Big weekend for The Weinstein Company, as the People's Choice Audience Award was bestowed upon David O. Russell's The Silver Linings Playbook at the Toronto Film Festival, while Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master achieves the (unadjusted) highest per-screen average for a live-action film in history. Both films won their respective award, and it's a major coup for Weinstein, as they head into another awards season, being the undefeated champion the last two years running, for The King's Speech and The Artist, respectively.
The Audience Award at Toronto can be a major win (think American Beauty, Precious, Slumdog Millionaire, The King's Speech) or an also-ran (Water, Bella, Where Do We Go Now?; remember those?) However, the comic-tragic mental illness romance between Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, with Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver as support, played to luminous reviews and seemed a big festival hit. The Master, the ponderously, critically drooled over film didn't win anything at Toronto (even though, an Audience Award seems somewhat antithetical for a film that keeps itself intentionally distant-- more on that later), after it's sweep at Venice, it became the king of the box office (nabbing $148,000 per screen on 5 screens this past weekend-- taking over this record from this summer's Moonrise Kingdom.) Let the games begin.
Other winners at Toronto:
PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD: The Silver Linings Playbook
CANADIAN FEATURE: Lawrence Anyways- Xavier Dolan
CANADIAN DIRECTORIAL DEBUT: Antiviral- Brandon Croenberg; Blackbird- Jason Buxton
AUDIENCE AWARD MIDNIGHT MADNESS: Seven Psychopaths- Martin McDonaugh