The Oscar Race Gets Clearer After the Toronto International Film Festival

No question there’s more to learn from a live film festival than a virtual one.

In 2021, live Cannes and Telluride events provided scads of intel on how movies played for audiences and media.

Participants were on solid ground.

You feel it in a room when a movie plays, from Cannes Palme d’Or-winner “Titane” to prize-winners “A Hero” (Asghar Farhadi) and “The Worst Person in the World” (Joachim Trier), likely Oscar submissions from Iran and Norway, respectively.And at Telluride opening night, writer/director Kenneth Branagh’s 1969 time capsule “Belfast” played well — at the near-empty Werner Herzog Theatre during a driving rainstorm.

Most everyone else was checking out either buzzy Will Smith-starrer “King Richard” or Joe Wright’s period musical “Cyrano,” complete with a tribute to “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage.

By the end of the weekend, though, word of mouth caught up to “Belfast,” which was clearly

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