tiff 2014

5 actors gaining serious Oscar buzz at TIFF 2014

TIFF has an excellent track record for being the place many an Oscar winner is (not literally) born - especially actors. It's the place where buzz can be sparked and then go on to be kindled until it's roaring its way to Academy Award glory.

Not surprisingly then, more than a few actors appearing in TIFF films have seen the word "Oscar" associated with their performances. Here are five that may well find themselves serious contenders for that golden naked man statue in a few months.

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
NPR writer, Linda Holmes, put it perhaps best: "Well, Cumberbatch people, if THE IMITATION GAME isn't his Oscar nomination, I will be stunned." She's not the only one anticipating the Sherlock actor will walk the Academy Award red carpet for his role as the British mathematician broke the famous Enigma code during WWII. No doubt Cumberbatch's loyal fans will be thrilled to see their beloved actor get a whole new level of recognition now.

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
Everyone - especially movie awards - love a biopic. So it's no surprise that eyes were trained on The Theory of Everything, which is about Stephen Hawking's relationship with his wife. Whether it would become an actual award contender, however, didn't really become clear till the film screened at TIFF. And it seems that the actor playing Hawking, Eddie Redmayne, is the leader of the pack. Even critics who don't like using the word "Oscar" this early, are coming out and declaring Redmayne a sure-thing.

Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Playing someone with the early stages of Alzheimer's can't be easy for an actor. It's also a role that can easily become heavy-handed or melodramatic. But by all accounts, Julianne's Moore performance is anything but. In fact, it's so good that even though Still Alice wasn't majorly buzzed about as an awards contender before the festival began, it most certainly is now. Some are even saying it's an absolute certainty.

Jennifer Aniston in Cake
Jennifer Aniston has dabbled in drama before (The Good Girl, Friends with Money), and even heard the word "Oscar" whispered around here now and then. Now it's far more than a whisper. Thanks to her role in Cake, where she plays a chronic-pain suffered who is depressed and angry, the Oscar statue could be hers next year based on many of the great things people are saying about her work here.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler
No surprise here. It seems that audiences agreed with the pre-buzz around Gyllenhaal's work as a scumbag crime scene videographer, in Nightcrawler. Based on the jubilant praise, it'd be an outright shock if the actor goes unnoticed by the time Oscar nominations roll in.

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

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