The 2018 Toronto International Film Festival starts next month on September 6th. One of the most influential film festivals around, I’d say it plays the biggest role in generating Oscar buzz for films as we head into Fall. The following ten films are not just ones I’m anticipating, but ones I think will factor into this year’s Oscar ballots:

Beautiful Boy

Starring Steve Carrell in a staight dramatic role as the father of teenager, played by Timothee Chalamet, hooked on drugs, will this film go for more than emotional manipulation or settle for being an Oscar bait tearjerker?

Everybody Knows

Early reviews are mixed, which would seem to eliminate it from serious contention, but the pedigree is still there. Director Asghar Farhadi has won two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film this decade, and Everybody Knows represents his first Spanish language film, starring Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. The trailer looks gripping, but how does the film separate itself from Farhadi’s previous domestic thrillers?

First Man

I wasn’t as high on La La Land as most, but Damien Chazelle is definitely very talented. This, his third feature film, stars Ryan Gosling as Neal Armstrong. Unfamiliar with the book it is based on or and only vaguely familiar with the subject as a whole, will this film take an epic approach to the Apollo 11 mission or a more intimate look at Neil Armstrong and his family life?

A Star is Born

I could see this remake going either way. The Barbra Streisand, vanity project route, or the classic, 1950’s Judy Garland route that showcases its star’s talent but also tells a compelling story. The biggest question is can Lady Gaga act?

-Walter Howard-

 

 

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