The 38th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) opened with political thriller, The Fifth Estate, which chronicles the rise of Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange from anonymity to the forefront of the world stage.
The film premiere was held at the Royal Thompson Hall and attended by the director Bill Condon and cast members; Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Assange and Daniel Bruhl, soon to be seen as Niki Lauda in Rush, plays his former associate Daniel Domscheit-Berg, on whose book the film is based.
In spite of the warm reception from the press, which touted it to be a potential contender for next year’s Oscars, the audience were divided in their opinions. Some hailed it as a masterpiece that tackled a very important topic while others thought it was incoherent and lacked compelling characters.
More than 280 movies will be screened in the 10-day festival. They will be vying for attention and recognition, but in such crowded field only a few will be noticed and the rest will most likely sink into the abyss of oblivion.
The festival’s high profile movies include Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, 12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and Rush. All these films are backed by Hollywood studios’ formidable marketing machines, without which their chance of survival would be very slim.
Those that emerge from the mist will end up competing in a bigger battle in the upcoming awards season, as was the case in previous years. Last year’s Oscar winning picture, Argo, was also premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.