TIFF: ‘The King’s Speech’ takes Toronto audience award

Posted by · 10:56 am · September 19th, 2010

Well, in case you weren’t already convinced, you can pretty much write a Best Picture nod for “The King’s Speech” in ink now. Following in the footsteps of such titles as “American Beauty,” “Slumdog Millionaire” and “Precious,” The Weinstein Company’s period drama just took the People’s Choice Award on the last day of the Toronto Film Festival — confirming that the film plays across the board.

Of course, it oversimplifying matters to say that Toronto’s audience award equals a Best Picture play; indeed, only three winners in the last decade have gone on to secure a nomination for Oscar’s top prize. But when a film enters the festival with that much advance buzz and then makes good on it, it’s fair to say that the script is being followed.

The runner-up prize, meanwhile, went to the British-South African co-production, “The First Grader,” an inspirational true-life drama about an 84 year-old Kenyan man starting school — seemingly the kind of  sentimental human-interest crowdpleaser that is catnip to festival audiences, even if critics have been more divided.

The other potentially significant prizewinner out of the festival is Denis Villeneuve’s French-language “Incendies,” which took the Best Canadian Feature award. The film was also extremely well-received at Venice — sadly, I missed my window of opportunity to see it due to scheduling clashes — and could be one to watch in the Best Foreign Language Film category if, as seems likely, the Canadians choose to submit it.

Full list of TIFF winners after the cut.

People’s Choice Award: “The King’s Speech”
Runner-up: “The First Grader”

People’s Choice Award (Documentary): “Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie”
Runner-up: “Nostalgia for the Light”

People’s Choice Award (Midnight Madness): “Stake Land”
Runner-up: “Fubar II”

FIPRESCI Prize (Special Presentations): “L’Amour Fou”

FIPRESCI Prize (Discovery): “Beautiful Boy”

Best Canadian Feature: “Incendies”

Best Canadian Debut Feature: “High Cost of Living”

Best Canadian Short: “Les fleurs de l’âge”

[Photo: The Weinstein Company]

→ 15 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

15 responses so far

  • 1 9-19-2010 at 11:07 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    What the hell are all those other films?

  • 2 9-19-2010 at 11:15 am

    an said...

    i hope this year is not going to be another boring sweep, but rather a fierce battle for the big awards at the oscar

  • 3 9-19-2010 at 11:15 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    The TIFF programme is vast, Jonathan — the mainstream media is highly selective in the films they choose to cover. That said, anyone paying close attention to the festival coverage should have heard of “Beautiful Boy,” for example.

  • 4 9-19-2010 at 11:17 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    This one you might have seen coming a mile away. I’ll go ahead and call a NBR Best Picture win for the film, too (of course that could go a different way eventually). It’s just so…agreeable.

    The trick, however, will be holding onto the buzz throughout the season. These are early days.

  • 5 9-19-2010 at 11:21 am

    Drew said...

    an, last year was a predictable clean sweep? I remember it was always such a tight race between Hurt Locker, Avatar, Inglorious Basterds etc. I would say this could still be a fairly competative year.

  • 6 9-19-2010 at 11:22 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Kris: Indeed. Honestly, I can’t say until I see the film, but it sounds like the kind of contender that would have won easily in the 1990s. These days, the Academy seems to gravitate more towards scrappier contemporary works. It’ll be interesting to see if they feel like going back to the polished prestige model.

  • 7 9-19-2010 at 11:39 am

    an said...

    Drew, i did consider last year a predictable year at the oscar, i was 99% sure hurt locker was going to win majority of awards. And throughout the season it did win most of the award, there was no competition between avatar, and inglorious bastard. As winning a golden globe doesn’t necessary mean competition because most of the film that won a golden globe this decade don’t go on to win the oscar. And the last few years have been sweeps ex: Slumdog, the departed

  • 8 9-19-2010 at 11:55 am

    Sean C. said...

    Looking more and more likely that “Incendies” will be Canada’s entry for Foreign Language Film.

  • 9 9-19-2010 at 12:37 pm

    Drew said...

    Well you’re a pretty good guesser an, but I remember Basterds winning the SAG ensemble award which certainly helped Crash upset Brokeback Mountain while Avatar was the record-breaking champ that everyone was talking about and was convinced for a short time would make history for the academy. Both movies were up against a small film like The Hurt Locker which virtually no one saw until almost a year after it was released. Sorry, but I remember that race being pretty competative up until the very end for best picture. The only thing I was certain was a lock was Bigelow for director and that was about it for The Hurt Locker.

    But obviously the best oscar indictation from early awards ceremonies it still the BFCA. Which is a ways away.

  • 10 9-19-2010 at 12:59 pm

    Sean C. said...

    Yeah, 2009 was generally thought of as competitive, if only because, right up til the end, people were skeptical that the Academy would pick a film that had made so little money over the biggest of all time (or “Basterds”).

    There was also a lot of debate over how the new voting process would work, and how that could affect things.

  • 11 9-19-2010 at 1:01 pm

    Jack said...

    The Hurt Locker virtually swept the precursor circuit if I remember right; it was never considered a lock for the Oscar because of other factors. Which didn’t turn out to actually matter. Just speculation.

    That said, we’ve had an awful lot of sweeps in the past few years and never really much of an upset or a large level of uncertainty going in to the ceremony. (I suppose Crash surprised a few.)

    I hope The King’s Speech isn’t made into the “traditionalist” bad guy in a “Speech vs. Network” media manipulation. It sounds like a really nice film.

    Guy said it really well; “scrappier contemporary works” is an almost perfect description of Hurt Locker, Slumdog, No Country, Departed, Million Dollar Baby, Crash…I suppose 127 Hours and The Social Network would be the best fits for that list? We’ll see.

  • 12 9-19-2010 at 1:01 pm

    Drew said...

    It was a really fun race to track.

  • 13 9-19-2010 at 2:47 pm

    BulgingThrobbingShroom said...

    FYI, clicking on the link under Barbara Hershey’s name for “Black Swan” on the right panel would take to “Tree of Life”. Fix it.

  • 14 9-19-2010 at 2:49 pm

    Hunter Tremayne said...

    That’s funny: when I click on Barbara Hershey’s name it usually takes me to a topless shot of her from Boxcar Bertha.

  • 15 9-19-2010 at 2:54 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    BulgingThrobbingShroom: Charming. How about a “please?”