Toronto win boosts Oscar hopes of Peter Farrelly’s Green Book


Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali star in Peter Farrelly’s Green Book

Peter Farrelly’s dramatic comedy buddy movie Green Book has won the audience prize at the Toronto Film Festival.

Nine of the ten previous winners have gone on to secure Best Picture Oscar nominations; three of those – Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech and 12 Years a Slave – have gone on to win the most coveted Academy Award.

The latest film from Farrelly – who previously directed comedies including Dumb And Dumber and There’s Something About Mary with his brother Bobby – tells the true story of a black pianist, Don Shirley (Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali), who hired a street-fighting bouncer Tony Lip (Captain Fantastic‘s Viggo Mortensen) to be his chauffeur in the US Deep South in the 1960s.

“I’m still reeling from the response to the film, so this is incredible,” enthused Farrelly. “This win is beyond my wildest dreams.”

The new film from Moonlight‘s Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk, was named the runner up, with Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón’s Venice Golden Lion winning Roma being the third most popular

Other contenders, already buzzing with Oscar-talk, including First Man from La La Land’s Damien Chazelle, Widows from 12 Years A Slave’s Steve McQueen and actor Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga.

The official jury at the Toronto International Film Festival also named Free Solo its Best Documentary, it honoured The Man Who Feels No Pain in its Midnight Madness category and there were also prizes for The Third Wife, Float Like a Butterfly, Skin and The Fireflies are Gone”.