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The top 5 award winning films playing at TIFF 2014

With hundreds of movies to pick from every year, the Toronto International Film Festival can be something of a lottery when it comes to quality. Not every movie you're going to see is going to be a winner, but there are ways you can hedge your bets a little.

Every year a few films that appear at TIFF have already been tried, tested, and approved, courtesy of other film festivals like Cannes or Sundance. More specifically, there are some films that have walked away from those fests with major awards that speak to a certain guarantee of quality. Here then are five award-winning, quality assured (your tastes may vary), films that will be appearing at TIFF this year and that you'd do well to add to your must-see list.

The based-on-a-true-story drama about an Olympic wrestler who befriends the wrong millionaire sponsor is already garnering impressive Oscar buzz for the dramatic turns from its actors, Channing Tatum and Steve Carell (with a whole lot of prosthetic make-up). But director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) is the one who has already walked away with an award: he won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival.

Canadian wunderkind Xavier Dolan's latest film, about a single mother struggling to raise her bad-tempered son, won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival (shared with Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language, also at TIFF). It could also be a strong contender for TIFF's Best Canadian Feature Film Award - which Dolan has already won once with Laurence Anyways in 2012.

The most talked about film coming out of Sundance, this drama about a passionate drummer (Miles Teller) who sees his ambitions complicated by the Simon Cowell of music teachers (J.K. Simmons) walked away with a rare double victory at the festival: it won both the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and U.S. Grand Jury Prize.

Force Majeure (Turist)
The dramatic thriller about what happens to a Swedish family on a ski trip when an avalanche occurs was not just heavily buzzed about (and compared by some to Michael Haneke) at Cannes, but it also earned itself the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize.

Charlie's Country
The Australian film about an older Aborigine who seeks to return to the Outback to try and live in his people's old ways, saw its lead actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout) win the Best Actor Prize at Cannes' Un Certain Regard.

the equalizer movieThanks to the Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington, for sponsoring our coverage of TIFF 2014.

Writing by Alexander Huls

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