TIFF PREVIEW: With Venice and Telluride all but wrapped up, what's left for Toronto?

I am about to embark on another Toronto International Film Festival adventure. Interviews, reviews, blogging to come here. It has been quite a milestone year for us. We hope you have enjoyed the ride, but it is about to get turned up a notch, to 11, for the next two weeks. With Telluride and Venice answering a few question marks we had ("La La Land," "Moonlight," "Arrival," "Sully," "A Voyage of Time," "Nocturnal Animals," "Hacksaw Ridge") we still have these 18 buzzed & unseen titles to premiere north of the border:

American Pastoral, Ewan McGregor
Deepwater Horizon, Peter Berg
Free Fire, Ben Wheatley
Jackie, Pablo Larrain
JT + The Tenessee Kids, Jonathan Demme
LBJ, Rob Reiner
Lion, Garth Davis
The Magnificent Seven, Antoine Fuqua
Mascots, Christopher Guest
A Monster Calls, JA Bayona
My Entire High School Sinking Into The Sea, Dash Shaw
The Secret Scripture, Jim Sheridan
Sing, Garth Jennings
Snowden, Oliver Stone
The Promise, Terry George
Queen of Katwe, Mira Nair
A Quiet Passion, Terrence Davies

I am ready. I tell you, TIFF is like a workout. Looking at the schedule for the first five days it looks like this edition could be a 4-5 movies a day kind of fest. One the sixth day, the 14th, things calm down a little which gives me the itch to fly back home to Boston to catch the last Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show of The River Tour.

How does the Best Picture race look at the moment? A little better than in August that's for sure, but it still looks like an incredibly weak year for cinema, but as it goes these are the 10 hottest contenders as of 9.7.16

(1) La La Land
(2) Billy Lynn's Long Half-Time Walk
(3) Manchester by The Sea
(4) Silence
(5) Loving
(6) Moonlight
(7) Sully
(8) Arrival
(9) Patriot's Day
(10) The Birth of a Nation

I am waiting for my 9:20 flight to Toronto which will lead me to Pearson airport. My plan is to stop by the press office to get my press pass, do some more writing, sneak in a workout at Goodlife Fitness, and then settle down in my apartment. I also have Pete Howell's annual "Critical Drinking" critics party tonight at Le Milagro, I always look forward to going there to touch base with old friends and grab a few drinks - The calm before the storm. 
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