This was always going to be weird.
For those of us who cover movies at the Globe, there was no way the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival could be anything but surreal, given that it would involve watching the global film community digest a movie made about the place where we work and the people we work there with. To see some of those journalists up onstage with their celebrity doppelgangers at the Princess of Wales Theatre after Monday night’s “Spotlight” screening — Walter Robinson next to Michael Keaton, Mike Rezendes paired up with Mark Ruffalo, Sacha Pfeiffer with Rachel McAdams, Matt Carroll with Brian d’Arcy James, Ben Bradlee Jr. with John Slattery, Marty Baron with Liev Schreiber — was startling enough. But then, while we were all still processing the collision of Hollywood and Morrissey boulevards, the buzz around “Spotlight” hit another gear.
Everyone goes to Toronto looking for one thing above all else: an Oscar frontrunner for best picture. Some years it emerges; many years it does not. This year, at least according to some (Vanity Fair, Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, and GoldDerby among them), the buzz is building around “Spotlight.” Of course, that could be temporary at best, given that several other highly anticipated films — “Steve Jobs,” “Carol,” “The Revenant,” and another Boston-shot movie, “Joy” — will be unveiled to most critics elsewhere in the coming weeks.
At least for now, though, what was already weird just got a whole lot weirder.