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"12 Years A Slave" The Oscar Favorite?

By Garth Franklin Monday September 16th 2013 09:20AM
"12 Years A Slave" The Oscar Favorite?

The Toronto Film Festival came to a close last night with Steve McQueen's period slavery epic "12 Years a Slave" taking the top honor of the People's Choice Award.

Four of the past five winners of the award have gone on to be nominated for Best Picture, and two have won - "Slumdog Millionaire" and "The King's Speech".

It's no surprise then that "Slave" has jumped to the top of various Oscar pundits list following the Fall film festival circuit according to Gold Derby. 'Slave' was the film that scored the biggest jump in a poll of 18 experts in the awards prediction field over the past few weeks.

David O. Russell's "American Hustle" and Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" remain in second and third place (both have yet to screen), but jumping to fourth is Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" following rave reviews out of all three recent film festivals. Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips" also saw a boost and is slotted in fifth.

The festival circuit wasn't as kind to some other awards-bait films which seem to have lost a bit of steam such as "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," "The Fifth Estate," "Enough Said" and "August: Osage County". All will still likely compete in acting and other categories and could stage comebacks when they reach a wider critical and public market.

Not so fortunate are "Labor Day," "Devil’s Knot," "Parkland" and "You Are Here" which all scored mixed receptions and seem to be fully out of the running.

Others like "Can a Song Save Your Life?" and the two-part "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her" scored great praise, but currently aren't scheduled for release until sometime next year.

Several key films have yet to screen though and could still shake up the landscape. Along with 'Hustle' and 'Wolf', there's George Clooney's "Monuments Men," Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher," Spike Jonze's "Her," John Lee Hancock's "Saving Mr. Banks," Scott Cooper's "Out of the Furnace," and Olivier Dahan's "Grace of Monaco".

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