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Toronto: The 5 biggest Oscar boosts

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Gabourey-Sidibe_lNow that the Toronto International Film Festival is officially over, here are the five movies, actors, and filmmakers who got the most potent shots of Oscar adrenaline from their time up north.

1. Up in the Air. Of all the films that premiered at Toronto or Telluride, Jason Reitman’s dramatic comedy emerged as the strongest across-the-board contender. At this point, nods for picture, director, actor (George Clooney), supporting actress (certainly Anna Kendrick, possibly Vera Farmiga as well), and adapted screenplay seem like sure things. Watch me and Missy Schwartz discuss the film in our Toronto weekend wrap-up.

2. Gabourey Sidibe (pictured here). With her attention-grabbing costar Mo’Nique absent from the festival, the titular star of the audience award winner Precious (a certain Best Picture nominee) had her chance to shine…and saw her Best Actress chances soar.

3. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. The never-nominated Brit and our own four-time nominee share a knockout centerpiece scene in Tom Ford’s gorgeous drama A Single Man. Harvey Weinstein, who definitely has a eye for Oscar-baiting performances, liked what he saw and bought the film for a December release. Here’s Part 1 of my OscarWatch interview with Firth.

4. Clive Owen. His leading-man turn in The Boys Are Back is decidedly on the subtle side, but fabulous trade reviews out of Toronto put the past Supporting Actor nominee (Closer) squarely in the running for a Best Actor nod. Watch me and Missy talk about his chances here.

5. Joel and Ethan Coen. Two years after winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men, the brilliant brothers raised some eyebrows by going the star-free route with A Serious Man. But their surprisingly personal film was extremely well-received by critics and audiences alike. Especially given the relative dearth of Best Original Screenplay candidates this season, they could find themselves with a return invite to the Kodak.

Are you as into this stuff as I am? Then follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for more.

Photo credit: Mark Blinch/Reuters/Landov

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