Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto

MOVIE NEWS - on 08 Sep 1919
movie news Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto

After a string of Oscar contenders have now dropped at both Venice and Telluride, all eyes are on Canada , as the first major World Premiere of an Academy Award hopeful took place Friday night and this morning , and it was Warner Bros which delivered it with a punch.

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto

Just Mercy ,the true story of lawyer Bryan Stevenson played by Michael B. Jordan and his efforts in Alabama to free wrongly convicted prisoners sentenced to death, focusing particularly on one named Wer McMillian Jamie Foxx who was convicted of murdering a teenage girl, even though the evidence points otherwise. The film details Stevenson's quest for justice, and it is powerful stuff. The Toronto first night audience handed the film unusually strong applause especially considering there was no Q&A or spotlight on the filmmakers during the end credits after its first screening at the Roy Thompson Hall, and then multiple standing ovations at the Elgin for its second screening and Q&A. One executive from a rival studio told me earlier Friday hours before the premiere that they heard it could be “this year's Green Book”.Time will tell on that but in terms of a reception it certainly seemed to match the enthusiasm for 2018's Best Picture Oscar winner, and definitely will find a place in the race for this year.

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto Warner Bros

I am told this morning's third screening at the mammoth Princess Of Wales Theatre also played “through the roof” to a full house further fueling early talk and it is early since TIFF still has 8 days to go that this is a contender for the same audience People's Choice prize won by Green Book.Coming from director Destin Daniel Cretton The Glass Castle , Short Term 12, Just Mercypacks a real wallop, a film for our times that not only serves a cautionary tale in our all-too-familiar rush to judgement, particularly for people of color, but that also inspires and gives us hope that there are still people like Bryan Stevenson who remind us of the best of humanity.

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto Shutterstock

Jordan joins the ever-growing list of potential Best Actor nominees with a performance that never crosses the line into histrionics and stays true to the real life man he is portraying the film is based on his book. If ever there was a year to bolster the argument to expand acting nominees from five to ten this is it. Actors branch members are going to have a Solomon-like choice to make in whittling the final five contenders down from the strongest lineup I can recall in years. Jordan however deserves to be in the conversation, as does Oscar winner Foxx who once again shows his acting chops in a touching turn as McMillian , joining an equally crowded Supporting Actor field but sure to draw attention for this role from the Academy which could — and should — deliver him his third nomination after the banner year of 2004 when he was double nominated as Supporting Actor in Collateral,and winning lead actor for Ray. Also a big shout out to Brie Larson, who has worked with the director twice before , and here delivers a perfectly pitched turn as the southern local advocate Eva Ansley. She serves as sort of the audience's advocate as well, in a small but expert supporting turn. In fact the whole cast is flawless and attention should be paid to Tim Blake Nelson , Rob Morgan, and O'Shea Jackson Jr. delivering sterling performances that should all help add up to a SAG Outstanding Cast nomination for this film.

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto Shutterstock

At the packed Fermenting Cellar after- party which didn't even get rolling until 11:30pm, Warner Bros Picture Group Chairman Toby Emmerich told me how proud he was of Just Mercy,and clearly relished the TIFF reception it got. Emmerich is riding a wave of awards contenders this fall with easily the largest major studio slate of movies on tap. In fact as marketing chief Blair Rich points out they have five movies alone here at TIFF , keeping them busy every night. Mercy, The Goldfinch, along with the Bruce Springsteen concert film Western Starsare World Premieres, while Edward Norton's Motherless Brooklyn comes straight from its Telluride debut, and the highly acclaimed Joker rolls in Monday night from Venice. That actually puts the studio one shy of holding the distribution premiere record this year after Netflix which is bringing in a whopping six titles including tonight's World Premiere of Eddie Murphy's Dolemite Is My Name. This all puts the current streaming vs theatrical debate into direct conflict for a festival that seems to want to embrace all forms of cinema, past , present and future. But as Warners distribution head Jeff Goldstein told me last night, “seeing these movies here on the biggest screens really seems to define what a movie should be”. Knowing the business is changing , that sentiment strikes right at the heart of why a festival like this is so important to remind us what we love about the experience of watching the movies the way they were designed to be watched. In some cases for the over 300 features here, it may be the onlytime they get this kind of exposure. You don't have to worry about Just Mercyhowever. It ought to be a hit in theatres, as well as with awards voters.

Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto Shutterstock

With reaction at fever pitch for the first of Warners' quintet here you can tell it will be a busy Academy season for the studio which last won Best Picture for 2012's Argo ,and has along with Joker at least one surefire contender in Just Mercy which doesn't open until Christmas Day in a limited run before going wide MLK weekend , right after Oscar nominations are announced. Clearly the studio has confidence there will be a few of those. In fact , not wasting any time as a warm up to last night's big premiere the studio held a private screening and Q&A August 22nd at the WGA Theatre in Beverly Hills for an invited audience of Academy and SAG nominating committee members among others where the enthusiastic reaction proved to be predictive of what the film is receiving here at its TIFF launch.

Source: deadline.com

Weekend of October 11 - 13, 2019 (IMDb)
1.
Joker
Net: $55.9M Grs: $193.6M
Weeks: 2
2.
The Addams Family
Net: $30.3M Grs: $30.3M
Weeks: 1
3.
Gemini Man
Net: $20.6M Grs: $20.6M
Weeks: 1
4.
Abominable
Net: $6.1M Grs: $47.9M
Weeks: 3
5.
Downton Abbey
Net: $4.9M Grs: $82.7M
Weeks: 4
6.
Hustlers
Net: $3.9M Grs: $98.1M
Weeks: 5
7.
Judy
Net: $3.2M Grs: $14.9M
Weeks: 3
8.
It Chapter Two
Net: $3.1M Grs: $207.0M
Weeks: 6
9.
Jexi
Net: $3.1M Grs: $3.1M
Weeks: 1
10.
Ad Astra
Net: $1.9M Grs: $47.0M
Weeks: 4
movie news Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx And ‘Just Mercy’ Ignite Oscar Talk At TIFF World Premiere Screenings – Toronto
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