The Toronto Film Festival has screened a second high-profile drama centered on drug addiction following the mixed reaction of Beautiful Boy. That would be Ben Is Back, the latest effort from director Peter Hedges. It stars Julia Roberts and the filmmaker’s son Lucas Hedges and early reviews indicate it could garner Oscar talk.
Critical buzz is strong, especially for Roberts. The chance of the actress earning a fifth Academy Award nod has increased. She won eighteen years ago for Erin Brockovich, in addition to nominations in Supporting Actress for Steel Magnolias (1989) and August: Osage County (2013) and lead for Pretty Woman (1990). A Best Actor nod for Hedges is more of a question mark. There is the possibility he could cancel himself out by also receiving votes in Boy Erased.
Beyond the actors involved, Ben could also contend in Original Screenplay (which director Hedges wrote).
Bottom line: Ben Is Back announced itself as a contender in Canada.
The film opens December 7 domestically. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…