Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Trailer for Manchester by the Sea / What's the Mystery Film? / Toronto Chiefs Name Contenders...They Sound Familiar

Good Thursday fellow film lovers.  The 43rd Telluride Film Festival is now only 7 days away...


Purportedly an Oscar contender since it bowed at The Sundance Film Festival last February, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea is expected by many to be that rare "Sundance" exception for The SHOW.  They don't come along very often.

For a good chunk of time I thought, and some others did as well, that Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation might be an exception too or instead but we're pretty sure that won't happen.

Manchester received great response from the Sundance crowd and is regarded by some as a strong contender for Oscar action.  The film stars Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams both of whom could well be in the conversation for acting awards.  The buzz on Affleck is particularly strong.

Those of us who didn't see the film in Park City now have a chance to look at some of it as Amazon/Roadside Attractions released a full trailer for it yesterday.  Here it is via YouTube:

As you might expect, here's coverage of the release of the trailer yesterday from:  


Well, the Ol' Blog is chugging right along.  It gets increasing attention the closer we get to the opening of each year's SHOW and this year has been no exception.  Within the last couple of weeks MTFB has been mentioned or linked by Awards Daily, Awards Circuit, Awards Watch and maybe most intriguingly by Hollywood Elsewhere last Sunday evening.

The HE mention included a version of the last week;s Ten (Plus) Bets.  What made it intriguing were a couple of phrases in the post to the effect that author Jeffrey Wells had run the list by "a guy who knows his stuff" and that said "guy" all but endorsed the "Ten Bets" but also apparently added that it did not include "one major American film that is definitely going".

Which piqued my interest.

So...what could that "major American film" be?

Seems to me that the description really gives us some clues and limits.

At this point, by reason of deduction, has be a film that is NOT playing Toronto or New York which have revealed (we think) all of the films for their lineups.

It could be a film that will play Venice as part of that festival occurs before Telluride begins and continues after T-ride is over.

It could also be a film that will play the AFI Fest, BFI (because we don't know their complete lineups yet) or isn't going to play any other Festival at all.

And it has to be a "major American" film.


If you've been reading this space of late you know that one of the rumors that's swirling around is that Warners is going to screen Sully in Telluride.  That would seem to fit the criteria listed above.

As a matter of fact, the three Warners' pictures we've been batting around for weeks would all probably fit the bill: Sully, The Accountant and Live By Night.

Next, I'm going to admit what a number of people have been guessing since last Friday that the buzz I've heard about a Venice film that could play despite its Toronto designation as a North American premiere is (as some of you have guessed) Nocturnal Animals.

If Nocturnal IS the film that our "guy" is referencing then that would raise a bunch of questions centered on the veracity of Toronto's so-called "honest premiere status" policy.  I think you'd have to question any and all of Toronto's designations at that point.

Additionally, someone in some comment section or forum somewhere this last week, suggested that the term "major American film" implied a release from a major studio rather than a distributor like Focus Features which is distributing Nocturnal Animals.

That said, Nocturnal Animals could be in the TFF #43 lineup, if what I'm hearing is true.

Three other films seem, to me anyway, to fit the descriptive terms.

Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply (20th Century Fox, release 11/23)

Robert Zemeckis' Allied (Paramount, release 11/23)

David Frankel's Collateral Beauty (New Line Cinema, release 12/16)

Martin Scorsese's Silence and Denzel Washington's Fences seem out of reach for Telluride.  Scorsese has been reported as saying Silence won't be ready until October and hasn't git a release date.  Fences is also thought to be unready and isn't set for release until 12/25.

So, in order, it seems to me that the best guess is:

1) Sully
2) Nocturnal Animals
3) Allied
4) Rules Don't Apply
5) Collateral Beauty

But I wouldn't bet the kids college fund.

Last real quick blip...The Ron Howard Beatles doc Eight Days a Week; The Touring Years

Got other ideas or thoughts...comment!

The original Hollywood Elsewhere post is here:

Hollywood Elsewhere


In a story in The Guardian on Wednesday, Toronto International Film Festival CEO Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey responded to inquiry about the films that they have programmed for TIFF 2016 focusing on their evaluation of awards prospects.

The gentlemen named three films: Damien Chazelle's La La Land, Barry Jenkins' Moonlight and Denis Villenueve's Arrival.  Those comments were music to my ears as all three are expected (by MTFB anyway) to make the lineup for the 2016 version of The SHOW.

Last week's Ten (Plus) Bets had La La Land at #3, Arrival at #4 and Moonlight at #5.

Here's the article from The Guardian

That's going to do have to do it for this Thursday.  A new Ten (plus) Bets drops tomorrow!

Contact MTFB at:

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

La La Land Lands a New Trailer and Song / Toronto Surprise / Toni Erdmann Is a Winner

Good Wednesday Campers...

43rd Telluride Film Fest Liftoff in 9 days...


Damien Chazelle's La La Land...opening Venice on Aug. 31 and coming soon to a SHOW near you, if you happen to be in Telluride, CO. over Labor Day weekend...dropped a new trailer and a new song as well yesterday as it ramps up to its World Premiere in a week.

Here's the trailer via YouTube:

I like this trailer better than the first.

La La Land second trailer coverage is here: 


Han Solo to Luke Skywalker:

Yes.  I need to remember the above line from Star Wars.  Every time I think, "Hey, you've gotten really good at this Telluride lineup game" something happens to remind me that I'm not as hot a shot as I think I am.  To wit...

Yesterday's final Toronto International Film Festival announcement was notable not for the films that the new information suggests could play Telluride but wholly because of a couple of films that the new info suggests will NOT play in Telluride.

Both were listed as North American premieres and both are full length animated films.  The least surprise of the two was My Life as a Courgette, an Annecy Animation winner that I thought had a reasonable chance of making the trip to southwest Colorado.  Seems not.

The other was a stunning surprise, to me anyway, as Michael Dudok de Wit's The Red Turtle was announced as an N.A. preem.  That's a film that I had pegged as a Telluride-likely since it appeared at Cannes in May.  I've had it in the Ten Bets list for nine straight weeks.

Looks like I

Great kid, don't get cocky...

Other than those two nodes of knowledge, I couldn't find any other news in the last TIFF that suggested that any other films are IN for T-ride nor any other films that I thought might play that are nixed.

Here's the coverage of yesterday's TIFF announcement from Indiewire


Toni Erdmann did not win any official competition prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May, despite being generally regarded as the biggest critical success.  It did, however, win the independent and not Cannes official FIPRESCI Prize. It also won the International Cinephile Award for Cannes (not an official Cannes award either).

Now, Maren Ade's film can add a further accolade to its arsenal.  Toni Erdmann was named yesterday as the winner of the FIPREDSI Grand Prix as the Best Film of the year.

Toni Erdmann will almost certainly figure into the Foreign Language Oscar conversation this year and if it is as warmly received in Telluride in a few days as it was in Cannes, perhaps it sneaks into the this year's Best Picture conversation as well (remember, you read that here first, unless I'm wrong...then you can forget it).

I had Toni Erdmann listed as the #1 Bet on last week's Ten (Plus) Bets list.  I'm pretty sure it's going to play.  But remember what Han said to Luke.  Your reminder is above.

Here's coverage of the Toni Erdmann FIPRESCI win:


The Hollywood Reporter

That's all for this Wednesday.  More tomorrow, including a segment titled "What's the Mystery Film?"

Contact MTFB at:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Goodbye Billy / Amy Adams Talks Arrival / Who Could Play? / Last Toronto News Today

Welcome to Tuesday.  Telluride's 43rd Film Festival happens in 10 days!


If you were holding onto the wish...hope...dream that Ang Lee's highly anticipated film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk might plat The can stop ho;ding your breath and crossing your fingers.  The New York Film Festival announced a massive coup yesterday as they will World Premiere the film on Oct. 14.

I have written here for a while that the film was an unlikely choice for Telluride as most industry types have been saying for some time that the film, because of its technical challenges, would probably not be ready for as early as fest as Telluride is.  I had been laboring under the notion that Billy Lynn might forgo a festival slot altogether for that reason.  Additionally, with NYFF already having announced its opener, centerpiece and closer, it seemed to me that Billy Lynn was off the table but NYFF has gotten the brass ring here.

It is quite the feather for NYFF as the film is expected, at least at the moment, to be a strong Oscar contender.

Finally, the announcement clearly bills the Oct. 14th screening as the film's World Premiere, which, if accurate, almost certainly closes the door on any play at Telluride.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is scheduled to open domestically on Nov. 11.

Here's the current trailer:

And here is a cross section of coverage of the NYFF announcement from yesterday:


MTFB is relatively certain that Denis Villenueve's Arrival will be screening in Telluride after it has bowed at the Venice Film Fest.  The buzz about the film has been intense for the past few weeks since a teaser was released back on Aug. 9.  Since then, the appearance of two full length trailers has kept the interest in the film on a high level.

I have personally been trying very hard to avoid learning too much about the project, while still passing along information to readers of this space.  It ain't easy...

And this segment of today's post is an example.  I have linked a Vulture interview with Arrival star Amy Adams without actually reading the thing.  I am aware that Adams talks about Arrival as well as other film work she's involved in and that's about the extent of it.

So, I hope that this is informative and well-written but you don't need to tell me what's in it.  I might look after The SHOW concludes.

Here's the link...enjoy?


My latest Ten (Plus) Bets from last week has gotten batted around the web in various places over the past four days which is nice.  As we get down to just days remaining before the 43rd SHOW, it's fun (at least I think it's fun) to think about the famous, near-famous and beautiful people that might attend films with us in the very near future.  So using last week's Ten Bets as a guide plus throwing in a few from films that might still make an appearance at The SHOW, let's come up with a list of possible attendees.

Remember, here's the Ten (Plus) Bets from last Friday:

20) Journey Through French Cinema
19) Defying the Nazis
18) The B-Side
17) Into the Inferno
16) Wakefield
15) Graduation
14) Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
13) Manchester by the Sea
12) Maudie
11) Una
10) Frantz
9) The Red Turtle
8) Fire at Sea
7) Neruda
6) Bleed for This
5) Moonlight
4) Arrival
3) La La Land
2) Things to Come
1) Toni Erdmann

From Things to Come: Isabelle Huppert
From La La Land: Emma Stone  and Ryan Gosling (JK Simmons would be cool too)
From Arrival: Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker and Jeremy Renner
From Moonlight: Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris and Janelle Monae
From Bleed for This: Miles Teller, Katey Sagal and Aaron Eckhardt (Ted Levine would be cool too)
From Neruda: Gael Garcia Bernal
From Una: Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn
From Maudie: Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke
From: Manchester by the Sea: Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams (producer Matt Damon would be cool too)
From: Norman: The Moderate Rise... Richard Gere (Steve Buscemi and Hank Azaria would be cool too)
From: Wakefield: Bryan Cranston and Jennifer Garner

From other possibles and still outside shots:

From Sully: Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, Aaron Eckhardt and director Clint Eastwood
From: The Accountant: Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick (JK Simmons, John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor would also be cool)
From Live by Night: Ben Affleck, Scott Eastwood, Zoe Saldana and Elle Fanning (Chris Cooper, Chris Medina, Brendan Gleeson would also be cool)
From Eternity: Audrey Tautou, Berenice Bejo and Melanie Laurent
From The Founder: Michael Keaton, Laura Dern (Nick Offerman would be cool)
From The Circle:Tom Hanks and Emma Watson (Patton Oswalt would be cool)
From Gold: Matthew McConnaughey, Bryce Dallas Howard and Edgar Ramirez (Corey Stoll and Bill Camp would be very, very cool)
From Miss Sloane: Jessica Chastain (Mark Strong, Michael Stuhlbarg, John Lithgow and Sam Waterston would be cool)
From The Sense of an Ending: Emily Mortimer (Jim Broadbent would be cool)

They won't all be in Telluride, but some of them will.


We believe that the Toronto Int'l. Film Fest will announce its last set of films today.  That, again, could possibly shed some light on other potential players for Telluride.  We'll have that covered in tomorrow's post.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

MTFB in Other Places / Journey Through French Film / Eight Days a Week Spec / Some Sully Buzz / Follow and Rate

Welcome back from the weekend to this Monday in late August.  It's less than two weeks to TFF #43 and the anticipation is building.


I ran across a mention of likely Telluride films in a couple of places yesterday.  The first was Mind of a Suspicious Kind by Jordan Ruimy.  I looked up the post and found that it contained a list of 20 films probable for Telluride.  That list is film for film the same as last Friday's Ten (Plus) Bets with the only difference being that this list was alphabetized.   Ruimy says at the top of the post that the info had come from "from a usually reliable source".

Then last night, Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere posted the same list with a link to MTFB.  Seems that Ruimy is Well's guest on the next version of his Oscar Podcast.

I have three takeaways.  1) It feels to me that MTFB is probably the origin of the list that they're working from. 2) The Wells post makes it seem clear that the latest Ten (Plus) Bets is relatively accurate and 3) as per Wells post it appears that there is at least "one major American film that is definitely going" to Telluride (per Wells' source) that is NOT mentioned on any version of the list. That's exciting and makes me wonder if that "major American film" might be Sully (more about that below) or the Venice-announced film that I alluded to in my post last Friday under the heading "Whispers and Whispers".

That's intriguing.

Here are links to both the Hollywood Elsewhere and Mind of a Suspicious Kind posts from yesterday:


(photo from Indiewire)

Over the weekend we discovered that Bertrand Tavernier's massive (190 min.)  Journey Through French Cinema will be featured at the New York Film Festival.  The retrospective of the history of French film is something that I feel moderately confident will get a try out in the San Juans over the Labor Day weekend before Tavernier tackles it in New York in October.  Journey Through French Cinema sat at #20 in last week's Ten (Plus) Bets for TFF #43.

Here's the story of its inclusion for NYFF from Indiewire:


I have speculated, suggested, campaigned...choose your verb...on behalf of the possible inclusion of Ron Howard's Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years as a part of Telluride's lineup for this year.

I have mentioned that there are circumstantial indicators that indicate that it is at least possible.  The film's release date comes a couple of weeks after Telluride.  The streaming service Hulu, which has the rights to the film, has partnered with distributor Abramorama for a theatrical release on Sept. 16. Hulu is scheduled to begin streaming the film the following day.  Abramorama has been involved at Telluride in recent years with two films on the TFF #42 slate last year: Time to Choose and Heart of a Dog.  They also had Particle Fever at TFF in 2013; so there is some historical precedent in as far as the distributor is concerned.

For a awhile, I thought that Eight Days a Week might be the special addition to the Venice lineup that Venice Film Fest head man Alberto Barbera hinted might be coming when that fest announced its lineup at the end of July but that hasn't materialized.

Nevertheless, I can hope.  Added to that hope was this post from Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere in which he asks the question about the possibility of a Telluride screening but also admits that he has no inside information that would lead him to believe that it will happen.  There's just the implication that, like me, he'd like to see the film pop at T-ride in a few days.

Here's the H.E. post:


I mentioned in last Friday's post that there had been some increasing chatter about the possibility of Clint Eastwood's Sully starring Tom Hanks as the true life hero of the Miracle on the Hudson (Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger).  I wrote then that I was still "dubious" about the chances that it would play TFF #43.

There ARE reasons to think that it COULD happen.  The film is from Warner Bros. and, as I have written repeatedly this summer, WB has been a fairly common player at Telluride over the past four years.  Telluride regular Laura Linney has a substantial role in the film as Sully's wife Lorraine and though the window is tight in terms of the release of the film (Sept. 9), it's possible.  Eastwood himself is a past T-ride tribute recipient in 1990 and was guest again in 1998.

All that to get to this...the buzz for a Sully screening grew somewhat over the weekend.  It's not that anyone is actually saying, "Hey, Sully will be at Telluride", but I'm still hearing that people are "hearing" that it might play Telluride.

Bottom line, it seems a little more possible today than it did Friday.

Additionally, we got a new trailer for Sully over the weekend.  Here it is from YouTube:

I've also included Alex Billington's/ story about the release of the second trailer:


Here's your reminder to click the newly installed "FOLLOW" button in the upper right hand corner of this page and make it easier to get MTFB as we close in on and then get to the Telluride Film Festival.

Also, don't forget to make plans to rate the films you see at TFF #43 as a part of The People's Telluride project.  Rate films 1-5 and send those ratings to me and I'll collate the information and post it here,

Contact MTFB at:

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Ten (Plus) Bets #9 / Still No Fest Home / Live by Night in December? / Whispers and More Whispers / Burns for the Museum / And Congratulations

It is Friday...finally...


We start today with an update of the weekly Ten Bets list that has more than ten bets.

Last week's Ten (Plus) Bets:

20) Journey Through French Cinema
19) Defying the Nazis
18) The B-Side
17) Into the Inferno
16) Julieta
15) Graduation
14) High Summer
13) Manchester by the Sea
12) Maudie
11) Una
10) Frantz
9) The Red Turtle
8) Fire at Sea
7) Moonlight
6) Bleed for This
5) Neruda
4) Things to Come
3) La La Land
2) Toni Erdmann
1) Arrival

And now, here is the latest version of Ten (Plus) Bets:

20) Journey Through French Cinema
19) Defying the Nazis
18) The B-Side
17) Into the Inferno
16) Wakefield
15) Graduation
14) Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
13) Manchester by the Sea
12) Maudie
11) Una
10) Frantz
9) The Red Turtle
8) Fire at Sea
7) Neruda
6) Bleed for This
5) Moonlight
4) Arrival
3) La La Land
2) Things to Come
1) Toni Erdmann

Almodovar's Julieta drops off due to its TIFF designation as a North American Premiere.  I also dropped the animated French short High Summer to make way for the two films we think are in play after the latest TIFF reveal: Wakefield and Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.

Other films that are still in somewhat serious play: The Circle, Miss Sloane, The Sense of an Ending, Exile, Peshmerga, Gold, Eternity, The Founder.


The list of films that might still be possible for a Telluride slot is getting smaller.  As of this post, these films do not have a festival berth that I'm aware of:

Rules Don't Apply (rumored for AFI)
Miss Sloane
Live by Night (supposedly heading for a December Oscar qualifying limited release, see below)
The Accountant
The Founder
The Mercy
Wild Oats
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk


A number of film outlets were all over a reported comment made by Ben Affleck's Live by Night co-star Elle Fanning to the effect that the film would be seeing the light of day before the end of 2016. That has been a train of thought for some time since Warners moved the film's announced release date up from Oct. 2017 to Jan. 13, 2017.

To the best of  my knowledge there has been no confirmation from the WB people.

Here's the Elle Fanning story:


Eastwood and Hanks on the set of Sully (from

We've reached that time of the year when the rumor mill is beginning to crank up to full capacity in regard to TFF.  Sometimes those tidbits pan out.  Often they do not.  The latest couple of quiet little buzzes have to do with Warners debuting Clint Eastwood's Sully (with Tom Hanks) as a part of the fest.  I'm dubious.

I've also heard that there could be another Venice title that makes the trip across the Atlantic in conjunction with a tribute.  What makes this intriguing is that this film would be in addition to a film that I think is already going to play Telluride and both of them feature the same star who would be the focus of the tribute.  Further, there is the suggestion that this new "Venice/T-ride crossover" is set to play Toronto and that it's currently listed premiere status is misleading.

I'm not ready to jump on board this yet, or name the possible new film but I believe that this story has more potential to be true than the Sully whisper mentioned above.

Stay tuned...


Got an email earlier this week that revealed that big time Telluride supporter and frequent presenter Ken Burns will be doing a pre-fest program for the Telluride Historical Museum on Aug. 28.  An Evening with Ken Burns will be presented for the third consecutive year and will take place at The Palm Theater at Telluride High.  Admission is $25 or $20 for Museum members.

Burns will be screening some of his National Parks: America's Greatest Idea documentary.  The program starts at 6pm.

I have linked more information here:


Greg Ellwood announced yesterday that his Awards Campaign website will now be a part of The Playlist for whom he will be covering the awards season.  Congrats Greg!

Ellwood will be one of the more than a dozen industry pros that will be a part of MTFB's annual Professionals Telluride film ratings.

Here's coverage of the move from Greg's site:

That's a wrap for this Friday.

Contact MTFB at:

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Indiewire Critics Panel Pick Their Most Anticipated Films for Fall / The Mystery of Lion and TWC / Hidden Figures Heads to Toronto / The People's Telluride

Hello and welcome to your Thursday.  I will be arriving in Telluride, if all goes according to plan, two weeks from today.  Additionally, if all goes according to past patterns, we'll have the official release of the Telluride Film Festival #43 schedule two weeks from today.  So close and still so far.


Earlier this week the folks at Indiewire asked a panel of film critics to name some of the films they are most looking forward to as we head into the fall season.  A n umber of films that are probably headed to Telluride made a mark in their answers.  Mentioned were:

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea
Damien Chazelle's La La Land and
Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann

Among the critics queried were Indiewire's own David Ehrlich (who actually wrote the piece) and Tomris Laffly of Film Journal Int'l. both of whom will be contributing to this year's Professionals' Telluride rating of films for TFF #43 reported right here.

Check Ehrlich's complete post here:


Loyal MTFB reader Jason Osiason messaged me yesterday asking if I knew what was up with Garth Davis' Lion in Toronto.  Me: Nope.

Osiason pointed out that, "quietly" Lion has gone from a Gala to Special Presentation status and wondered if that signaled that it could be back in play as a possible addition to the Telluride lineup.

I did some due diligence and sure enough, Jason has it right.  The film was originally announced at TIFF to be a Gala but is now listed at the TIFF website as a "Special Presentation".  But it's also still listed by TIFF as a World Premiere.

My original answer to Jason was that it could have been done to move things around concerning the availability of talent.

A couple of other possibilities struck me since that original answer.  The switch may also signal something of the internal distress and possible financial status of The Weinstein Company.  A number of sources of late have mentioned that TWC is under some strain.  I don't pretend to know the veracity of those claims and I'm sure no expert in the workings of the Toronto fest but I believe that Galas and Special Presentations require that the distributor take on certain costs and that the Gala is a pricier situation.  It could be that the switch is simply a matter of dollars and cents.

Or it could be a mistake.

Or it could signal a TFF #43 play...though I think that's an unlikely scenario, I still find it difficult to believe that TWC won't have some sort of presence this year.


I've been following the increased profile of late of Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures.  The film is about the story of African-American women who worked at NASA in its early days and their little known contributions to the American space effort.

The film has shown up lately in the press with a trailer and images and that rarely happens without a reason.  And now we know what that reason is.

The Toronto organizers announced yesterday that the film will be screened in an unfinished state during TIFF.  It's being billed as an "exclusive sneak peak" which seals its fate in as far as Telluride is concerned.  Not going to happen at TFF #43.  So be it.

The story is here from both The Hollywood Reporter and Awards Circuit:


Remember to report your ratings for the films you see at TFF #43 and be a part of MTFB's People's Telluride.  Rate films on a 1 to 5 scale (1=BAD, 5=GREAT) once the fest has concluded.  Send ratings via email to: OR

OR send via Twitter to @Gort2

You can also comment to the blog itself or to MTFB's facebook page.

Also, remember to click on the new FOLLOW button in the upper right hand corner of the Blog's page.  That'll make it easier to get the latest Telluride Film Festival news and speculation quickly.

Tomorrow:  A new "Ten (Plus) Bets", films that are still in play and a look at the rumor mill...come on back!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Latest Toronto News and Telluride / Arrival's Second Wave Arrives / Miss Sloane Emerges / The People, The Pros and The Follow

It's a Wednesday in August.  The month is half over and we're staring down the barrel of slightly two more weeks until TFF #43...and it may have just gotten awesomer! (Is that a word?  Should be).


The organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival reveled more of their selections yesterday and is my custom, I began parsing the information and premiere statuses for Telluride clues.

Here's what I think we can say...

First, and most attention grabbing, it appears that Wakefield from writer/director Robin Swicord (The Jane Austen Book Club, co-writer of The Promise...which I will mention in a bit) and starring Bryan Cranston will probably be playing Telluride.  That stems from its classification as an International premiere in Toronto.  An International Premiere means the first play outside of its nation of origin (which is the USA) so unless there is some other screening of the film someplace I can't track down, the most likely scenario is that it's coming to southwestern Colorado.

Now, there's no guarantee that Cranston make the trip to T-ride.  We've been disappointed before when we thought an actor was going to make the trip and then didn't (Benedict Cumberbatch/Imitation Game...I'm looking at you).  And to be sure, Cranston is a busy man as he is cast in the currently filming Power Rangers film.  Still, I'm hopeful that he could be in town.  Would be cool.

Wakefield's IMDb plot description says: "A man's nervous breakdown causes him to leave his wife and live in his attic for several months".  IMDb also does not list a current distributor for the film.

Other big news for additions to our T-ride spec list is that it looks like Joseph Cedar's Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer will make an appearance at Telluride.  The film was previously titled The Oppenheimer Strategies.  The film has been on the MTFB radar since as early as last March because of Cedar's previous Telluride presence with his 2011 film Footnote. Norman was listed by TIFF as an International Premiere as well...see above for why I think this means a T-ride play.

Other things we learned, Wim Wenders The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez appears to be headed directly from Venice to Toronto as it was listed as a North American Premiere.  Terrence Malick's The Voyage of Time appears to be doing the same.

The Promise, which we have been keeping an eye on of late is also not T-ride bound as it was announced as a World Premiere.

No other International or Canadian Premieres seem to be likely for Telluride.

One piece of weirdness.  Pedro Almodovar's Julieta, was NOT listed last week by the New York Film Festival with ANY premiere designation which lead me to conclude it was probably Telluride-bound (or else it would probably be called a "U.S. Premiere by NYFF) was listed yesterday by TIFF as a North American premiere.  So, it's now more likely that Julieta is going to play somewhere else in the U.S. after Toronto and before New York, thereby meaning no Telluride play.

If Toronto follows their traditional pattern, they'll have one more set of films added to the lineup next week.

TIFF coverage from yesterday is here:


We saw a great teaser and a few images last week from Denis Villenueve's Arrival and it definitely has our interest piqued.  In all honesty, it's now the film I'm most excited about seeing if it plays Telluride as we presume from its announced status as a Canadian Premiere for Toronto.

Yesterday, the folks behind the hype parade for the film smacked us with two trailers and posters as well.

I'll be honest, I'm not watching the trailer(s).  I loved the teaser last week, but that's all I want to know now.  I'm going to try to keep the blinders on until I see it at The Zog (I assume).

Nevertheless, here's the trailer via YouTube:

And, the international trailer, also from YouTube:

And, to further whet your appetite...posters:

There are several more...

Check these stories for more news about Arrival, it's trailers and images:


It's looking increasingly unlikely that John Madden's Miss Sloane starring Jessica Chastain will be playing Telluride.  The film has always been a very outside chance with an announced release date of Dec. 9th...which is pretty deep in the season and no inclusion in either NYFF or Toronto (at least at this point) it seems to be improbable.

It's not impossible, however.  So, I'm still trailing it mostly because I'd like for it to be at T-ride.  We had a new image of the film published online yesterday.

Here's some of the online coverage from yesterday:


Here's today's reminder to join your fellow Telluride Film Fest attendees and rate the films you see for MTFB.  I'm asking you to rate each film you catch on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being awful and 5 being great.  Send those ratings via email (see below), comment to this blog, Twitter (see below).  I'll compile them and let you know The People's consensus.

I'l  also be doing The Professionals Telluride.  I've asked a number of industry pros to rate the films as well and I'll be reporting their consensus as well.

Agreeing this year to participate are :

Alex Billington/FirstShowing
David Ehrlich/Indiewire
Greg Ellwood/
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Eric Kohn/Indiewire
Mark Johnson/
Tomris Laffly/Film Journal
Kenny Miles/
Christopher Schiller/
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Indiewire

There could be a couple of others.

And a reminder that you can now more easily follow Michael's Telluride Film  Blog and the Film Awards Clearinghouse.  I've set up a "FOLLOW" button on the blog page in the upper right hand corner.  Just click on it for an easy way to get every post as we preview, view and then review TFF #43.  Then you can follow the prospects of Telluride's films as they wend their way through awards season.  Just click that "FOLLOW" button!

That's it for Wednesday...more to come tomorrow.

Contact MTFB at:

OR on Twitter @Gort2

OR check out Michael's Telluride Film Blog on Facebook:

Or leave a comment.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When They Do Your Job for You / Hidden Figures Poster Revealed / The Playlist's 50 Fall Films / Rate Films from The SHOW and Follow, Follow, Follow

Happy Tuesday World!

I think we have another Toronto announcement today...we'll see what we see...


It doesn't get easier than this though the confirmation comes from a surprising source.  Werner Herzog's Into the Inferno, which I had penciled into last Friday's Ten (Plus) Bets as probable for Telluride owing to its announced premiere status from Toronto is confirmed by...wait for it...Werner Herzog.

Herzog, speaking on Mark Maron's podcast pronounced that the film would be a part of the TFF #43 lineup.  The admission was reported by a number of film outlets (see below).

It's something of a shocker, as Herzog, who has a lengthy history with the fest, has to be abundantly aware that Telluride doesn't reveal the lineup until the day before the festival begins.

Still, I'll take the confirmation and move on.

Reports of the admission from Mr. Herzog are here:


Hot on the heels of its Olympic debuting trailer the Theodore Melfi film Hidden Figures revealed a poster yesterday:

Again, you have to figure that it's not really a likely Telluride Melfi (or someone purporting to be Melfi) said himself on Twitter over the weekend but there is a difference between "Not likely" and "never gonna happen".

Hidden Figures is currently scheduled to open on Jan. 13, 2017.


The Playlist was up yesterday with a list of 50+ films that they say are their most anticipated for this coming fall/awards season.  Probable Telluride films are well represented in the article:

Moonlight, Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Things to Come, Neruda, Julieta and Toni Erdmann all make the list.

Also included are a number of films with no fall film fest agenda for the moment:

Sully, Rules Don't Apply, The Accountant, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Allied, Silence, Miss Sloane, Fences, Collateral Beauty, Passengers, Gold and The Founder.

Some of these films aren't ready for screening.  Some will almost certainly be announced for The AFI Fest.  Some won't play a major festival at all.  I can see anywhere between none and five still showing at The SHOW.

The Playlist list is here:


It's your annual call to rate the films you see at the Telluride Film Festival.  MTFB is once again asking YOU to participate in The People's Telluride...a gathering of film ratings from the ticket buying public at the fest.

It's simple...rate the films you see on a 1 to 5 scale (1 being awful and 5 being masterpiece) and then send those to me via email: or OR via the comments section here on the blog or to my twitter account @Gort2.


I've added a "FOLLOW" button to the blog page.  You'll see it in the upper right hand area of the page. Just click on it and you can make it much easier to keep up with what's going on here.

Contact MTFB at:

OR on Twitter @Gort2

OR check out Michael's Telluride Film Blog on Facebook:

Or leave a comment.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Hidden Figures Unhidden / Pitt and Cotillard are Allied / Venice and Toronto Meditations / The People's Telluride Returns / It's Easier to Follow MTFB

Good Monday everyone.  Hope you had an excellent weekend.


It's a late entry in the end of the year film sweepstakes and not really a highly likely Telluride candidate but you never know.  Theodore Melfi's Hidden Figures (from Fox 2000) debuted a trailer during Olympic coverage last night and then any number of press outlets offered it as well.  The film tells the true story of African American employees of NASA and their contributions to America's successful entry into the space race.

Here's the trailer from YouTube:

Hidden Figures stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Keven Costner.  It's set for release (at least for the time being) on Jan. 13, 2017.  However, the film has been reportedly test screening.


We saw the release of trailers over the weekend for a couple of films that could well be Oscar contenders and are also not terribly likely films to end up in the Telluride #43 schedule.

Allied is directed by Robert Zemeckis and stars Marion Cotillard and Brad Pitt in a WWII set romance/thriller.  Cotillard and Pitt have both attended a Telluride Film Fest and the film is from Paramount, which we're pretty sure is going to have Arrival on the T-ride know...maybe.

Here's the trailer from YouTube:

Allied is set to open on Nov. 23.

Coverage of Allied and the trailer's release:


The Venice Film Fest have unleashed the screening schedule and that, perhaps, it gives us some clues, questions and validations.

The first concern is whether films that the TIFF announcement's have hinted are probable Telluride films that are also playing in Venice have been scheduled in a manner that would allow their play in both fests.

Those films:

La La Land

We already knew that La La Land would open Venice on Aug. 31 which fits with a Telluride play easily.  We now know that Arrival is set for its first screening on Sept. 1.  That works as well.  Of some concern is the Sept. 3 screening date for Frncois Ozon's Frantz.  That's dicey for The Ride.  All of those Venice competition films are slated as world Premieres which, if true, would suggest that Frantz would be on a tight schedule to get set-up for a 9/4 play at T-ride.  We think it's headed to Telluride due to its TIFF designation as a Canadian Premiere.  So...maybe it navigates the tight window, plays T-ride first (thus negating its Venice "world" premiere status) or that it doesn't really play at Telluride.

A couple of additional notes:  Wim Wenders The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez is scheduled for a Sept.1 screening  making it a very real possibility to fly to T-ride after that.  Also, jazz documentary I Called Him Morgan looks like it could make a play at Telluride as it is also scheduled for a Sept. 1 screening.  Three other Venice documentaries could still be in the Telluride conversation are: Chasing Trane, Beauties of the Night and American Anarchist.


It's your annual call to rate the films you see at the Telluride Film Festival.  MTFB is once again asking YOU to participate in The People's Telluride...a gathering of film ratings from the ticket buying public at the fest.

It's simple...rate the films you see on a 1 to 5 scale (1 being awful and 5 being masterpiece) and then send those to me via email: or OR via the comments section here on the blog or to my twitter account @Gort2.


I've added a "FOLLOW" button to the blog page.  You'll see it in the upper right hand area of the page. Just click on it and you can make it much easier to keep up with what's going on here.

Contact MTFB at:

OR on Twitter @Gort2

OR check out Michael's Telluride Film Blog on Facebook:

Or leave a comment.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Ten (Plus) Bets #8 / Moonlight Trailer Impresses / Toronto Platform Lineup Provides Clues

It's Friday everyone...aren't you glad?


Here is my weekly update focused on what appear to be the most probable films to play the 43rd Telluride Film Festival.

Last week's Ten (Plus) Bets:

15) Defying the Nazis (Ken Burns PBS Doc)
14) High Summer (Animated short)
13) The Red Turtle
12) Manchester by the Sea
11) Moonlight
10) Fire at Sea
9) Maudie
8) Frantz
7) Una
6) Things to Come
5) Neruda
4) Bleed for This
3) Arrival
2) La La Land
1) Toni Erdmann

And here is this week's Ten (Plus) Bets:

20) Journey Through French Cinema
19) Defying the Nazis
18) The B-Side
17) Into the Inferno
16) Julieta
15) Graduation
14) High Summer
13) Manchester by the Sea
12) Maudie
11) Una
10) Frantz
9) The Red Turtle
8) Fire at Sea
7) Moonlight
6) Bleed for This
5) Neruda
4) Things to Come
3) La La Land
2) Toni Erdmann
1) Arrival

Still in play: The Circle, The Promise. Miss Sloane. Hidden Figures, The Sense of an Ending, Exile, Peshmerga, Gold, Norman, Eternity, The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez, The Founder


As I mentioned here yesterday, Barry Jenkins Moonlight (A24) got a trailer release late yesterday morning.  Here it is from YouTube:

The response to the trailer was nothing short of rapturous.  We may have a serious stealth Oscar player.   Here's coverage of the trailer drop:

Despite The PLaylist's claim that the film is world premiering in Toronto, I'm still relatively confident it will actually screen at Telluride first.  The story below underscores my belief.


Toronto's International Film Festival revealed their competitive young film makers Platform section yesterday.  Included in the list of films were two that have been on the TFF #43 radar.  Pablo Larrain's Jackie, which I had concluded will not be making the trip from Venice to T-ride was listed as a North American Premiere thus buttressing my conclusion.

Barry Jenkins Moonlight was also named to the section and listed as an International Premiere, which, I believe indicates a film's first play outside its nation of origin which comports perfectly with a Telluride screening.

The complete Platform lineup and film descriptions are here:

Contact MTFB at:

OR on Twitter @Gort2

OR check out Michael's Telluride Film Blog on Facebook:

Or leave a comment.