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Green Book enters Oscar race by winning the People's Choice Award at TIFF

While the Oscars may have ditched their Best Popular Movie category, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Grolsch People’s Choice Awards is one of the most coveted prizes of the circuit. It’s a great indicator of how the awards season is kicking off, and while this year’s lineup of TIFF movies included lauded work like ROMA, A STAR IS BORN and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, the big prize went to Peter Farrelly’s GREEN BOOK starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in a surprise win.

The award may not have the same showy glamour as an Oscar or even a Golden Globe, but what the award does show is who will be a major player in the upcoming award circuit. The winners of the award going back to 2008 have all been nominated for Best Picture – including recent winners THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, LA LA LAND and ROOM. Some have even gone on to win Best Picture, including THE KING’S SPEECH, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and 12 YEARS A SLAVE. The one outlier among this group is the 2011 winner WHERE DO WE GO NOW?, which didn’t really make an impact on that year’s rather weak race (which was all about THE ARTIST).

The movie centers on Tony Lip (Mortensen), an East Coast nightclub bouncer who takes on a job as a chauffeur for a famous pianist, Don Shirley (Ali), as he tours the American Deep South. Both actors have earned rave reviews for their work in the heartwarming dramedy, as has Farrelly for his first solo outing after working his brother, Bobby, on movies like DUMB AND DUMBER and THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARRY. While the movie won the People’s Choice, the runner-ups were Barry Jenkins’ IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK and Alfonso Cuaron's ROMA.

Our own Chris Bumbray saw the movie at TIFF and called it a "charmer" that was met with roars of laughter and rounds of applause. You can read his review here!

GREEN BOOK is set for November 21.

Source: TIFF

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