Pre­cious picks for Os­car pics

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - News -

You may fight against the no­tion, but, de­spite there still be­ing five months to the cer­e­mony, Os­car-mus­ing sea­son prop­erly be­gins when the Toronto Film Fes­ti­val wheezes to a halt. This year’s event, which ended on Sun­day, of­fered one un­de­ni­able pointer to­wards the Academy Awards.

Lee Daniels’s Pre­cious, an adap­ta­tion of Sap­phire’s in­flu­en­tial novel Push, won the Peo­ple’s Choice Award and be­came the first film ever to claim both that prize and the Au­di­ence Award at Sun­dance. Given that there are now 10 nom­i­nees for best pic­ture, Pre­cious is nearly cer­tain to get short­listed.

Sev­eral Ir­ish films were screened at the fes­ti­val, with Neil Jor­dan’s On­dine and Mar­garet Cork­ery’s im­pres­sive Ea­mon re­ceiv­ing par­tic­u­larly good no­tices. Call­ing the lat­ter a “small but per­fectly formed pic” , the trade pa­per Va­ri­ety said it “plays like the off­spring of Aki Kau­ris­maki and Todd Solondz”.

Speak­ing of fe­male direc­tors, Toronto kicked up an­other di­vert­ing Os­car-re­lated pos­si­bil­ity. With Lone Scher­fig’s An Ed­u­ca­tion and Jane Cam­pion’s Bright Star join­ing Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker in the crit­i­cal-rave drawer, it is now very pos­si­ble that three out of the five nom­i­nees for best di­rec­tor might be women. Just pos­si­ble, mind.

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