13 flicks that went from TIFF to Oscar glory
12 Years A SlaveBefore Steve McQueen's film won three of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for, it screened at the 2013 festival where it won the People's Choice award. McQueen's relationship with the festival is a strong one — the director showed his first two films Hunger and Shame at TIFF too.Fox Searchlight Pictures
American BeautyThis People's Choice winner picked up two Oscars—one for Best Picture, and one for Kevin Spacey's performance in the film. Last year, director Jason Reitman held one of his popular live readings at the festival, recruiting Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks, Sarah Gadon, and George Stroumboulopoulos to read American Beauty's script in front of a packed Ryerson theatre. This year's live read will be of Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights. Dream Works
ArgoBen Affleck's third directorial effort had its world premiere at last year's festival and it was the film that everyone thought would win him a Best Director Oscar. It turned out that Argo had to settle for being the Academy's choice for Best Picture of the year instead. Not a bad consolation prize.Warner Bros.
Away from HerCanadian writer/director Sarah Polley was nominated by the Academy for her adaptation of Away from Her's screenplay but lost out to the Coen Brothers' No Country for Old Men. Polley's movie was based on a short story taken from author Alice Munro's collection Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. This year, Kristen Wiig stars in a film based on another story from the same book.Lionsgate
Chariots of FirePremiering in 1981 at Cannes, Chariots of Fire stopped off at the Toronto festival to pick up the People's Choice Award before going on to win four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Score. (Vangelis' theme song for the film is in your head right now, isn't it?).Columbia
CrashCanadian director Paul Haggis introduced his Sandra Bullock-starring film to Toronto audiences back in 2004 as part of the Special Presentation program. In 2006, the film won a Best Picture Oscar (along with the Academy Awards for best writing and best editing). It was a controversial win, with critics complaining that Brokeback Mountain was the more deserving picture.Lionsgate
Dallas Buyers ClubCritics at TIFF 2013 raved about McConaughey and co-star Jared Leto's performances, forecasting Oscar wins for both actors — those predictions turned out to be correct when Awards season arrived seven months later (and with it, McConaughey's wacky acceptance speech). Focus Features
Gravity2013 was a big festival year! Alfonso Cuarón's space odyssey was the third TIFF film in that year's crop to go on to win big at the Oscars. While Sandra Bullock attended the festival premiere, the Canadian stars caused even more excitement: Roberta Bondar and Chris Hadfield were there to grant Bullock honorary astronaut status. Warner Bros. Pictures
Silver Linings PlaybookDavid O. Russell's most recent movie also debuted in Toronto, beating out Argo for TIFF's fan-voted People's Choice award, but going on to lose to Affleck's film in the Best Picture category at the Oscars. Silver Linings Playbook didn't go home empty handed though—Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Actress prize, charming us all by tripping up the stairs to accept her award.Weinstein Co.
Slumdog MillionaireNot everyone is of the opinion that Academy Award-winning pictures should all end in a song and dance sequence, but in 2008 TIFF audiences and the Academy liked the idea. Director Danny Boyle's love letter to Bollywood won eight of the ten Oscars it was nominated for (and one People's Choice Award). Fox Searchlight
The ArtistBlack and white movies came back in a big way in 2011 when The Artist travelled the festival circuit from Cannes to Toronto. The movie was the first French film to ever take home the Oscar for Best Picture and has won more awards than any other French film ever made. The nearly universal enthusiastic reception of the film will remain one of cinema's great mysteries (to me, at least).Weinstein Co.
The Big ChillLawrence Kasdan's classic film about baby boomers reuniting after college was nominated for three Academy Awards but won none. However, it did take home Toronto's People's Choice prize and will have the unique distinction of being one of the few films to screen twice at TIFF. The Big Chill cast will reunite (just like in the movie!) at this year's festival for a 30th anniversary screening. Columbia
The King's SpeechBefore Tom Hooper subjected us to Les Misérables, he treated us to Colin Firth in The King's Speech. Toronto festival goers loved the film about England's King George VI, awarding it the People's Choice prize. The Academy approved of Toronto's pick, and chose it to receive the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars. Colin Firth won for Best Actor, too.Weinstein Co.