BREAKING MOVIE NEWS
Someoneís going to be left out in the cold. Several very talented and deserving people, in fact. Thereís no avoiding it. There are simply too many talented actors vying for five Best Actor slots this year, so on the morning of the Oscar nominations, there could be as many as 10 worthy performers looking at the five nominees and wondering why they arenít in that exclusive group.
This is the first time weíre going on record with official Oscar predictions, breaking films down into Frontrunners, Contenders, Dark Horses and Longshots. We still have a number of films left to screen between now and the end of the year. To date, hereís where I think all of the top films stand.
Again, itís September. Toronto will give way to the New York Film Festival, which will give way to AFI. There are plenty more films to screen, and more performances to enjoy. But for the moment, I believe Iíve seen two contendersÖ and even two frontrunners.
Between these four fests, cinephiles and critics will have a chance to preview titles that are sure to be the most talked about of award season. We've sorted through the buzz of Telluride, Venice, TIFF and NYFF to distill what five movies you must see to stay in the conversation this year.
Iím in Toronto once again, covering my eighth consecutive TIFF. Itís always a thrill to be at the center of the fest, but I know (from experience) how overwhelming it can be. So I jumped on a podcast with my great friend and colleague Erik Davis of Movies.com to preview the 10 films that we can not wait to see in Toronto.
As expected, TIFF (as Torontoís summarily dubbed) unveiled a healthy slate of programming in its first initial announcement, part of the run up to this yearís robust film festival. (The dates of the 2014 Toronto Fest are Sept. 4 to 14, and we will be on the ground covering every inch of the festival, per usual.)
Based on an incredible true story of resilience and self-discovery, this biopic promises to be an emotional journey. But could it also throw Witherspoon back into the award season spotlight?
Honestly, itís the most quintessential image one could have expected from the film, which will chronicle the 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trailer taken by author Cheryl Strayed, who made the trek as a way of coping with the downward spiral her adult life had taken, following the death of her mother, her failed marriage and a bout with heroin addiction.
Witherspoon will not only headline the feature called simply Wild, but also is producing along with her Pacific Standard partner Bruna Papandrea (Warm Bodies), and River Road Entertainment's Bill Pohlad (12 Years a Slave).
Witherspoon and Bruna Papandrea will co-produce the based-on-fact story of Cheryl Strayed, a woman who Ė in an effort to recover from her motherís death and a crumbling marriage Ė hiked a 1,100-mile trail that stretches the Pacific Crest Trail from California to Washington.