David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook has been named the big winner of the BlackBerry People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Fest Artistic Director Cameron Bailey leaked the news via Twitter as the ceremony was taking place. The critically acclaimed comedy which stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro won unanimous praise across the board and is not a surprising choice. It’s a real crowd-pleaser and follows in the footsteps of recent TIFF audience award winners like Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech which both also went on to win Oscars for Best Picture. American Beauty also took the People’s Choice Award and went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars over a decade ago. However last year’s TIFF winner, the Lebanese Where Do We Go Now didn’t even manage to get a Foreign-Language Film Oscar nod and quickly disappeared from theatres when Sony Pictures Classics released it in the U.S. It surprisingly won the TIFF honor over eventual Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist. Still this should be a big boost in further establishing the Weinstein Company’s November 21st release as a major awards contender. Additionally, Seven Psychopaths took the Audience Award for movies that screened for the festival’s Midnight Madness sidebar. TIFF doesn’t offer up a major juried list of award winners like Cannes or Venice so the People’s Choice Award is the best barometer of what really scored at the fest.
From the press release: