Director Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, the film that had been favored to win the top prize at the Toronto Film Festival, did. The victory would appear to ensure an Oscar nomination, if stellar reviews for it had not already done so. The film tells the true pre-Civil War story of a free black man, portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Surprisingly, Alfonso Cuarón's space drama Gravity, the other much-buzzed-about entry at Toronto, turned out to be an also-ran, failing even to score as a runner-up.