Thelma Adams previews Oscar hopefuls unspooling in Toronto

Our good pal Thelma Adams is heading to the Toronto filmfest to cover this important stop on the road to the Oscars. Prior to the first film unspooling on Thursday, Thelma previews her picks for the top seven pics:

“The Descendants”: George Clooney’s lock for a best actor shot. In Alexander Payne’s first movie since Sideways, Clooney touches-and-charms as a Hawaiian father who becomes his daughters’ primary caregiver when his wife has an accident. It debuted at the elite Telluride Film Festival last week to tears, laughter and accolades. Expect there to be more nominations and it’s looking like a sure thing for the Best Picture short list.
“The Ides of March”: Clooneymania continues with the drama he directed with his version of The Candidate, in which he plays a governor running for president. Dirty politics ensue and Ryan Gosling has the starring role as the idealistic staffer who gets a wake-up call about backroom business. Response so far has been positive respectful, if not rapturous. Maybe supporting nods for Clooney or co-star Paul Giamatti, or Philip Seymour Hoffman, maybe a best actor nom for Gosling, and there’s even some potential for a Clooney directing nomination – my gut is that the actor has his eye on that prize. Once I set my eyes on it this week I’ll have a clearer idea of where I stand on March.
“A Dangerous Method”: Here’s the movie I’ve most anticipated: David Cronenberg’s period adaptation of the novel about mind games between colleagues Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, with Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel and Keira Knightley. Early response about the messy birth of psychoanalysis has been mixed – brilliant but chilly – but no one has been mixed about the performances with Cassel, Fassbinder and Knightley generally earning raves.
To find out the other four films on her list of must-sees, visit Thelma’s website


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