Silver Linings Playbook named audience favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival Silver Linings Playbook has won a key boost in the race for Oscar glory. The feel-good romantic dramedy starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro was named audience favourite at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a coveted prize often seen as an indicator of awards show success and festival director Piers Handling predicted a celebrated run for the quirky feature, opening Nov. 21.

“It’s a deeply emotional story,” said Handling, noting it’s about two flawed people – played by Cooper and Lawrence – who come together to over-come their obstacles. “De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence for sure will be up for Oscar nominations, as well as Bradley Cooper.”

Toronto audiences have proven to be savvy predictors of would-be smashes: past picks The King’s Speech, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and Slumdog Millionaire all went on to multiple Academy Award nominations and wins.

The best Canadian feature prize went to the gender-bending love story Laurence Anyways, directed by Xavier Dolan. The 23-year-old Quebec phenom fought back tears as he accepted the $30,000 award, admitting that he had feared the film would “be forgotten.” Instead, Dolan now follows in some big footsteps – the last two Quebec films that won TIFF’s top Canadian feature prize ended up being Canada’s submission to the Oscars.