Oscar Watch: Freeheld

While the Cannes, Venice, and Telluride film festivals were successful in showcasing a number of Oscar hopefuls including Carol, The Danish Girl, Steve Jobs, and Spotlight, among others – this year’s in progress Toronto Film Festival has already premiered several titles that have seen their awards hope dim.

One is Freeheld, a domestic partnership drama starring Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Steve Carell, and Michael Shannon. Directed by Peter Sollett and based on a 2007 documentary, this was looked at as a potential contender in several categories before it screened up north. Reviews have been very mixed and any chance it had at a Picture nod seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Still, it’s a little naive to completely count Moore in Best Actress out and her performance has received solid notices. Yet as mentioned in previous Oscar watch posts, that race is looking very crowded already with Cate Blanchett in Carol, possibly Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl (though she could be recognized instead in Supporting), Carey Mulligan in Suffragette, Brie Larson in Room, Lily Tomlin in Grandma, Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn, and the as yet unforeseen work of Jennifer Lawrence in Joy. In other words, the competition could crowd Moore out and Academy voters may be OK with that considering she won just last year for her work in Still Alice. She remains a possibility, however, and can’t be totally discounted. As for other performers, Michael Shannon has received positive word of mouth but is a long shot for Supporting Actor.

All in all, Toronto essentially dashed the hopes of Freeheld gaining any major traction in the 2015 awards derby.

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