Tag Archives: Toronto Film Festival

Halloween Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (10/12/18): A week before its premiere, I’m revising my estimate up from $67.2 million to $75.4 million

Next weekend, the latest Halloween entry arrives in theaters and this one does so with a twist. While this is the 11th installment in the 40-year-old franchise, it ignores everything that happened in parts 2-10 and serves as a direct sequel to the 1978 John Carpenter classic. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode with Nick Castle (the original Michael Myers) donning the mask once again. David Gordon Green, known for pics as varied as Pineapple Express and last year’s Boston Marathon drama Stronger, directs and is co-writer along with comedic actor Danny McBride. Blumhouse Productions is behind this and they have proven themselves as masters of making low-budget horror flicks hugely profitable ventures (the price tag is only a reported $10 million). Costars include Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton.

This is actually Curtis’s fifth time playing her iconic character when including Halloween II, 1998’s Halloween: H20, and Halloween: Resurrection. Just pay no mind to anything that happened to her in those follow-ups. The release date timed for the actual holiday and the return of the series best known player has created some serious buzz. So did its screening at the Toronto Film Festival where it premiered to solid reviews (Rotten Tomatoes is currently at 85%).

Add all that up and Halloween appears primed to scare up big business. The current record holder for biggest horror debut of all time belongs to last year’s It at $123 million and that mark seems unattainable. However, this seems poised to top 2018’s The Nun, which premiered with $53 million. I believe a mid 70s gross is where Laurie and Michael will stake their claim, which would give it the second highest October debut behind Venom. 

Halloween opening weekend prediction: $75.4 million

Oscar Watch: Capernaum

I recently did an Oscar Watch post for Shoplifters, the Japanese drama that won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It stands an excellent shot at a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

So, too, does the Cannes winner for the Jury Prize and that is Capernaum. This Lebanese tearjerker from director Nadine Labaki is said to be an audience favorite. It recently played at the Toronto Film Festival and buzz continued to increase. The Jury Prize recipient in 2017 was Russia’s Loveless and it went on to score an Academy nod.

The category is beginning to look crowded with such titles as Roma, Cold War, Shoplifters, and Sunset (among others) as contenders. If Capernaum makes it in, it would be only the second picture from Lebanon to do so. Yet it would also be two in a row as last year’s The Insult was the first.

Bottom line: Capernaum stands a solid shot among the five movies to be recognized in the Foreign Language Film race.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 20th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions are below for your perusal! The whirlwind festival season of Venice/Telluride/Toronto has come to an end and there’s precious few Academy contenders left to screen as the races come into more focus.

Here are some significant developments over the week:

  • The rise of Green Book after it won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival. The Peter Farrelly directed race relations drama has vaulted into the Best Picture contest as it rises from #10 on last week’s list to #5. It replaces Boy Erased in my listing of the nine predicted Picture nominees. We are not entirely sure yet that it’s Viggo Mortensen for lead Actor and Mahershala Ali for Supporting Actor, though that appears to be the case. Mortensen is now a predicted nominee (going from #8 to #4) and that means I took Robert Redford’s performance in The Old Man & The Gun out. Ali rises from #5 to #2 in Supporting Actor.
  • In Best Director, I’ve gone back to Spike Lee being nominated for BlacKkKlansman over Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk.
  • The Best Actress five remains the same, but I’ll note that Yalitza Aparicio’s work in Roma is sneaking up there as far a predicted nominee.
  • Word is out that Natalie Portman in Vox Lux will be campaigned for in Supporting Actress and not lead. My rankings reflect that change.
  • Speaking of Supporting Actress, I now have both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in for The Favourite. Weisz replaces Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased (that film has taken a big hit as of late in my rankings and we’ll see if it recovers).
  • Stan and Ollie released its first trailer and while I don’t have it predicted for actual nominations, the film makes its first appearance as far as possible nods in Picture, Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly), and Original Screenplay.
  • The critically acclaimed Leave No Trace from earlier this year makes its inaugural showing for possible nominations in Picture, Supporting Actress (Thomasin McKenzie), and Adapted Screenplay.

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 3)

4. The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Green Book (PR: 10)

6. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 5)

7. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

8. Black Panther (PR: 9)

9. Vice (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

11. Boy Erased (PR: 7)

12. Widows (PR: 12)

13. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

14. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 16)

15. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 15)

16. The Front Runner (PR: 13)

17. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 23)

18. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 19)

19. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 17)

20. Beautiful Boy (PR: 21)

21. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 18)

22. Stan and Ollie (PR: Not Ranked)

23. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 24)

24. Eighth Grade (PR: Not Ranked)

25. Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ben Is  Back

Cold War

Peterloo

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 3)

4. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 12)

8. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 10)

9. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 7)

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 9)

11. Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 13)

12. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 11)

13. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

14. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

15. Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Reitman, The Front Runner

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 3)

3. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 2)

4. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 8)

5. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 5)

7. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 7)

8. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 12)

9. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 9)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

11. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 13)

12. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 11)

13. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 10)

14. Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk 

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 9)

8. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 7)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 10)

10. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 13)

11. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 12)

12. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 11)

13. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 14)

14. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (PR: 15)

15. Keira Knightley, Colette (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (moved to Supporting Actress)

Best Supporting Actor

1. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 1)

2. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 5)

3. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 3)

5. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 13)

7. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

8. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

9. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 9)

10. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 7)

11. John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 11)

13. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: 12)

14. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 14)

15. Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased

Best Supporting Actress

1. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 1)

2. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 7)

5. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 5)

7. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 10)

8. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Lead Actress)

9. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 6)

10. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows (PR: 8)

11. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 11)

12. Linda Cardellini, Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 14)

14. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Maura Tierney, Beautiful Boy (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Vera Farmiga, The Front Runner

Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex

Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 3)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 7)

7. Boy Erased (PR: 6)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 10)

9. Black Panther (PR: 8)

10. The Front Runner (PR: 9)

11. Beautiful Boy (PR: 12)

12. The Sisters Brothers (PR 11)

13. Disobedience (PR: 14)

14. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

15. Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wildlife

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Green Book (PR: 4)

4. Vice (PR: 3)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Reformed (PR: 11)

7. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 6)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

9. Stan and Ollie (PR: Not Ranked)

10. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 9)

11. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Ben Is Back (PR: 7)

13. Hereditary (PR: 14)

14. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 12)

15. Sorry to Bother You (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Vox Lux

Mid90s

Life Itself Box Office Prediction

The ensemble drama Life Itself opens next weekend and it likely faces an uphill battle for eyeballs. Dan Fogelman, best known as creator of NBC’s hit series “This Is Us”, directs. The cast includes Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Life premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last week to poor reviews and word of mouth. It stands at just 20% on Rotten Tomatoes and the marketing campaign has been lackluster.

Add all that up and this is looking like a major flop that could struggle to hit $5 million.

Life Itself opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

For my The House with a Clock in Its Walls prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/11/the-house-with-a-clock-in-its-walls-box-office-prediction/

For my Fahrenheit 11/9 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/15/fahrenheit-11-9-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: A Private War

In a Best Actress race that is growing crowded, the Toronto Film Festival gave us yet another possibility with Rosamund Pike in A Private War. The film focuses on the true life story of Marie Colvin, a war journalist killed in Syria in 2012. Matthew Heineman directs and he’s best known for his documentaries, including the Oscar nominated Cartel Land and last year’s City of Ghosts. Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci costar.

The picture itself is getting mixed to positive reviews, but critics are heaping praise on Pike’s work. Four years ago, she was nominated for Gone Girl. Its distributor will need to mount a serious campaign for Pike to nab her second nod. That could be a tall order with more high-profile projects in the mix.

Bottom line: Pike could find herself in the mix, but it’s a bit of a long shot.

A Private War opens domestically on November 2. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 13th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions in the major categories, as expected, has seen some significant shifting. This is mostly due to the Toronto Film Festival and the screenings of several major contenders.

Here are some quick notes on the movement that’s taken place in the past seven days:

  • The addiction drama Beautiful Boy has taken a hit in the standings, due to a mixed Toronto reaction. It falls from #5 all the way to #21 in the Best Picture derby. Additionally, I have taken it out the 5 predicted nominees in Best Actor (Steve Carell) and Adapted Screenplay. However, Timothee Chalamet is still looking good for Supporting Actor.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk had its much awaited debut up north. I basically had it as a place holder pick at #1 in both Picture and Director, but it’s fallen in both races to #5 and #4, respectively. This vaults A Star Is Born to the #1 slot in BP with Alfonso Cuaron’s direction of Roma currently topping Best Director.
  • The elimination of the Best Popular Film category could be a good thing for Black Panther. For the first time, I have it included in my nine predicted BP nominees.
  • Peter Farrelly’s Green Book seemed to be a crowd favorite in Toronto. While I have it just outside my BP rankings, it’s now included in Best Original Screenplay and Mahershala Ali is predicted for Supporting Actor. It’s not entirely certain yet whether he will be placed in that category or go co-lead with Viggo Mortensen.
  • Speaking of category placement, we’re still not sure where Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz will end up for The Favourite. Right now, I’m assuming Colman in Actress and both Stone and Weisz for Supporting Actress. I’ve now got Stone getting a nod for the first time.
  • The Dick Cheney biopic starring Christian Bale has apparently switched its working title name Backseat to Vice.
  • My current Best Actor predictions now include Ryan Gosling (First Man) and Robert Redford (The Old Man & The Gun) with the aforementioned Carell and Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner) out.
  • In Best Actress, solid Toronto chatter for the work of Viola Davis (Widows) puts her in the mix with Nicole Kidman (Destroyer) taken out.
  • Widows also shined a light on Daniel Kaluuya as he’s said to have a terrific part in it. He is now included in Supporting Actor along with Green Book‘s Ali. Sam Rockwell (Vice) and Russell Crowe (Boy Erased) have been moved out of the predicted nominees.
  • In Supporting Actress, Emma Stone has replaced Vera Farmiga (The Front Runner).
  • Yorgos Lanthimos has been included in my 5 director nominees and that means Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) is on the outside looking in currently.

Here’s the whole breakdown for this week!

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. Roma (PR: 3)

3. First Man (PR: 4)

4. The Favourite (PR: 6)

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR 1)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

7. Boy Erased (PR: 8)

8. Vice (PR: 9 – previously known as Backseat)

9. Black Panther (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

10. Green Book (PR: 18)

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 15)

12. Widows (PR: 14)

13. The Front Runner (PR: 10)

14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 25)

15. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 24)

16. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

17. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 21)

18. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 17)

19. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 16)

20. Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

21. Beautiful Boy (PR: 5)

22. Cold War (PR: 20)

23. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 23)

24. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 19)

25. Peterloo (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

July 22

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 2)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 4)

4. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 8)

8. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

9. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 12)

10. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 13)

11. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 15)

12. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Jason Reitman, The Front Runner (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Felix Van Groeningen, Beautiful Boy

Mike Leigh, Peterloo

Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 6)

4. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 4)

5. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

7. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 3)

8. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 10)

9. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 5)

10. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 14)

11. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 9)

12. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 12)

13. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 15)

14. Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here (PR: 13)

15. Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 11)

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 4)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

5. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 12)

7. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 7)

8. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 9)

9. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 3)

10. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

12. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

13. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 11)

14. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 13)

15. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Joanna Kulig, Cold War

Best Supporting Actor

1. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

3. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 2)

4. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 3)

7. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 5)

8. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

9. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 8)

10. Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 6)

11. Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 10)

12. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 12)

15. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Matthew McConaughey, White Boy Rick

J.K. Simmons, The Front Runner

Best Supporting Actress

1. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 1)

2. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 7)

4. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 3)

5. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 14)

7. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 11)

8. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Maura Tierney, Beautiful Boy (PR: 6)

10. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 9)

11. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Vera Farmiga, The Front Runner (PR: 4)

13. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 8)

15. Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Amy Ryan, Beautiful Boy

Blythe Danner, What They Had

Rachel McAdams, Disobedience 

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

2. First Man (PR: 5)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Boy Erased (PR: 4)

7. Widows (PR: 13)

8. Black Panther (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Front Runner (PR: 7)

10. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 10)

11. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

12. Beautiful Boy (PR: 2)

13. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 9)

14. Disobedience (PR: 11)

15. Wildlife (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 6)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 13)

7. Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

9. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 5)

10. Vox Lux (PR: 8)

11. First Reformed (PR: Not Ranked)

12. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 12)

13. Mid90s (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Hereditary (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Sorry to Bother You (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Peterloo

Isle of Dogs

Bohemian Rhapsody

Oscar Watch: Green Book

If the name Peter Farrelly rings a bell, it’s likely because you usually hear it as part of the Farrelly Brothers. They’re the comedy team responsible for directing such massive hits as Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary. At the Toronto Film Festival, Peter has made his first solo venture and it’s a more serious effort in the form of Green Book.

The true life pic tells the story of an Italian American bouncer (Viggo Mortensen) chauffeuring jazz pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) through the Deep South in 1962. Critical reaction is out and the term crowd pleaser is a common one in the notices. There’s even been some comparisons to Driving Miss Daisy, based on its themes. That won Best Picture nearly three decades ago.

Green Book would really need to turn into a major hit to get Best Picture attention. As for Mortensen and Ali, their work has been praised. There is some confusion which categories they’ll be placed in, but buzz up north suggests they’re both unquestionably leads. If that holds true for the Oscar campaign, they enter into a crowded race with the risk of splitting one another’s votes. Both men are no stranger to Academy attention. Mortensen is a two-time nominee for 2007’s Eastern Promises and 2016’s Captain Fantastic. Ali took the Supporting Actor statue two years ago with Moonlight.

On the brighter side, the Original Screenplay category is looking a little light right now. That could be the perfect place for this to be recognized.

Bottom line: if things go really well for Green Book, it could be a factor in more than one big race. Original Screenplay looks more possible.

The film debuts November 21. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…