Five Movies Getting Oscar Buzz At The Toronto International Film Festival

08 September 2019
Toronto International Film Festival, Joker, Ford v Ferrari, Dolemite Is My Name, Marriage Story, Jojo Rabbit
With some of the most anticipated movies screening at TIFF, it’s clear that all eyes will be on audience reactions as Oscar buzz heats up ahead of awards season

With some of the most anticipated movies screening at TIFF, it’s clear that all eyes will be on audience reactions as Oscar buzz heats up ahead of awards season.

For many, the Toronto International Film Festival is the beginning of what is a marathon-like slog of publicity and critical reviews, culminating with the Oscars in February. It’s awards season, folks.

With streaming platforms like Netflix continuing to dominate the media landscape, it’s hard to tear our eyes away from our devices and actually set ourselves down in a cinema. This fact alone has led to something of an identity crisis in Hollywood, compounded by a decline in ticket sales. Studios now seem more focused on re-hashing the successful flicks of yester-year, be it a reboot or merely running a franchise so far into the ground it ceases to provide any sense of plot direction or character development. Oh Hollywood, you do try.

But with most superhero flicks now behind us, we can now look to those artier films that demand more attention. They might take themselves too seriously, but so too do Avengers fans it seems. Consequently, Toronto’s Film Festival serves as our first insight into just what might go the distance on the run to the Oscars. While Cannes and Venice have already led audiences to distinguish frontrunners, Toronto will see just which performances are sustained throughout the awards season.

Here are the films you can expect to be hearing a lot more of following their debut at the Toronto Film Festival. The next two weeks will be crucial for a number of them, as they look to enter the discourse of Oscar-worthy performances and memorable screenplays. Whatever the case, strap yourselves in for what will be a marathon awards season.


Joaquin Phoenix has been the talk of the town. The actor’s portrayal of The Joker in Todd Phillips’s reimagining of the Batman villain has audiences largely intrigued by just how Phoenix will differentiate himself from those who have taken on the role previously. The film has already picked up a fair bit of controversy, with debate continuing to surround the toxic fandom sparked by the character in the past and present. Regardless, Phoenix’s performance looks quite remarkable and the fact that Warner Bros. is treating the film as an awards contender and not just any other superhero/villain film is telling.

Ford v Ferrari

The film is a retelling of the 1966 battle between the two giant automakers to win the fabled 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It looks to be garnering some serious awards show attention, largely due to its cast which features Christian Bale (as Ford’s driver) and Matt Damon (as the company’s carmaker).

Dolemite Is My Name

The film will look to cement the renaissance of Eddie Murphy, as the biographical comedy explores the life of actor Rudy Ray Moore (Murphy) and his iconic, titular character. The film is another huge endeavour by Netflix who appear to be gunning for a second Oscar after their successful run with Roma.

Marriage Story

In what could be another Oscar contender for Netflix, the streaming giant has successful laid its hands on Marriage Story from director Noah Baumbach. The story is a gut-wrenching tragicomedy that traces the demise of a relationship as a couple (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson) come to terms with their separation and how best to raise their son after divorce.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Directed by Marielle Heller, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood sees Tom Hanks play the legendary TV host Fred Rogers in a story told through the eyes of a cynical journalist (Matthew Rhys) who undertakes the task of profiling him. Audiences are suggesting the film could see Hanks enter Oscar nominations yet again. While the actor already has two trophies to his name, he hasn’t been nominated for 18 years.

Via GQ Australia