Reading the TIFF’s Tea Leaves

Critics are placing bets on which movies will score with the Oscars, based on showings at the Toronto International Film Festival, which concluded over the weekend.

The Silver Linings Playbook won the festival’s top prize, raising expectations that it will be nominated for Best PictureVanity Fair also predicts that Jennifer Lawrence will pick up a Best Actress nomination for her performance in the filmwhile the Wall Street Journal gives kudos to co-star Robert De Niro, saying “the 69-year-old seems positively rejuvenated in David O. Russell’s sensational comedy … portraying a gambling addict and obsessive football fan who believes every factor in his environment — even the placement of his remote controls — affects how his beloved Philadelphia Eagles perform.”  The film, based on Matthew Quirk’s novel, also stars Bradley Cooper and opens Nov 21. The tie-in arrives in October.

The Silver Linings Playbook [movie tie-in edition]
Matthew Quick
Retail Price: $15.00
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books – (2012-10-16)
ISBN / EAN: 0374533571 / 9780374533571

Several sources commented on the sheer length of many of the films (the Wall Street Journal complains in its headline “When Will It End“?), including the much-anticipated Cloud Atlas which runs 2 hours and 43 minutes (and is called the “Most overwhelming visual experience of the T.I.F.F.” by Vanity Fair). It opens on Oct. 26th, the same day as another long film, Deepa Mehta’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children which, at 2.5 hours, is slightly shorter. Critics lost patience with the it; the Toronto’s Globe and Mail commented, “With the book’s wryly witty tone mostly gone, all that’s left is plot – diminished yet recitative, like episodic milestones duly checked off on a laboured journey.”

Also  clocking in at over two hours are  Great Expectations (128 minutes; release not yet scheduled) and Anna Karenina (130 minutes; opens 11/16), with Keira Knightley. Critics were divided on the latter, with The Hollywood Reporter saying it “lacks emotional depth, moral resonance,” while Time magazine enthused that it is an  “intelligently ecstatic new adaptation.”

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