, there were times when those two things don’t mesh well together.
Naturally, Scott loved Damien Chazelle‘s First Man, which he thinks will propel Ryan Gosling and the director back into the Oscar race two years after La La Land. Scott loved how Chazelle “strips away the polish and the gloss from the space race,” and Perri agrees, calling it “powerful.” That left Jeff to play the Grinch here, saying it felt like a lot of space movies. Jeff ceded that First Man has a great beginning and an excellent ending, but the second act is tough to sit through because Neil Armstrong isn’t a very exciting hero, and Gosling’s performance is so restrained.
And finally, Jeff was the only one who caught Peter Farrelly‘s Green Book before leaving Toronto, and while it flew under the radar at the start of the festival, by the end of it, it surprised everyone to win the coveted audience award. Jeff thinks that Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali are both strong contenders for acting nominations and Farrelly will also garner some attention for taking a chance and branching out to do a racially-charged drama rather than the gross-out comedies he’s best known for.
Overall, TIFF featured an embarrassment of riches, and the gang didn’t even have time to get into David Lowery‘s The Old Man & the Gun and Barry Jenkins‘ If Beale Street Could Talk, both of which cultivate passionate fans at the festival. Next week, we dive into the Best Director category, which presents a bevy of interesting possibilities.
To stay up to date on all things For Your Consideration, follow the gang on Twitter and Instagram at @MovieMantz, @PNemiroff and @TheInSneider. Stay tuned next week for more awards talk, and we’ll FYC-ya later!