Did Sony Classics just seal the deal on Julianne Moore’s first Oscar?

Most eyes were on Sony Pictures Classics for a potential suitor for Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland's “Still Alice.” They have a lot of dogs in a lot of hunts, but the lead actress race was something left lacking on their awards slate. That's all changed now, as they've just made the first steps toward potentially securing Julianne Moore her long-elusive first Academy Award.

In reviewing the film out of this year's Toronto International Film Festival, HitFix's Greg Ellwood called the performance “shattering” and and write that it reminiscent of her work in films like “Safe” and “The Hours. The latter film netted the actress a Best Supporting Actress nomination the same year as a lead bid for “Far from Heaven,” and incidentally, that was the last time she was invited to the Oscars dance.

“There are no unbelievable hysterics,” said of Moore's performance as a woman struck with Alzheimer's disease. “There are no self-aware screaming matches. Instead, the focus is on Moore”s heartbreaking depiction of a woman slowly losing her focus, her memory and, to some extent, herself.”

Trust me, everyone in town is well aware of how thin that Best Actress field is. It's been a constant talking point. And there's still the possibility Jennifer Aniston joins the party for her work in “Cake,” but for now, suddenly, things start to look interesting. There is no shortage of fans who want to see Moore finally clutching one of those trophies, and with Sony Classics planning to launch “Still Alice” this season, those fans might just get their wish.

It's also a bit of serendipity for the actress. After winning the Cannes Best Actress prize in May for David Cronenberg's “Maps to the Stars” (also playing Toronto), Focus World acquired the film and, according to bizarre reports, indicated a desire to push for things like BAFTA and SAG but not Oscar, whatever that meant. No matter now, as there won't be any ambiguity out of the Sony Classics camp and you can bet this will be primed and ready for the season. Who's not pulling for her?

More acquisition news from Toronto here.