Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ Enters Toronto Film Festival Oscar Fray

Warner Bros. throws “Dunkirk” into the Oscar race for a screening and director Q & A at an IMAX 50th Anniversary celebration.

Warner Bros., like many studios these days, has a conservative, almost superstitious belief that to chase awards before release sends a dangerous message to a potential mainstream audience. Make your movie look too prestigious and tony, the theory goes, and you might leave them behind.

So Warners released Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” wide this summer and sure enough — while advance tracking was a little soft — the well-reviewed movie delivered and then some. Now it leads the polling on awards site Gold Derby for Best Picture among early Oscar pundits.

Tom Hardy, “Dunkirk”

This fall, Twentieth Century Fox is not taking the prestige film festival route with “Arrival” director Denis Villeneuve’s anticipated “Blade Runner 2049,” starring Ryan Gosling. It’s going straight to theaters.

But with ‘Dunkirk” established as a summer smash, Warners can now focus on reminding Academy voters that it’s in the Oscar race. Thus, when IMAX came to the studio with a “Dunkirk” proposal for a 50th anniversary celebration at the Toronto International Film Festival, the studio went for it.

Nolan has embraced large-format IMAX since “The Dark Knight.” He shot “Dunkirk” almost entirely with IMAX cameras, the first time he’s applied IMAX to a real-life event. The director will appear on Sunday, September 10th with a special 70mm IMAX screening of the film at the reopening of Toronto’s Ontario Place Cinesphere — the world’s very first permanent IMAX theater, which originally opened in 1971.

Nolan hasn’t been to the festival since “The Following” debuted there 19 years ago, and TIFF welcomed him back with open arms. Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF, will introduce the movie, which will be followed by a conversation between the director/writer/producer and TIFF artistic director Cameron…

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