The Toronto International Film Festival is Over … and the Big Winner is Bradley Cooper

Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in The Silver Linings Playbook | Mirage Enterprises

It’s good to be Bradley Cooper right now, and it’s a good time to be a Bradley Cooper fan (yes, like me) because he just made a super splash at the Toronto International Film Festival (affectionately known as TIFF).

His upcoming film, The Silver Linings Playbook, won the coveted People’s Choice Award, previously awarded to such films as The King’s Speech, American Beauty, Precious, and Slumdog Millionaire, three of which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. The movie’s trailer apparently doesn’t do it justice.

Cooper stars in the film with Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games fame, and Robert DeNiro plays his father. Cooper and Lawrence play two people with some hefty emotional issues who find each other.

The movie is being called an unusual and groundbreaking dramedy that explores mental illness in a positive way. It’s also being called a top Oscar contender in a lot of categories, including actor nods and possibly Best Director for David O. Russell (who directed the celebrated film, The Fighter). While Best Picture Academy Awards usually go to strict dramas, last year’s winner, The Artist, was a notable exception.

Cooper had another film premiere at the festival in which he costars with Ryan GoslingThe Place Beyond the Pines, directed by Derek Cianfrance, who directed Gosling in the well-received Blue Valentine.

While the reviews of this film were mixed compared to the glowing reviews for The Silver Linings Playbook, it received the biggest bucks in its U.S. distribution deal in Toronto of all the films that were purchased. That’s a double whammy for Bradley. There’s no trailer yet for Pines, but the clip above was released last week.

Toronto’s festival is a big one, and what happens there counts for a lot in the industry. Just how big? The Hollywood Reporter says “The 34 previous TIFF audience award winners went on to score 105 Oscar nominations, including 10 for best picture and nine for best foreign language film.” Read the magazine’s analysis and list of prior People’s Choice winners based on their subsequent Oscar success.

Ben Affleck in Argo | Warner Bros.
Ben Affleck in Argo | Warner Bros.

Other films making a big impression at TIFF were the Ben Affleck-directed Argo, which was runner-up for the People’s Choice Award. Affleck also had a great TIFF because he starred in director Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder, which is said to be even weirder than Malick’s previous movie, The Tree of Life.

Once again, there are those who say it’s brilliant and others who say it’s crap. I couldn’t even get through Tree of Life, so I “wonder” about To the Wonder. Incidentally, Rachel McAdams stars alongside Affleck and is having a great year herself. She’s also in a new Brian dePalma film called Passion.

The Master, starring heavy hitters Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, also got a lot of buzz at TIFF after receiving some hefty awards at the Venice Film Festival. Another People’s Choice Award in a special category went to Seven Psychopaths, which features an amazing cast led by Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. The trailer looks hilarious.

The Silver Linings Playbook is set to open in the U.S. in November, and The Place Beyond the Pines will open sometime in 2013. The Master, which is a story inspired by the founding of Scientology, is already in many theaters and broke some art house records this past weekend. Both Argo and Seven Psychopaths open in October.

I can’t wait to see all of these and some of the other talked-about movies of the fall. Looks like film buffs will have plenty to look forward to in the coming months.

Watch for my coverage of more upcoming flicks, which I’ll be seeing at the New York Film Festival held at Lincoln Center.


2 responses to “The Toronto International Film Festival is Over … and the Big Winner is Bradley Cooper”

  1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

    I cannot wait to see ALL of these films. Well, iffy on Terrence Malick, too, but intrigued to see if I like To the Wonder better than The Tree of Life, which was a little too artsy and dreamy for me. 

  2. […] why the theatrical release is a whopping six months after the TIFF premiere, but back in September, Melanie Votaw wrote that the film “received the biggest bucks in its U.S. distribution deal in Toronto of all the […]

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