Okay, maybe we can’t guarantee that all these movies are Oscar-bound—after all, frontrunners like Carol, Joy, The Revenant, Steve Jobs and Bridge of Spies are bypassing TIFF—but these 14 festival faves will certainly give those others a run for their money.
TIFF movies we guarantee you’ll see at the 2016 Oscars
SpotlightThis true story about a team of Boston Globe reporters who exposed the Catholic Church's child abuse cover-ups is likely to make headlines for months to come. Already the recipient of many early raves, this film benefits from an undeniable fact about journalism: writers love writing about writers.Open Road Films
Beasts of No NationWhen Hollywood distributors passed on this volatile drama from director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective season one), Netflix came to the rescue. Based on recent reactions, it now seems that the company has a serious Oscar contender on its hands.Netflix
FreeheldFresh off an Oscar win for Still Alice, Julianne Moore gets greedy and finds herself in contention yet again with this film about a lesbian couple's battle for pension benefits.Lionsgate
The Danish GirlAnother recent Oscar winner, Eddie Redmayne is likely to earn more enthusiasm from the Academy with his transformative performance as Lili Elbe. It doesn't hurt that he has the support of another Oscar regular: director Tom Hooper (The King's Speech, Les Misérables).Universal Pictures
Our Brand Is CrisisThis film offers gender identity complexities of another kind, with Bullock playing a real person… who happens to be a man. What this unlikely rewrite means for her Oscar chances is hard to say, but the film's producers (Argo's George Clooney and Grant Heslov), subject matter (South American politics), and star make it a likely contender.Warner Bros.
The ProgramIf extreme training was enough to earn an actor a nomination, Ben Foster would be a lock for his performance as Lance Armstrong. However, this film has yet to screen anywhere, leaving many wondering if he has what it takes to enter the race.StudioCanal
LegendIn spite of many years of praise, Tom Hardy has yet to earn an Oscar nomination. With Legend, he enters the race for a performance that required roughly twice as much acting as the competition.Universal
Black MassFamous and/or infamous for his chameleon-like tendencies, Johnny Depp has been nominated for Best Actor three times. While it seems he fell out of favour with the Academy in recent years, his performance as Whitey Bulger is likely to intimidate some members into offering their support. If not, he'll break their legs.Warner Bros.
TrumboWith four Emmys and a Tony under his belt, Bryan Cranston sets his sights on the Oscars with his colourful performance as blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. If this works out and we can figure out some way for Cranston to win a Grammy, he'll join the select ranks of EGOT winners.eOne
BrooklynA '50s romance that spans Ireland and New York, this sleeper has earned early raves, suggesting that Saoirse Ronan may return to the Oscars—and it's about time. Still just 21, the actress has already waited seven years for her second nomination.Mongrel Media
RoomSpeaking of Ireland, Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue earned all kinds of attention for Room, her novel about a boy who spends the first five years of his life confined to a grungy room. If early reactions are any indication, the actors from this adaptation may soon find themselves in far more glamorous surroundings.Elevation Pictures
Son of SaulAlready the winner of four awards at Cannes, this bleak Holocaust drama is no crowd-pleaser, but it seems like a lock for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination.Sony Pictures Classics
He Named Me MalalaWhen Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai spoke out about the importance of women's education, a gunman shot her in the head. In an uplifting twist, she survived, continued crusading for good, and starred in a documentary that stands a good chance of earning an Oscar nomination.Fox Searchlight Pictures
Where to Invade NextIf He Named Me Malala makes it to the Oscars, we're guessing it will be in competition with Where to Invade Next, the first documentary in six years from two-time nominee and one-time winner Michael Moore. His last acceptance speech earned boos and a standing ovation, so don't be surprised if the Academy is split.Dog Eat Dog Films
Find out which festival favourites take home an Oscar at the 88th Academy Awards on February 28 at 8:30 p.m. ET on CTV.