'Silver Linings Playbook' wins top prize at Toronto festival


Silver Linings Playbook, a dramatic comedy about a man who returns to his family home after eight months in a mental institution, won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, by The Fighter director David O. Russell and starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, took home the BlackBerry People's Choice award for best film at the 37th edition of the festival.

Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, Silver Linings Playbook examines one man's recovery from a personal and professional meltdown. The film held its world premiere at the festival last week.

"Just as The Fighter to me was not about fighting, this movie to me is not about mental illness," Russell said last week. "To me, it's always about the people and the dynamic of the people."

Recent winners of the People's Choice award, which is selected by festival audiences, include Oscar-winners The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire.

The runner-up for the prize was Ben Affleck's Argo, a fact-based thriller about an outlandish plan to get six stranded Americans out of Tehran after the 1979 invasion of the American Embassy by having them masquerade as a Canadian film crew.

Argo also had its world premiere at the Toronto festival.

The People's Choice award for top documentary went to Artifact, which follows actor Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars as they record their album "This Is War," while waging a legal battle against their label.

"This film is so personal and has been such a labor of love," Leto said in a statement read by festival organizers. "Thank you so much to every single person who voted."

The People's Choice award for top Midnight Madness film went to Bartholomew Cubbins' Seven Psychopaths, a blood-spattered comedy starring Colin Farrell as a screenwriter struggling to complete the script for a serial-killer movie, and featuring audience favorites Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson.

The best Canadian feature award went to Xavier Dolan's "Laurence Anyways," a drama about a heterosexual relationship that is sent into a tailspin when the man confesses that he believes he's transgendered.

Building Oscar buzz

Launched in 1976, the Toronto festival now ranks with Cannes and Sundance as one of the world's top movie gatherings. The festival often serves as a launching point for films and performances that go on to win Academy Awards, as well as international films seeking distribution deals.

Even before its People's Choice win, Silver Linings Playbook was leading best picture Oscar buzz at the festival, with Lawrence's performance as a sexually forward widow fighting depression also stirring talk of a best actress nomination.

Argo leaves Toronto as another strong contender for a best picture nomination and possibly a best director nomination for Affleck, who won an Academy Award in 1998 for co-writing "Good Will Hunting" with actor Matt Damon.

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master continued to impress critics and audiences in Toronto, especially for performances by lead actors Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.

Bill Murray also gained attention for his turn as Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park on Hudson while Noah Baumbach's art house film Frances Ha has won over critics and audiences alike.

Films not quite living up to their high expectations include eagerly anticipated literary adaptations - Anna Karenina and Midnight's Children - while Cloud Atlas, co-directed by Tom Tykwer and The Matrix Trilogy sibling team, divided critics with its complex multiple storylines.

Selling Toronto

Sarah Polley's autobiographical documentary Stories We Tell was one of the early sales at a festival while The Place Beyond the Pines, starring Ryan Gosling and directed by Derek Cianfrance, was the first major acquisition, scoring roughly $2.5 million, according to media reports.

Other sales included sex addiction comedy Thanks for Sharing starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Ruffalo and singer Pink; Imogene with Kristen Wiig; and Crying Game filmmaker Neil Jordan's Byzantium.

All told nearly 40 films had signed deals at the festival, as of Saturday, including 29 major sales to U.S. distributors

"It's been a particularly robust year for sales," said Justin Cutler, senior manager of sales and industry for the festival. "We're happy that the festival's official selection will reach film lovers across the world."


Arts and Entertainment

Will Poulter will play the shape-shifting monsterfilm
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Paul Hollywood

'Whether he left is almost immaterial'TV
Arts and Entertainment

game of thrones reviewWarning: spoilers

Arts and Entertainment
The original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill

George Osborne confirms Star Wars 8 will film at Pinewood Studios in time for 4 May


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before