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Silver Linings Playbook takes Toronto's top prize

Silver Linings Playbook

Story by Jack Foley

DAVID O Russel’s Silver Linings Playbook has won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film, starring Bradley Cooper as a man recovering from a breakdown and The Hunger Games‘ Jennifer Lawrence as his love interest, took the coveted People’s Choice Award.

Based on the novel by Matthew Quick, the film also stars Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver as the parents Cooper moves back in with after eight months in a mental institution.

Commenting on the prize, Russell – whose last film was the Oscar winning boxing drama The Fighter – said: “Just as The Fighter, to me, was not about fighting, this movie to me is not about mental illness. To me, it’s always about the people and the dynamic of the people.”

A serious Oscar buzz now surrounds the film, especially as past winners of the award have included The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire.

Primary among the contenders for success is Lawrence, whose performance as a widow fighting depression is being tipped for a best actress nod.

Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, was the People’s Choice Award runner up.

The fact-based thriller is about six Amercians stranded in Tehran after the 1979 invasion of the American Embassy, who are helped to escape by masquerading as a Canadian film crew.

Other big Toronto winners included Seven Psychopaths, which reunites In Bruges director Martin McDonagh with actor Colin Farrell.

The film follows a scriptwriter who falls in with criminals who run a dog kidnapping scam but whose latest dognap involves the pet of a gangster.

The film also stars Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson. Audiences voted it the winner of the Midnight Madness Award.

The top documentary award was won by Bartholomew Cubbins’ Artifact, which follows Jared Leto and his band 30 Seconds to Mars as they struggled to record their album This Is War.

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