Toronto Film Fest titles spark early Oscar buzz

The Toronto Film Fest is in full swing — and the Oscar buzz is ramping up. That is, after the stars recover from all the champagne-fueled premiere parties. Deco’s chief Canadian correspondent Chris Van Vliet just got back and is here with a look.

They say the road to the Oscars begins in Toronto at the Toronto International Film Festival. I spent the last few days north of the border checking out the biggest movies of the year.

The Toronto Film Festival is known as the people’s festival. Downtown streets are shut down and fans get up close and personal with their favorite actors.

Crowd: “Matthew! Matthew! Matthew!”

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon hit the city for the world premiere of “Sing.” In the animated flick, a koala bear named Buster organizes a sort of “American Idol” for his fellow animals.

Matthew McConaughey: “I haven’t made much my kids can see in the last 10 years, so I wanted to make something that I can watch with them.”

And since the movie is called “Sing,” that’s exactly what the film’s stars, Jennifer Hudson and Tori Kelly, did.

And, speaking of singing, Pharrell hit the stage performing songs from “Hidden Figures.” Not only did he write the soundtrack for the movie, he also worked as a producer.

“Hidden Figures” stars Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae and “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson as the women who helped launch NASA’s first successful space mission.

Taraji P. Henson
Taraji P. Henson

Taraji P. Henson: “I took the role of Katherine because I just thought, ‘Wow, what an amazing woman. What an amazing, brilliant mind.’ I was nervous when I read it. If the role doesn’t scare me, nine out of 10 times I don’t do it because that means I’ve done it before or I’m just not connecting.”

Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo hung out with fans on their way into the world premiere of “Queen of Katwe.” It’s a movie that makes you realize anything is possible.

Taraji P. Henson: “It’s an inspiring story about a young girl from extraordinary difficult circumstances who finds a way out and finds a passion for something that is unlikely and pursues a dream larger than the world she’s from, and I think that’s just a beautiful story.”

Lupita Nyong'o
Lupita Nyong’o

The festival runs until Sunday, and I chatted with Gabrielle Union for the movie “Birth of a Nation,” and honestly, all she wanted to talk about was Lynn and Shireen. She loves you guys!

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