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A History of Toronto’s Peoples Choice Award, and a Guess at What Film Could Win It This Year

A History of Toronto's Peoples Choice Award, and a Guess at What Film Could Win It This Year

Tomorrow afternoon the Toronto International Film Festival will announce — among other awards — the winner of its 2013 People’s Choice Award. Whatever film wins will likely get a significant boost to its awards season campaign. Not every year sees an Oscar contender take the prize (see “Where Do We Go Now?” in 2011 and “Bella” back in 2006), but it certainly happens more often than not: Four of the last 5 winners ended up best picture nominees (2 of them winning).

So what could end up this year’s big winner? With 288 feature films at the festival, Toronto audiences clearly had enough to choose from. And they could very well end up choosing something off the radar a la “Where Do We Go Now?”  But if they go a more obvious route, it seems like Ron Howard’s “Rush” (which if we had to make a bet, would be ours — nothing at TIFF quite said “crowdpleaser” like it), Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” are all good possibilities and would all most definitely be able to utilize the win to push their awards campaigns further. One could make a case for “Can a Song Save a Life?,” “Philomena,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “August: Osage County” or “Prisoners.”

We will find our tomorrow, and Indiewire will blast out the results as soon as Toronto announces them. Until then, though, check out this complete list of all of Toronto’s People’s Choice Award winners, with asterisks noting their eventual status at the Oscars.

2013 ??
2012 Silver Linings Playbook*
2011 Where Do We Go Now?
2010 The King’s Speech**
2009 Precious*
2008 Slumdog Millionaire**
2007 Eastern Promises
2006 Bella
2005 Tsotsi
2004 Hotel Rwanda
2003 Zatôichi
2002 Whale Rider
2001 Amélie
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon*
1999 American Beauty**
1998 Life is Beautiful*
1997 The Hanging Garden
1996 Shine*
1995 Antonia
1994 Priest
1993 The Snapper
1992 Strictly Ballroom
1991 The Fisher King
1990 Cyrano de Bergerac
1989 Roger & Me
1988 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
1987 The Princess Bride
1986 Le déclin de l’empire américain
1985 La historia oficial
1984 Places in the Heart*
1983 The Big Chill*
1982 Tempest
1981 Chariots of Fire**
1980 Bad Timing
1979 Best Boy
1978 Girlfriends

*- went on to best picture Oscar nomination
**-went on to best picture Oscar win

Feel free to offer your prediction for this year’s winner in the comments section.

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