‘The Imitation Game’ wins Toronto Film Festival award – Oscar next?

The Imitation Game” won the People’s Choice Award for Best Picture at the Toronto International Film Festival, thus officially emerging as a top Oscar contender.

Of the previous 36 TIFF winners, 25 (almost 70%) became Oscar rivals, reaping 122 nominations and 43 victories. Five bagged the Academy Award for Best Picture: “Chariots of Fire” (1981), “American Beauty” (1999), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008), “The King’s Speech” (2010) and last year’s winner, “12 Years a Slave.” Seven other Toronto champs were nominated for Oscar’s top prize: “The Big Chill” (1983), “Places in the Heart” (1984), “Shine” (1996), “Life is Beautiful” (1998), “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (2009) and “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012).

The Imitation Game” is currently ranked sixth in the Best Picture race at Gold Derby’s prediction center where it has 16-to-1 odds.

This TIFF triumph could also bode well for Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. Fifteen TIFF Best Pictures scored a collective 29 Oscar nominations for their performers and nine won: Sally Field for “Places in the Heart” (Actress, 1984), Mercedes Ruehl for “The Fisher King” (Best Supporting Actress, 1991), Geoffrey Rush for “Shine” (Actor, 1996), Roberto Benigni for “Life is Beautiful” (Best Actor, 1998), Kevin Spacey for “American Beauty” (Best Actor, 1999), Mo’Nique for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (Best Supporting Actress, 2009), Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech” (Best Actor, 2010), Jennifer Lawrence for “Silver Linings Playbook” (Best Actress, 2012) and Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave” (Best Supporting Actress, 2013).

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According to Gold Derby racetrack odds, Cumberbatch is in fourth place to win Best Actor (13-to-2 odds) and Knightley is in the fifth slot to prevail as  Best Supporting Actress (12 to 1). Director Morten Tyldum is ranked eighth to snag the director’s trophy (50 to 1).

TIFF AWARDS WINNERS

GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD
The Imitation Game

GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARD
“Beats of the Antonov”

BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
“A Single Body”

GROLSCH PEOPLE’S CHOICE MIDNIGHT MADNESS AWARD
“What We Do in the Shadows”

NETPAC AWARD
“Margarita, with a Straw”

FIPRESCI DISCOVERY PRIZE
“May Allah Bless France”

BEST CANADIAN FILM FEATURE
“Felix and Meira”

BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
“The Weatherman and the Shawdowboxer”

BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE
“Big Bang Baby”

ALSO READ: Great news, ‘Lego Movie’: Pixar is benched for 2014 Oscars

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