The Toronto Film Festival ended this weekend with the top award,The People’s Choice Award, going to The King’s Speech, the film about King George VI (father of Queen Elisabeth) and the speech therapist who helped him get rid of his stutter.
The awards at Toronto don’t mean as much as say the awards at Cannes or Sundance, but the winners of the audience award usually end up doing well at Oscar time.
Two years ago, Slumdog Millionaire was a clear crowd pleaser and audience award winner, and last year it was Precious. Coming out of the festival, The King’s Speech is a talked about favorite for a best film nomination, as well as acting awards for Colin Firth as the King and Geoffrey Rush as his trusted friend and advisor.
In other updates, a number of films I wrote about here have gotten distribution deals. In fact, industry insiders are calling this the most-active Toronto market in years. This weekend, Beginners, Mike Mills' second feature film, was picked up by Focus Films. No official word yet on when they will release the film in the US, but some speculate it will come out the middle of 2011.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions purchased the Will Ferrell film, Everything Must Go, as well as the Robert Redford directed historical drama, The Conspirator, and Lionsgate alone will be distributing Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole
Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.
Other films that were purchased include the new Kelly Reichart film, Meek’s Cutoff, starring Michelle Williams, Passion Play starring Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox, the films Peepworld, Beautiful Boy, and Dirty Girl, as well as 3 films that have gotten positive reviews that I unfortunately didn’t catch at the festival — Werner Herzog's new 3D documentary Caves of Forgotten Dreams, Submarine, and Incendies, which won The City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian Feature, and got a distribution deal from Sony Picture Classics.