T.O. critics love The Florida Project

Sean Baker’s indie film, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Jordan Peele’s Get Out receive love from Toronto Film Critics Association

Having named Moonlight the best picture of 2016, the Toronto Film Critics Association gave its top prize to another American indie this year: The Florida Project.

Sean Baker’s kid’s-eye view of life on the wrong side of Walt Disney World also took the best supporting actor prize for Willem Dafoe’s empathetic performance as a motel manager who serves as a de facto babysitter for the movie’s young heroes.

The TFCA – of which I am a member, as are my fellow NOW critics Susan G. Cole, Radheyan Simonpillai and Glenn Sumi – spread the love wide this year, handing out two prizes each to Jordan Peele’s Get Out (best screenplay and best first feature) and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird (best director and best supporting actress for Laurie Metcalf).

The top acting prizes went to Daniel Day-Lewis for playing a fussy fashion designer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, which opens in Toronto January 5, and Frances McDormand for her role as a vengeful mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

The Allan King documentary prize went to Agnès Varda and JR’s charming collaboration Faces Places Nora Twomey’s Canadian co-production The Breadwinner was named best animated feature and Ruben Östlund’s The Square took the foreign-language prize.

The TFCA also announced the finalists for this year’s Rogers Best Canadian Film award, which carries a cash prize of $100,000. They are Kevan Funk’s Hello Destroyer, Ashley McKenzie’s Werewolf and Joyce Wong’s Wexford Plaza.

The winner will be named at the TFCA’s awards gala on January 9, which will also celebrate the winner of this year’s Stella Artois Jay Scott prize for an emerging artist. 


BEST PICTURE: The Florida Project  

(runners up: Phantom Thread, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

BEST DIRECTOR: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

(runners up: Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread Jordan Peele, Get Out)

BEST ACTOR: Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

(runners up: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour)

BEST ACTRESS: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards

(runners-up: Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Willem Dafoe-, The Florida Project

(runners up: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

(runners-up: Allison Janney, I, Tonya Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread)

BEST SCREENPLAY (adapted or original): Jordan Peele, Get Out

(runners-up: Lady Bird by Greta Gerwig Three Billboards by Martin McDonagh)

BEST FIRST FEATURE: Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele 

(runners-up: Lady Macbeth directed by William Oldroyd Werewolf directed by Ashley McKenzie)

BEST DOCUMENTARY: Faces Places, directed by Agnès Varda and JR

(runners-up: Jane, directed by Brett Morgen Kedi, directed by Ceyda Torun)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: The Breadwinner, directed by Nora Twomey

(runners-up: Coco, directed by Lee Unkrich Window Horses, directed by Ann Marie Fleming)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: The Square, directed by Ruben Östlund

(runners-up: Faces Places, directed by Agnès Varda and JR Loveless, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev)


Hello Destroyer, directed by Kevan Funk Werewolf, directed by Ashley McKenzie Wexford Plaza, directed by Joyce Wong

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