La La Land won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival, beating runner-ups Lion and Queen of Katwe. Damien Chazelle’s musical valentine to Los Angeles, already anointed in Venice with a “best actress” laurel for star (and Golden Globe nominee) Emma Stone, has now officially taken the lead in what promises to be a highly competitive awards season.
Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire won the Midnight Madness award, beating the über controversial (and faint-inducing) Raw. The action thriller stars Golden Globe winner Brie Larson, whose career received a substantial upgrade last year thanks to Room winning Toronto’s Audience Award. The Audience Award for documentary went to Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, a look into the life and work of author James Baldwin.
The Platform award – the only juried accolade in Toronto – was given to Pablo Larraín’s Jackie. The Platform prize, chosen by a three-person jury led, this year, by Brian De Palma, distinguishes exceptional directorial work and puts one bright shining star on Larraín’s film - and Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman's performance as Jackie Kenndy. Jackie arrived in Toronto without a distributor and exited with an enhanced profile and the power of Fox Searchlight.