Surprise! The Toronto Film Festival audiences have voted for their favorite film.
It was not Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper in ” A Star is Born” or Ryan Gosling in “First Man” or Michael Moore’s anti Trump doc “Fahrenheit 11-9.”
The winner of the Audience Award was Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book,” a kind of “Driving Miss Daisy” for the new generation. Viggo Mortensen stars as an Italian bouncer in the South, circa the early 60s, who has to drive around a famous musician, played by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. They use the “Green Book” which is a guide to restaurants and motels were blacks were allowed.
“Green Book” is now certainly a main Oscar contender. It was shown at TIFF toward the end, after many critics had left. But audiences loved it.
The runners-up were Barry Jenkins’ excellent “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” both of which are likely Oscar candidates as well. Grolsch gives the Audience Award and pays the winning director $15,000.
Farrelly is usually not associated with award winning films, but funny ones and box office hits. His credits include “Dumb and Dumber,” “There’s Something About Mary,” and “Shallow Hal.”
The films that lost the Grolsch award will absolutely be Oscar contenders. But the studios that made them are getting quite a marketing referendum here. The audience didn’t vote for them despite critical raves.
“Green Book” will be released on November 21st by Dreamworks/Amblin, the same mini-studio that also has “First Man.”
Here’s the full list of winners:
IWC Short Cuts Awards – Canadian: Brotherhood
IWC Short Cuts Awards- International: The Field
Canadian First Feature: Roads In February
Canadian Feature Film: The Fireflies Are Gone
Fipresci Jury Award – Discovery: Float Like A Butterfly
Fipresci Jury Award – Special Presentations: Skin
Eurimage Audentia Award – Fig Tree
NETPAC Award For World or International Asian Premiere: The Third Wife
Toronto Platform Prize: Cities Of Last Things
Grolsch People’s Choice Award – Midnight Madness: The Man Who Feels No Pain
Grolsch People’s Choice Award – Documentary: Free Solo
Grolsch People’s Choice Award: Green Book