With the Toronto International Film Festival kicking off on Thursday, award season is officially off and running.
Many of the movies heading north of the border hope to leave with the momentum that will lead to nominations at the top award shows at the end of the year. Though all of them won’t get the buzz to make it to the finish, some of the much-anticipated titles going to TIFF will live up to the hype.
Here are nine that you’re likely to hear about when the Oscars roll around.
This drama is based on the civil war in Africa, and it could be a gamechanger for both Netflix -- which will release the film simultaneously on its streaming service and in theatres in October -- and for its director Cary Fukunaga.
With Oscar buzz for Idris Elba, Netflix's first-ever feature-length award contender will give the company the same clout it has in the TV world. For Fukunaga, who could have a nomination in his future, he'll finally have something on his resume to top his incredible work directing all the episodes of the first season of 'True Detective.'
Having already screened at the London and Telluride film festivals to rave reviews, Johnny Depp's portrayal of infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger could put him back into the category of top actors in the business. A Best Actor Oscar nomination is a good bet.
Winning the Best Actor Oscar last year for playing Stephen Hawking in 'The Theory of Everything,' Eddie Redmayne is looking for more Oscar glory in another biopic. In 'The Danish Girl' he stars as Lili Elbe, the 1920s Danish artist who was one of the first recipients of sexual reassignment surgery.
If there was a formula for certain award season notoriety this is it. Take a topic like rights for gay couples, throw in terminal cancer, and lastly cast an Oscar winner like Julianne Moore in the lead, and you got a strong contender for either Best Picture of Best Actress.
When you hear the name Tom Hiddleston you likely think of his character Loki, from the Marvel films. However, if things go as planned you might have a picture of someone else next time you hear his name. The Brit is playing Hank Williams in this biopic on the legendary singer-songwriter. If done believably, Hiddleston will be taking the express lane to Oscar night with a Best Actor nomination.
Susan Sarandon is no stranger to Oscar buzz, having won a gold statue for Best Actress (1996's 'Dead Man Walking') and nominated four other times. It's possible her latest film might get her in the mix again. In 'The Meddler' she plays a widow who follows her daughter from New York City to Los Angeles in hopesof starting a new life. This is just the type of 'dramedy' Oscar voters eat up.
Another dramedy that seems tailor-made for award season is this adaptation of the 2005 documentary of the same name. The narrative version, produced by George Clooney, follows a DC political consulting firm that's been hired by a Bolivian politician to help him win the 2002 presidential election. The film stars Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton.
This adaptation of the novel of the same name is placing Brie Larson ('Trainwreck') as a likely Best Actress nominee as she plays a mother who has raised her son in a single room since he was born.
Bryan Cranston has been playing mostly supporting roles and Lyndon B. Johnson on Broadway since the end of 'Breaking Bad,' but in November he'll be taking the lead in a film on blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Oscar voters are always nostalgic for Old Hollywood (even the less glowing parts), so it's a good bet Cranston will be sporting a tux on Oscar night.
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