Labor Day (movie)

Which Toronto International Film Festival movies are Oscar material?

"The Imitation Game"

The Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday and runs through Sept. 14, is a key indicator not only of the upcoming fall movies but of the awards season. Eight of the last nine best picture Oscar winners built awards-season momentum at the festival.

There are any number of hopefuls in this year's TIFF lineup, but some films have better chances than others of breaking through. A positive response — enthusiastic crowds, strong early reviews — can boost a film's awards trajectory. A negative response can mean a failure to launch.

What movies might be this year's beneficiaries? Here's a look at the promise of some of the high-profile titles playing at the...