Toronto and Venice Release Lineups: 'Maestro', 'Priscilla', 'The Killer', 'Poor Things' Will Debut | Awards Insights
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Toronto and Venice Release Lineups: ‘Maestro’, ‘Priscilla’, ‘The Killer’, ‘Poor Things’ Will Debut

Toronto and Venice Release Lineups: ‘Maestro’, ‘Priscilla’, ‘The Killer’, ‘Poor Things’ Will Debut

2023 is poised to be a strange year for film festivals. With the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes showing no signs of stopping, many of these films’ stars will be absent at the festivals. Both festivals will run as planned even without many of their films’ A-list talent showing up. Actors campaigning for their films has always had a large impact on their film’s Oscar chances and more significantly on their chances at acting awards. It will be interesting to see how that changes this year.


‘Maestro’ (Netflix)


The lineup for this year’s Venice Film Festival was just announced. This is the first major festival lineup announcement of the Oscar season and it gives us our first introductory look at this year’s possible contenders. In six of the past seven years, a top two Picture contender has played at Venice and this trend shows no signs of stopping.

In my predictions from this month, I have two of the films that have shown up in the Venice lineup in the top 10: Bradley Cooper’s Maestro and Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things. However, Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla, Ava DuVernay’s Origin, Michael Mann’s Ferrari, Ryusuke Hamguchi’s Evil Does Not Exist, David Fincher’s The Killer, Michel Franco’s Memory, Pablo Larrain’s El Conde, and Matteo Garrone’s Io Capitano should also be watched. If any one of these ten films leave Venice highly-acclaimed and/or win one of their top prizes, their chances of being a Best Picture contender expand greatly. While I’m not confident that any of these films will become a top 2 Best Picture contender this season, I’m essentially guaranteeing that one of them will end up being a top 5 contender.

Anyways, here is the Venice slate:


Comandante, dir: Edoardo de Angelis (opening night film)

Adagio, dir: Stefano Sollima
La Bête, dir: Bertrand Bonello
DogMan, dir: Luc Besson
El Conde, dir: Pablo Larrain
Enea, dir: Pietro Castellitto
Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Ferrari, dir: Michael Mann
Finalmente L’Alba, dir: Saverio Costanzo
The Green Border, dir: Agnieszka Holland
Holly, dir: Fien Troch
Hors-Saison, dir: Stéphane Brizé
Io Capitano, dir: Matteo Garrone
The Killer, dir: David Fincher
Lubo, dir: Giorgio Diritti
Maestro, dir: Bradley Cooper
Memory, dir: Michel Franco
Origin, dir: Ava DuVernay
Poor Things, dir: Yorgos Lanthimos
Priscilla, dir: Sofia Coppola
The Promised Land, dir: Nikolaj Arcel
Die Theorie Von Allem, dir: Timm Kroger
Woman Of, dirs: Malgorzata Szumowska, Michal Englert

Out of Competition


Aggro Dr1ft, dir: Harmony Korine
The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, dir: William Friedkin
Coup de Chance, dir: Woody Allen
Daaaaaal!, dir: Quentin Dupieux
Hit Man, dir: Richard Linklater
L’Ordine del Tempo, dir: Liliana Cavani
The Palace, dir: Roman Polanski
The Penitent, dir: Luca Barbareschi
Snow Leopard, dir: Pema Tseden
Vivants, dir: Alix Delaporte
The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, dir: Wes Anderson (short)

Here are the Best Picture nominees that went to Venice from the past 7 years:

2022 – In Competition: Tar (Best Actress winner), The Banshees of Inisherin (Best Actor and Best Screenplay winner)

2021 – In Competition: The Power of the Dog (Silver Lion winner); Out of Competition: Dune

2020 – In Competition: Nomadland (Golden Lion winner)

2019 – In Competition: Joker (Golden Lion winner), Marriage Story

2018 – In Competition: The Favourite (Grand Jury Prize and Best Actress winner), Roma (Golden Lion winner); Out of Competition: A Star is Born

2017 – In Competition: The Shape of Water (Golden Lion winner), Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Best Screenplay winner)

2016 – In Competition: Arrival, La La Land (Best Actress winner); Out of Competition: Hacksaw Ridge

Based on this, it would be reasonable to suspect that at least two fiction films from this year’s in competition and out of competition slates will make it in Best Picture. I don’t really see anything from the out of competition slate becoming a Picture contender but in terms of likelihood, the films from the competition slate that I think have a best chance of receiving a Picture nomination are, Maestro, Poor Things, Origin, Priscilla, Ferrari, The Killer, and Evil Doesn’t Exist. If DuVernay’s Origin is highly-acclaimed, I can see that film being a possible Picture winner. The film tackles historical systemic racism in the United States and could very well be the kind of accessible socially-conscious cinematic lightning rod the Academy would want to support if it ends up being very good. If the film is near the quality and raw strength of previous Duvernay projects When They See Us and 13th, I think we might have our Best Picture winner.

Here is the rest of the Venice slate:

Short (Out of Competition)

Welcome to Paradise, dir: Leonardo Di Costanzo

Non-Fiction (Out of Competition)

Amor, dir: Virginia Eleuteri Serpieri
Enzo Jannacci Vengo Anch’io, dir: Giorgio Verdelli
Frente a Guernica (Version Integrale), dirs: Yervant Gianikian, Angela Ricci Lucchi
Hollywoodgate, dir: Ibrahim Nash’at
Menus Plaisirs – Les Troisgros, dir: Frederick Wiseman
Ryuichi Sakamoto Opus, dir: Neo Sora

Series (Out of Competition)

D’Argent et de Sang (episodes 1-12), dirs: Xavier Giannoli, Frederic Planchon
I Know Your Soul (episodes 1-2), dirs: Alen Drljevic, Nermin Hamzagic

Special Screening

La Parte del Leone: Una Storia della Mostra, dirs: Baptiste Etchegary, Guiseppe Bucchi


En Attendant la Nuit, dir: Céline Rouzet
Behind the Mountains, dir: Mohamed Ben Attia
A Cielo Abierto, dirs: Mariana Arriaga, Santiago Arriaga
City of Wind, dir: Lkhagvadulam Purev-Ochir
Dormitory, dir: Nehir Tuna
El Paraiso, dir: Enrico Maria Artale
Explanation for Everything, dir: Gabor Reisz
The Featherweight, dir: Robert Kolodny
Gasoline Rainbow, dirs: Bill Ross, Turner Ross
Heartless, dirs: Nara Normande, Tiao
Hesitation Wound, dir: Selman Nacar
Housekeeping for Beginners, dir: Goran Stolevski
Invelle, dir: Simone Massi
Paradise Is Burning, dir: Mika Gustafson The Red Suitcase, dir: Fidel Devkota Shadow of Fire, dir: Shinya Tsukamoto
Una Sterminata Domenica, dir: Alain Perroni
Tatami, dirs: Guy Nattiv, Zar Amir Ebrahimi

Horizons Extra

Bota Jone, dir: Luana Bajrami
Day of the Fight, dir: Jack Huston
Felicita, dir: Micaela Ramazzotti
Forever Forever, dir: Anna Buryachkova
L’Homme d’Argile, dir: Anais Tellenne
In the Land of Saints and Sinners, dir: Robert Lorenz
Pet Shop Boys, dir: Olmo Schnabel
Stolen, dir: Karan Tejpal
The Rescue, dir: Daniela Goggi

Venice Classics


Un Altra Italia Era Possibile, Il Cinema Di Guiseppe De Santis, dir: Stefano Della Casa
Bill Douglas My Best Friend, dir: Jack Archer
Dario Argento Panico, dir: Simone Scafidi
Frank Capra: Mr America, dir: Matthew Wells
Ken Jacobs From Orchard Street to the Museum of Modern Art, dir: Fred Riedel
Le Film Pro-Nazi d’Hitchcock, dir: Daphne Baiwir
Landrian, dir: Ernesto Daranas Serrano
Michel Gondry Do It Yourself, dir: François Nemeta
Thank You Very Much, dir: Alex Braverman


‘The Zone of Interest’ (A24)


In the last ten years, the eventual Best Picture winner has played at TIFF seven times. As a result, it has garnered a reputation as the most important festival in the Oscar race. Additionally, in the last 10 years, excluding the COVID year 2020, at least three films that screened at TIFF were nominated for Best Picture later that season. This year, Jonathan Glazer’s The Zone of Interest, Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall, George C. Wolfe’s Rustin, Taika Waititi’s Next Goal Wins, Ellen Kuras’ Lee, Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers, Ladj Ly’s Les Indesirables, Alice Rohrwacher’s La Chimera, Hirokazu Koreeda’s Monster, Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money, Christos Nikou’s Fingernails, Michel Franco’s Memory, Kristin Scott Thomas’ North Star, James Hawes’ One Life, Michael Winterbottom’s Shoshanna, Ethan Hawke’s Wildcat, and Atom Egoyan’s Seven Veils are some of the most high-profile films being shown.

Anyway, here is the Toronto slate:

Gala Presentations 

Concrete Utopia, directed by Um Tae-Hwa

Dumb Money, directed by Craig Gillespie

Fair Play, directed by Chloe Domont

Flora and Son, directed by John Carney

Hate to Love: Nickelback, directed by Leigh Brooks

Lee, directed by Ellen Kuras

Next Goal Wins, directed by Taika Waititi

NYAD, directed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

Punjab ’95, directed by Honey Trehan

Solo, directed by Sophie Dupuis

The End We Start From, directed by Mahalia Belo

The Movie Emperor, directed by Ning Hao

The New Boy, directed by Warwick Thornton

The Royal Hotel, directed by Kitty Green

Special Presentations

A Difficult Year, directed by Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

A Normal Family, directed by Hur Jin-ho

American Fiction, directed by Cord Jefferson

Anatomy of a Fall, directed by Justine Triet

Close to You, directed by Dominic Savage

Days of Happiness, directed by Chloé Robichaud

El Rapto, directed by Daniela Goggi

Ezra, directed by Tony Goldwyn

Fingernails, directed by Christos Nikou

Four Daughters, directed by Kaouther Ben Hania

His Three Daughters, directed by Azazel Jacobs

Hitman, directed by Richard Linklater

In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon, directed by Alex Gibney

Kidnapped, directed by Marco Bellocchio

Knox Goes Away, directed by Michael Keaton

La Chimera, directed by Alice Rohrwacher

Last Summer, directed by Catherine Breillat

Les Indésirables, directed by Ladj Ly

Memory, directed by Michel Franco

Monster, directed by Kore-eda Hirokazu

Mother Couch, directed by Niclas Larsson

North Star, directed by Kristin Scott Thomas

One Life, directed by James Hawes

Pain Hustlers, directed by David Yates

Poolman, directed by Chris Pine

Reptile, directed by Grant Singer

Rustin, directed by George C. Wolfe

Seven Veils, directed by Atom Egoyan

Shoshana, directed by Michael Winterbottom

Sing Sing, directed by Greg Kwedar

Smugglers, directed by Ryoo Seung-wan

Swan Song, directed by Chelsea McMullan

The Beast, directed by Bertrand Bonello

The Burial, directed by Maggie Betts

The Convert, directed by Lee Tamahori

The Critic, directed by Anand Tucker

The Dead Don’t Hurt, directed by Viggo Mortensen

The Holdovers, directed by Alexander Payne

The Peasants, directed by DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman

The Zone of Interest, directed by Jonathan Glazer

Together 99, directed by Lukas Moodysson

Unicorns, directed by Sally El Hosaini and James Krishna Floyd

Uproar, directed by Paul Middleditch and Hamish Bennett

Wicked Little Letters, directed by Thea Sharrock

Wildcat, directed by Ethan Hawke

Woman of the Hour, directed by Anna Kendrick

Here are the Best Picture nominees that went to Toronto from the past 10 years:

2022 – Special Presentations: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Triangle of Sadness, Women Talking

2021 – Gala Presentations: Belfast (People’s Choice Award 1st place); Special Presentations: Drive My Car, The Power of the Dog (People’s Choice Award 3rd place); Special Events: Dune

2020 – Gala Presentations: Nomadland (People’s Choice Award 1st place); Special Presentations: The Father

2019 – Gala Presentations: Ford v Ferrari, Joker; Special Presentations: Jojo Rabbit (People’s Choice award 1st place), Marriage Story (People’s Choice Award 2nd place), Parasite (People’s Choice Award 3rd place)

2018 – Gala Presentations: Green Book (People’s Choice Award 1st place), A Star is Born; Special Presentations: Roma (People’s Choice Award 3rd place)

2017 – Gala Presentations: Darkest Hour; Special Presentations: Call Me By Your Name (People’s Choice Award 3rd place), Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (People’s Choice Award 1st place)

2016 – Gala Presentations: Arrival; Special Presentations: La La Land (People’s Choice Award 1st place), Lion (People’s Choice Award 2nd place), Manchester by the Sea; Platform: Moonlight

2015 – Gala Presentations: The Martian; Special Presentations: Brooklyn, Room (People’s Choice Award winner), Spotlight (People’s Choice Award 3rd place)

2014 – Special Presentations: The Imitation Game (People’s Choice Award 1st place), The Theory of Everything, Whiplash

2013 – Special Presentations: 12 Years a Slave (People’s Choice Award 1st place), Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Philomena (People’s Choice Award 2nd place)

Based on this, I think it’s reasonable to expect that four to five of the films playing at TIFF will end up as Best Picture nominees. I’m not confident on whether this year’s Best Picture winner will play at TIFF, but history says that at least two of this year’s top five contenders will play at Toronto. In terms of likelihood, the films from the competition slate that I think have a best chance of receiving a Picture nomination are, The Zone of Interest, Anatomy of a Fall, Rustin, Lee, Next Goal Wins, Les Indesirables, and The Holdovers.