Lenny Abrahamson's dark drama "Room" won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival over the likes of "Brooklyn," "The Danish Girl" and "Spotlight." (See the full list of winners below.) This surprise victory bodes well for its Oscar hopes. Of the previous 37 TIFF champs, 13 reaped Best Picture bids at the Oscars and five of them won the top Academy Award: "Chariots of Fire" (1981), "American Beauty" (1999), "Slumdog Millionaire" (2008), "The King's Speech" (2010) and "12 Years a Slave" (2013).
The eight also-rans at the Oscars were "The Big Chill" (1983), "Places in the Heart" (1984), "Shine" (1996), "Life is Beautiful" (1998), "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000), "Precious" (2009), "Silver Linings Playbook" (2012) and last year's winner, "The Imitation Game." That biopic contended for eight Oscars, winning Best Adapted Screenplay.
In all, 26 of the TIFF top choices have contended at the Oscars, winning 44 awards from 130 nominations.
This TIFF triumph is also a boost fo "Room" star Brie Larson, who plays a kidnap victim repeatedly raped by her captor. Among our Oscars experts — a panel of 18 journalists who cover the film industry year-round — she already has the backing of Jenelle Riley (Variety) and Brian Truitt (USA Today) and odds of 7 to 1. That puts her in third behind past Oscar champs Cate Blanchett ("Carol") and Jennifer Lawrence ("Joy").
Over the years, 16 TIFF picks scored a collective 31 Oscar nominations for their performers. 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).
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD
PEOPLE'S CHOICE DOCUMENTARY AWARD
"Winter On Fire: The People’s Fight For Ukraine"
PEOPLE'S CHOICE MIDNIGHT MADNESS AWARD
FIPRESCI DISCOVERY PRIZE
Discovery Section: "Eva Nova"
Special Presentations Section: "Desierto"
BEST CANADIAN FILM FEATURE
BEST CANADIAN FIRST FEATURE
BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM
BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
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