Toronto sets up Judy, The Laundromat, Joker and The Report as Oscar hopefuls

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival – along with the upcoming Venice International Film Festival – a launch-pad for many of the films that studios will be pushing for Oscar-contention in the coming months.

Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland in Rupert Goold’s biopic

After receiving an Academy Award nomination for her role in Chicago, Renée Zellweger will be hoping to be in the running again for her portrayal of Judy Garland in the biopic Judy, from the acclaimed British theatre director Rupert Goold.

Todd Phillips’ origins story about the Joker, with Joaquin Phoenix in the title role, looks set to be another awards contender, as will A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Marielle Heller’s profile of the children’s TV host Fred Rogers, starring Academy favourite Tom Hanks.

Previous Oscar-winner Allison Janney and nominee Hugh Jackman appear together in Bad Education, Christian Bale and Matt Damon – who are both in possession of statuettes – co-star in Ford v Ferrari, about the 1966 Le Mans race.

Jojo Rabbit, from Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, is also being promoted for awards recognition, with a cast including Sam Rockwell, Scarlett Johansson and Waititi himself, as is Armando Iannucci’s London Film Festival opener, The Personal History of David Copperfield.

With 21 Oscar nominations – and 3 wins – to her name, The Laundromat star Meryl Streep is no stranger to awards

Other films to look out for include The Report, in which Adam Driver investigates allegations of CIA torture after 9/11, The Laundromat, in which Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas help Steven Soderbergh dip into the Panama Papers, Annette Bening and Bill Nighy in Hope Gap and Tim Roth and Clive Owen in the post-Holocaust drama The Song of Names, from UK producer Nick Hirschkorn, in a departure from his previous productions, aimed at younger audiences and fantasy fans, such as Five Children & It, Skellig and TV’s Jonathan Strange.

There are also new films from directors including Noah Baumbach, Michael Winterbottom, Peter Cattaneo, Rian Johnson, Atom Egoyan and Edward Norton.

The Toronto festival will also provide North American audiences with a chance to catch up with some of the best received films from this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including the Palme d’Or winner Parasite, Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire and one of the unsung films from the Croisette, La Belle Époque.