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Toronto Film Festival: Which of these movies will become Oscar contenders?

In the past several years, many Oscar nominees and winners have been screened at the Toronto Film Festival. Which of the movies appearing at the festival this year will go on to triumph at the Oscars ceremony?

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    'The Martian' stars Matt Damon.
    Aidan Monaghan/Toronto International Film Festival/AP
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Some of the films that will be screened at the Toronto Film Festival have been announced. 

Movies that will appear at the Toronto Film Festival include Ridley Scott’s sci-fi movie “The Martian”; “The Danish Girl,” which is directed by Tom Hooper of “The King’s Speech” and stars Best Actor Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne; “Black Mass,” which stars Johnny Depp as criminal Whitey Bulger; “Stonewall,” which is directed by action movie veteran Roland Emmerich; and “Youth,” which stars Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel and is directed by Paolo Sorrentino.

The festival will also include screenings of the films “Beasts of No Nation,” which is directed by Cary Fukunaga of “True Detective”; “Freeheld,” which stars Julianne Moore and Steve Carell; “Legend,” which stars actor Tom Hardy as criminal twin brothers; “Spotlight,” a movie based on the lives of the Boston Globe reporters who wrote about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church; and “The Program,” a biopic that stars Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong and is directed by Stephen Frears.

“The Martian” will be an interesting movie to track the progress of this year. It’s a high-profile release at the Toronto Film Festival and is reminding many of “Gravity,” the 2013 space tale that became both a massive box office hit and a leading Oscar contender, two achievements that don’t always go hand-in-hand. Another recent example of a movie that managed to be both (and win the Best Picture Oscar) was the 2012 film “Argo.” Like “Gravity,” “The Martian” is being released in October, a traditionally quieter time for blockbusters, and could attract audiences looking for a sci-fi spectacle for the whole family. 

The Toronto Film Festival will be held this September. Some of the movies that win the Grolsch People’s Choice Award, the festival’s top prize, have gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars and most at the very least become top awards season contenders. Last year’s winner of the Grolsch People’s Choice Award was “The Imitation Game,” which was nominated for Best Picture, and the 2013 Toronto People’s Choice Award winner was “12 Years a Slave,” the eventual Oscar Best Picture winner. The 2012 Toronto People’s Choice Award winner was Best Picture nominee “Silver Linings Playbook,” while the 2010 Toronto People’s Choice Award winner was “The King’s Speech,” which won the Best Picture Oscar. Toronto People’s Choice Awards winners “Slumdog Millionaire” and “American Beauty” also took the Best Picture Oscar. 

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