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Toronto Film Festival Winners: ‘Green Book’ drives into the Oscar race

The Peter Farrelly race relations road comedy Green Book, starring Academy Award winner Mashershala Ali (Moonlight) and Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises, Captain Fantastic) has won the top prize at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, the Grolsch People’s Choice Award.

The win gives the film a massive boost in the Oscar race, where for many people it was under the radar (not here). The track record for the People’s Choice Award winner and a Best Picture nomination is a strong one; every film for the last 10 years save one (Nadine Labaki’s Where Do We Go Now?) has been nominated. Three have won (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech and 12 Years a Slave). It is Mortensen’s second film to top the festival – his Eastern Promises did in 2007. A TIFF world premiere, the film was met with thunderous applause at its premiere, public and press screenings. The film is about an Italian-American bouncer (Mortensen) who takes a job driving a famous black concert pianist (Ali) around a tour of the South. You can read my review of the film here. You can see where Green Book landed in my August predictions from last month and the live updates here. September predictions will come out this week.

If Beale Street Could Talk from Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins and ROMA from Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón were 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively.

The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award goes to Vasan Bala’s The Man Who Feels No Pain​.​ The first runner-up is David Gordon Green’s Halloween. The second runner-up is Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation.

The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award goes to Free Solo, directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin. The first runner-up is Tom Donahue’s This Changes Everything.  The second runner-up is John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm.  

This is the fourth year for Platform, the Festival’s juried programme that champions directors’ cinema from around the world. The Festival welcomed an international jury comprised of award-winning filmmakers Mira Nair, Béla Tarr, and Lee Chang-dong, who unanimously awarded the Toronto Platform Prize Presented by Air France to Wi Ding Ho’s Cities of Last Things.

Other winners included:

IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film – Meryam Joobeur’s Brotherhood

 IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film – Sandhya Suri’s The Field

The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian First Feature Film – Katherine Jerkovic’s Roads in February

The Canada Goose® Award for Best Canadian Feature Film – Sébastien Pilote’s The Fireflies Are Gone

The Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for the Discovery program was awarded to Carmel Winters for Float Like a Butterfly

The Prize of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) for Special Presentations was awarded to Guy Nattiv for Skin

The NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere in the Discovery and Contemporary World Cinema sections goes to Ash Mayfair’s The Third Wife

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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