Everybody Wins: American Beauty (1999)
When analysts chart the evolution of TIFF into a staging area for Oscar campaigns, the 1999 edition will stand out like a beacon: Almost every major Academy Award went to a film that bowed at TIFF. Sam Mendes' American Beauty took Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor for Kevin Spacey. Lasse HallstrÃ¶m's The Cider House Rules nabbed Best Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actor for Michael Caine. And Kimberly Peirce's Boys Don't Cry took Best Actress for Hilary Swank. (The only major prize-winner that didn't premiere at TIFF was Girl, Interrupted, which saw Angelina Jolie honored as Best Supporting Actress.) From that point on, Toronto has been the first stop on the Oscar campaign circuit for every serious contender. Clint Eastwood prefers to launch his movies in New York, but we choose to let that slide.