At Toronto Film Festival, 'popular' was a relative term

Published 09-17-2018

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TORONTO (AP) - For a festival that can be a hotbed of Oscar-predicting hysteria, the scuttling of the "best popular movie" category by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences barely registered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Most were too in the thrall of the 254 feature films unspooling across the festival to much care about the academy's withdrawn bid for a more commercial best-picture award. And if the "popular" film Oscar category was meant as a corrective to a widening gap between mainstream audiences and the movie industry's best work, Toronto served as one big reminder of just how easily art and "popularity" can mix.

This year's festival produced a batch of hits with both audiences and critics, including "Green Book," ''A Star Is Born" and "First Man."

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