Thursday, March 23, 2017

Battle of the Sexes Has a Date / Politics, The NEA and Telluride / One More Big Cannes Spec Piece / More from The Other Side

Welcome to the first Thursday of spring friends.


It's a film that has been on the MTFB radar for many months.  The film is the Dayton/Faris' Battle of the Sexes which centers on the story of the tennis match for the ages between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs and starsEmma Stone and Steve Carell.  I believe I first noted it in this space in June of 2014.

Now Fox Searchlight has dated it for a Sept. 22nd release which means it could play Telluride (and/or Venice and Toronto).  Although, that doesn't seem to me to be a prime release window if you play Telluride (Black Mass and Sully both landed close to that date the last couple of years). Nevertheless, it keeps the film in play as a TFF #44 possibility.

Here's coverage of the release date announcement.

Fox Searchlight Press Release


The Hollywood Reporter

Entertainment Weekly

The Wrap


I usually stay away from politics in this space but I noted this week an Indiewire post about the possible effect on film festivals should the Trump budget come to pass complete with its gutting of the National Endowment for the Arts.  It seems that a number of film festivals would take a hot including the Telluride Film Festival.

That seemed to me to be worthy to pass along to my readers.  Here's the story From Indiewire .


Variety posted an extensive piece yesterday with informed Cannes lineup guesswork.  Notable films mentioned among the possible titles included Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck,

Of as much interest is a paragraph about two Paramount films: Alexander Payne's Downsizing (which has been on any number of Cannes lists within the last month) and George Clooney's Suburbicon.  The reporters suggest that Payne may not be ready to bow in France in May but that Clooney might be.  Considering how hot the expectation has been that the Payne film would likely play, this is a bit surprising.

Other notable strong contenders are said to include Michael Haneke's Happy End, Michel Hazanavicius' Redoubtable, Abdellatif Kechiche's Mektoub is Mektoub.

Here's the complete piece from Elsa Keslassy and Peter DeBruge of Variety.


As you have surely noticed, I am taking a keen interest (and have been for some time now) in the ongoing process to complete Orson Welles "final' film, The Other Side of the Wind.  The negatives are currently in Los Angeles and work is said to have begun.

Earlier this week, Indiewire posted a fairly detailed account of how and where this all came about.  If you haven't already immersed yourself on the details, their story is a good way to get up to speed.

Indiewire posted the story earlier this week.

That'll be a wrap for today.  More on Monday.


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Monday, March 20, 2017

Some Serious Cannes Possibilities / The Other Side's Work Has Begun / Tom Luddy Honoroed

Welcome to Monday...if you got a spring break, I hope you enjoyed it..


During the past week Deadline and Screen Daily each dropped a large article commenting on film titles that they feel have serious Cannes potential.  As a matter of fact, they're the two deepest Cannes spec pieces that I've seen thus far.

As regular readers know, we parse the Cannes potential lineup to begin to glean thoughts as to which films might also be presented in September at T-ride.

So, lets's dive in beginning with the Screen Daily post which breaks down possibilities by various geographic regions.  From those lengthy lists, I have highlighted some films that seem like candidates for TFF:

France: Mektoub is Mektoub, Redoubtable, The Guardians
UK/Ireland: Lean on Pete, You Were Never really Here
Germany: Submergence
North America: Wonderstruck
Latin America: Roma
Eastern Europe: Loveless

The complete Screen Daily article is here.

Meanwhile. Pete Hammond posted a big Cannes piece on Wednesday that includes hard core speculation about:

Michael Haneke's Happy End
Alexander Payne's Downsizing
George Clooney's Suburbicon (though Hammond suggests a fall fest is, perhaps, more likely...Venice?)
Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck
Lynne Ramsay's You Where Never Really Here

Hammond also pours cold water on the Cannes spec of a number of films that we've been keeping an eye on this spring.  Films that Hammond says will NOT be Cannes bound include: Wim Wenders Submergence, Stephen Frears' Victoria and Abdul, Alfonso Cuaron's Roma.

French films that Hammond suggests are in play for a berth include Mektoub is Mektoub, Redoubtable and The Guardians.

Other titles that Hammond highlights that stand out to me as having a shot at Labor Day in the San Juans include: Loveless, The Venerable W,

The complete Deadline post is here.


The people behind the effort to restore, edit, finish Orson Welles' final film The Other Side of the Wind have wasted no time getting right into the work.

We told you last week that Netflix had come on board with money and that all the legal ins and outs had been satisfied for the project to move forward.  We also re-posted a photo of the thousands of feet of film arriving in Los Angeles for work to begin.

Now we have a clip of film as the film was readied and packaged for the delivery to L.A. this week. Yahoo had the film to begin with and Indiewire re-posted it.

Here's that story with the film included.


Telluride Film Festival co-founder and continuing director Tom Luddy was announced as the recipient of The San Francisco Film Festival's Mel Novikoff Award. The award "acknowledges an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the filmgoing public's knowledge and appreciation of world cinema."

Luddy will receive the award in San Francisco on April 9th.

From The 60th SFIFF, here is the press release announcing the honor.


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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cuaron Has Wrapped / Ten Films For 2018 Best Pic Oscar-Whipp, Wells and Telluride / The Other Side of the Wind-Update / Late Breaking: New Cannes Spec

Hello all on this Spring Break Thursday...


Alfonso Cuaron

Oscar winning director Alfonso Cuaron made his Telluride debut in 2013 with Gravity which went mano a mano with Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave from T-ride all the way through Oscar night.

We've been waiting for the next Cuaron joint since then and, as of today that's closer.  The Playlist reported yesterday that Cuaron has wrapped production on his very secretive Roma.  Cuaron would have to really push to have it ready for Cannes but a Venice/Telluride play seems possible.

The film is described as having a much more small-indie sensibility than Gravity which probably doesn't hurt its chances in terms of fall fest prestige plays.

The film doesn't have domestic distribution at this point but is produced by Participant Media who has featured Telluride plays recently with Neruda (2016), Spotlight, Beasts of No Nation and He Named Me Malala (2015), Merchants of Doubt and The Look of Silence (2014).

It's a film we need to keep an eye on for TFF #44.

Here's the story from The Playlist.


Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

Glenn Whipp of the Laos Angeles Times published an article this week naming 10 films that he thinks are likely Best Pic Oscar players a year from now.  Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere responded with his own analysis of the ten.  Of interest to MTFB, of course, is which of those might make a stop at The Zog or elsewhere on Labor Day weekend:

The Whipp List: The Big Sick, Dunkirk, Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Detroit Riot Project, Darkest Hour, Downsizing, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project, Call Me By Your Name, Mudbound, Wonderstruck, Untitled Adam McKay Dick Cheney Project.

The two films with Telluride pedigrees would be Alexander Payne's Downsizing and Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck.  Beyond those other film screams Telluride.  Maybe Darkest Hour?  Would love the PTA...

Here are the separate analyses from:

Whipp at the L.A. Times

and Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere.


The Other Side of the Wind arrives in L.A. (via Wellesnet)

You've read about it here before...the ongoing project to complete Orson Welles' last film The Other Side of the Wind.  In fits and starts this has been floating around for a couple of years.  Now comes news that Netflix is in for financing and that the deal has been struck.  Further, Wellsnet reports that the film...all of the film...and it's a lot of film, has been collected in Los Angeles for editing.

We're closer people and the Netflix involvement makes the likelihood that it will become something we actually see someday much greater.

Now, does it mean it could make the Telluride 2017 lineup?  Not impossible.  Netflix and Telluride have become a thing the past couple of years and Peter Bogdonavich who is the primary figure pushing the project forward has had a terrific connection with Telluride for many many years.  He's still listed, as of the last year's program, is still listed as a member of the fest's Esteemed Council of Advisors.

Additionally, Frank Marshall is also involved.  Marshall was the line producer for the project back in the day and is also on the TFF Esteemed Council.

Still, six months is a tight window for as much film as needs to be sifted on this project.

Stay tuned...

Here's the report from Wellesnet.


Pete Hammond at Deadline posted a big speculation on possible selections for Cannes late last night. Here is the link to that story.

I'll detail some thoughts about it in Monday's post.

That's it for a Spring Break Thursday...from Santa Fe, NM!

More on Monday...


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Monday, March 13, 2017

More Thoughts on the Cannes Lineup / Some Tidbits about Moonlight and La La Land / Big News from Film Land This Week


The Playlist published its 21 film Cannes wish list this week and. as you might expect, I'm parsing their expertise for hints, clues and desires as regards the films that could double up between Cannes and Telluride.

From their list:

Michael Haneke's Happy End
Todd Haynes' Wonderstruck
Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here
Andrew Haigh's Lean on Pete

From the concluding section of their article...what they label as "Honorable Mentions":

Andrey Zvyagnistev's Loveless
Lazlo Nemes' Sunset
Alexander Payne's Downsizing
Ari Folman's Where Is Anne Frank
Michel Hazanavicicus' Le Redoubtable
Matteo Garrone's Pinocchio
Wim Wenders" Submergence
George Clooney's Suburbicon
Stephen Frears' Victoria and Abdul
Xavier Beauvois' Le Gardiennes
Ziad Doueiri's L'Insulte

The complete post from The Playlist is here.


During each Oscar season in the rush to get material posted in the midst of the non-stop deluge of stories, posts, articles and releases, some things get shuffled to the bottom of the pile.  Not because they're inherently less informative or useful but mostly because of the limits of time and space.

With the horse race that Oscar #89 turned out to be between Berry Jenkins' Moonlight and Damian Chazelle's La La Land. the following stories stayed in my inbox but never made it into the blog.  So I'm correcting that here and now:  Here are a few posts regarding Moonlight:

Barry Jenkins other film festival from The Playlist

How I Write-Barry Jenkins' video from The New York Times

Jenkins' student short film Josephine via The Playlist.

Musical homages/references video in La La Land from Indiewire.


A couple of announcements that probably don't mean anything in terms of TFF #44 but were interesting to film lovers, I suspect.  Terry Gilliam has confirmed that filming has begun on his long gestating passion project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.  He's been after this for years...and has begun filming in the past.  Here's hoping that he can get all the way to the end...and that it is more cohesive than many of his past efforts have been.

And...Stephen Spielberg has shelved  The Kidnapping of Edgardo Motara which was supposed to be his next project in favor of a quickly developing project titled The Post based on The Pentagon Papers case and how it was handles by The Washington Post in the early '70's.  Tom Hanks is set to play Post editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep is on board to play Post owner/publisher Katherine Graham.  The word is that will begin filming in May and be released THIS

Terry Gilliam/Don Quixote story from The Playlist.

Speilberg Switches Projects from Awards Watch

That'll do for this Monday.  More on Thursday...


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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Berlin Titles of Note / Cannes Speculation 2017 / Awards Circuit's Best Picture Picture

It is Thursday in most jurisdictions...Welcome to Michael's Telluride Film Blog


The Berlin Film Festival ran from Feb. 15-23.  That fest, as I have noted here, seems to have become a staple for films that then find their way into the Telluride lineup six and a half months later.  Now that our Oscar fever has broken, I thought I'd take one more quick look at the Berlin lineup and isolate films that might replicate the experience of films such as Taxi, Fire at Sea, Gloria and The Counterfeiters.  Over the last few years the average of Berlin Fest to Telluride films has been 2-3 films.

I have posted articles from Variety, Indiewire and The Film Stage that inspect this year's Berlin crop and here what seem to be the most likely candidates foe T-ride inclusion:

A Fantastic Woman-Sebastian Lelio (produced by Pablo Larrain) Film Stage and Variety

The Other Side of Hope-Aki Kaurismaki Film Stage, Indiewire and Variety

In Body and Soul-Ildiko Enyedi (Golden Bear winner) Indiewire, Variety

Spoor-Agnieszka Holland-Variety

The Party-Sally Potter-Variety

And here are the links to those articles:

The Film Stage




So...Oscar's over, Sundance is over, Berlin is over...South by Southwest takes off starting tomorrow so that can only mean that it's time to get into some serious speculation about the films that will be a part of the Cannes Film Festival.

As I have written on many occasions the Cannes-Telluride connection is substantial and averages a crossover of 7-8 films per year with most of those titles coming from the Palme d'Or competition slate.  Anyone who is serious about trying to puzzle out the Telluride lineup has to take note of the films that are possible for and then do make the lineup of Cannes.

So buckle up friendo...

I took a look at Cannes speculation from recent posts in The Hollywood Reporter and Cineuropa and compiled the following list of a dozen films that could play Cannes and have potential to make the trip to Telluride.

Making both lists:

Les Gardiennes-Xavier Beauvois

Happy End-Michael Haneke

Wonderstruck-Todd Haynes

Le Redoubtable-Michel Hazanavicius

Mektoub is Mektoub-Abdellatif Kechiche

Loveless- Andrey Zvyaginstev

From the THR article:

Victoria and Abdul-Stephen Frears

Submergence-Wim Wenders

From the Cineuropa article:

Downsizing-Alexander Payne

You're Not Really Here-Lynne Ramsay

Roma-Alfonso Cuaron

Here are links to the Cannes spec posts:

The Hollywood Reporter



And finally, continuing to cast a predictive gaze toward films that might comprise the TFF #43 program, Awards Circuit, one of the Oscar prediction outlets that I follow, has posted its first take on possible Best Picture candidates for Oscar #90.  Clayton Davis lists 40 films (plus some additional possibilities) and so I cast my eyes there in the search to discern what plays at the 2017 edition of The SHOW.

Among the Top Ten:

#5 Battle of the Sexes
#6 The Current War
#8 Downsizing

From 12-20:

#16 Wonderstruck

From 21-40

#24 Lean on Pete
#29 The Shape of Water
#37 You Were Never Really Here

Hopes that might not be completely crazy:

#2 Suburbicon
#14 Molly's Game

Here's the link to the first forecast of Oscar players from Awards Circuit.

That's all for this Thursday.  I'll have more on Monday.


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Monday, March 6, 2017

Trailers for TFF #43 Films: Maudie and Norman / For Fun / And Speaking of La La Land

Hello on a Monday...


Within the last ten days or so, we got trailers for two films that made a splash at last year's Telluride Film Festival.  Some folks were talking animatedly about Sally Hawkins performance in Aisling Walsh's film.  The film is slated for release on June 16th.


Here's the trailer from YouTube:

I have also linked coverage of the trailer from:

The Film Stage


Also making a recent appearance was a trailer for Joseph Cedar's Norman...which we saw at Telluride with the rather more lengthy title: Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer. Richard Gere stars.  Norman opens on April 14th.   Here's that trailer:

And coverage from:


And speaking of trailers, I couldn't resist linking readers to a couple of "trailers" that appeared within the last week just for fun.  The first comes from Late Night with Seth Meyers and is called "Oscar Bait".  As you might guess from the title, it lampoons a certain type of film...

Seth Meyers Oscar Bait

And, this mash up appeared last week as well.  It envisions Damian Chazelle's La La Land as if directed by David Lynch.  It's fantastic:


Winner of six Oscars including Best Direction, this video has been making the rounds and shows Chazelle doing the prep for that terrific opening number "Another Day of Sun":

La La Land Opening Number Rehearsals

Here are stories about that process from:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Looking Ahead / Oscar Post Mortems / And for Fun

Good Thursday People...

Over your Oscar hangover yet?


What an Oscar night for the Telluride Film Festival..  Between Moonlight, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Arrival and The White Helmets it was an extraordinary night for TFF #43.  Count 'em up...13 Oscars between the aforementioned films including Moonlight's Best Picture surprise win (BP at Telluride for the seventh straight year and eight of the last nine):

La La Land-6
The White Helmets-1

But Oscar night is behind us and that can only mean one thing and that is that it's time to put away The Film Awards Clearinghouse and go back to the business of Michael's Telluride Film Blog...trying to determine the lineup possibilities for TFF #44...

To that end, you might note that I bought my pass yesterday.  I'll be applying for press accreditation within the next month or so...with the notion of bringing you the best coverage possible in the run-up and then presentation of the 2017 iteration of TFF.

So...let's get serious.

Awards Circuit has posted their 50 Most Anticipated Films and let's parse that list for possible Telluride titles for Labor Day.

#39-The Current War- Alejandro Inarritu protege Alfonso Gomez Rajon directs Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse battling over electricity.  From The Weinstein Company, I could see this film as the Weinstein's return vehicle for Telluride.

#38-Downsizing- Matt Damon stars in an Alexander Payne film.  That could be sufficient to get it a berth at TFF

#27-Suburbicon-George Clooney directs a script co-written by the Coen Brothers and with a stellar cast: Damon (again), Josh Brolin, Oscar Isaac and Julianne Moore...oh my.  This might be a hope more than a real Telluride play. but I've thought since Clooney was a tribute recipient in 2011 that he would return and this could be the vehicle for that to happen. Paramount is distributing (this as well as Downsizing) so let's have a Matt Damon double feature.  Maybe a Damon tribute?

#24- Battle of the Sexes- Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs in the person of Emma Stone and Steve Carell.  They've both been to T-ride.  Bring 'em back say I with this film that I think I've had on the radar for a couple of years.  It could mark the return to Telluride of Fox Searchlight.

#17-Wonderstruck-Todd Haynes directs.  Does he return after Carol's play a couple of years ago.  Julianne Moore stars (as mentioned above, she's also in Suburbicon)  A Moore tribute?  Yes please.  From Amazon...which made a splash at Telluride in 2016 with Manchester by the Sea.

#10-Molly's Game-Aaron Sorkin directs Jessica Chastain in his directing debut.   Maybe more a desire than a realistic possibility...but...

These seem to me to be the best shots.  Take a look at the entire 50 film list plus some other titles here;

Awards Circuit's 50 Most Anticipated Films


Here's a link or two to podcast coverage of the Oscar ceremony from Sunday night:

Oscar Podcast #52 from Awards Watch

Awards Daily Podcast


Here is the "Honest Trailer" take for the nine films nominated for Best Picture this year.  It's entertaining:

Entertainment Weekly Honest Best Picture Trailers

More on Monday...


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Monday, February 27, 2017

May I Have the Envelope Please...No, No, the Correct Envelope / Oscars Love Telluride's 2016 Lineup

Welcome to Monday


It was an insane night full of surprises large and small with the largest being the announcing of one Best Picture winner only to have that reversed in favor of a surprise upset winner.  Moonlight won Best Picture but only found out after La La Land had been announced and a number of thank you speeches had come from La La Land producers.

Here is that moment from ABC News and YouTube:

Here are your winners from the 89th Academy Awards:

Picture: Moonlight

Director: Damien Chazelle/La La Land
Actress: Emma Stone/La La Land

Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis/Fences
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali/Moonlight
Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Cinematography: La La Land

Original Score: La La Land
Original Song: City of Stars/La La Land
Animated Feature: Zootopia
Documentary: OJ: Made in America
Foreign Language Film: The Salesman
Production Design: La La Land
Costumes: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Makeup/Hair: Suicide Squad
Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge

Sound Editing: Arrival
Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Animated Short: Piper Pearl
Live Action Short: Sing
Documentary Short: The White Helmets

Moonlight wins three Oscars: Best Picture, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay
La La Land wins six Oscars: Best Actress, Director, Score, Song, Cinematography and Production Design
Manchester by the Sea wins two Oscars: Best Actor and Original Screenplay

Other Telluride 2016 wins Arrival for Best Sound Editing and The White Helmets for Best Short Documentary.

Telluride's 43rd iteration hosted films with 13 Oscar wins out of 42 nominations.

For the seventh straight year (and eighth of the last nine years)  the Oscar Best Picture winner has "premiered" for the first time on the North American continent at the Telluride film festival.

The FAC had a lackluster night going 15 of 24.  In the other categories, the "upset" winner listed in Thursday's post won and in six categories the winner was off the FAC altogether on Thursday.

I'm really re-thinking how or even if The FAC is viable in its current incarnation.

Past FAC results:

2016: 15/24
2015: 20/24
2014: 22/24
2013: 18/24 (25 tie in Sound Editing)
2012: 18/24
2011: 17/24
2010: 14/24

So, there's that.

Finally another huge shout out to Barry Jenkins and the entire Moonlight crew.  In all the years I've been writing about Telluride and the Oscars there has never been a truer expression of TFF in terms of the Oscar Best Picture winner than this at a number of levels and Barry's a good guy to boot.  You can't ask for a better ending than that despite the weird way that it went down.

Congratulations Barry and Mahershala and Tarell.

Now, it's time to return to the first purpose of this space which is to begin to puzzle out the films that will make their way to the San Juans over Labor Day weekend in six months time.

More on Thursday.


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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The (Probably) Final FAC Predictions for Oscar #89 / Final Oscar Calls from Experts (Updated) / Late Breaking: Toronto Down to Downsize

Good Thursday to you...


We are just days away from the Oscars -on Sunday night on ABC- and here are the (probably) final predictions from The Film Awards Clearinghouse.  Barring some weird movement or unforeseen circumstance, this will be the last post from MTFB/FAC until Monday's regularly scheduled post.  In that, I'll do some semblance of analysis based on the results of Sunday's ceremony.

Today's predictions include updated data for the eight categories that have seemed to have been the most contentious over the past few weeks since nominations were announced:  Actor, Original Screenplay,Sound Editing, Costumes, Makeup/Hair and the three Short Form categories: Live Action, Animated and Documentary.  I also did a quick update on Best Picture.

On Oscar night itself, I'll be semi-live-tweeting.  Also probably a good deal of re-tweeting.  Check out my Twitter account @Gort2.

As always, The FAC uses the published predictions of the following experts to derive its picks:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Greg Ellwood/The Playlist-Awards Campaign
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Indiewire

TFF #43 films are in Bold.  Categories that were deemed "Toss Ups" are indicated with ***

Winner: Enemies Interiors
Upset: Timecode
Comment: Since last week, a big surge for  Ennemis Interieurs puts it on top, marginally over Timecode.


Winner; Joe's Violin
Upset: The White Helmets
Comment:  Last week's two leaders switch places but the metric still makes this a squeaky tight race.

Winner: Piper
Upset: Pearl
Comment:  Piper's lead has increased substantially over the past week.  Still not a lock by any means.

Winner: La La Land
Upset: Hacksaw Ridge

Winner: Hacksaw Ridge
Upset: La La Land

Winner; The Jungle Book
Upset: Rogue One

Winner: Star Trek Beyond
Upset: A Man Called Ove

Winner: Jackie
Upset: La La Land
Comment:  Jackie has opened up a slight, but real,  lead in this category.  La La Land could still sneak a win here, however.


Winner: La La Land
Upset: Arrival or Fantastic Beasts

Winner: City of Stars/La La Land
Upset: Could come from Moana or Trolls

Winner: La La Land
Upset: Moonlight or Lion

Winner: The Salesman
Upset: Toni Erdmann

Winner: Zootopia
Upset: Kubo and the Two Strings

Winner: OJ: Made in America
Upset: 13th or I Am Not Your Negro


Winner: La La Land
Upset: Lion

Winner: La La Land
Upset: Arrival

Winner: Manchester by the Sea
Upset: La La Land
Comment: Manchester has moved into a more secure position in the last week.

Winner: Moonlight
Upset: Arrival


Winner: Mahershala Ali/Moonlight
Upset: Dev Patel/Lion

Winner: Viola Davis/Fences
Upset: Michelle Williams/Manchester by the Sea

Winner: Denzel Washington/Fences
Upset: Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
Comment: Still a whisker thin margin for Washington.

Winner: Emma Stone/La La Land
Upset: Isabelle Huppert/Elle


Winner: Damien Chazelle / La La Land
Upset: Barry Jenkins/Moonlight


Winner: La La Land
Upset: Moonlight
Comment: Other possible upset players: Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea and Lion

Expected win totals:

La La Land 9
Moonlight 2
Fences 2
 No other film with more than a single win.

TFF #43 films with 13 wins.

A last thought.  I'm feeling a bit of  an intuition that La La Land might actually upset in both Original Screenplay and Costumes.


Here the FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS from various experts.  I WILL BE UPDATING this section through Sunday:

Kristopher Tapley/Variety

Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter

Clayton Davis (and Friends)/Awards Circuit

Awards Daily

Film School Rejects

Awards Watch Podcast

Gold Derby


Movie City News Gurus of Gold

Anne Thompson/Indiewire

Indiewire Critics Survey

Nathaniel Rogers/The Film Experience

Jason Osiason/Fantastic Film Fans


There are multiple reports that the Torotno International Film Festival is going to shrink its feature film lineup by about 20% or from approximately 300 films down to 240ish.

Here's that story from:

The Hollywood Reporter


The Playlist


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Monday, February 20, 2017

A Look at "Interesting Categories" / Writers Guild Honors Telluride Film Time Two / Berlin Analysis / 300,000

Glad you're back from the weekend...hope it was painless...and sorry that today's post is a little later than usual...


I the last post here, I divided the 24 Oscar categories into roughly thirds...roughly, and I labeled them Locks, Interesting and Toss Ups.  I'm updating those in the "Interesting" category today to see of there has been any movement into either of the categories or if they've remained "interesting".  On Thursday, I'll post The (Probably) Final FAC that will include updates of entire group of 24 categories with extra emphasis on puzzling out any movement in the Toss Up categories.

The nine "Interesting" categories are: Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Animated Feature, Original Song, Film Editing, Cinematography and Production Design.  Here's the latest updated skinny on them.

Supporting Actor-Despite Dev Patel's win at BAFTA last week, the experts still have Mahershala Ali comfortably in the lead for his role in Moonlight.

Adapted Screenplay- Barry Jenkins and  Tarell Alvin McCraney's Moonlight script looks like it hasn't suffered any loss of momentum. Though the script for Lion has moved from the bottom spot in the experts ranking to a second place spot just in front of Arrival.

Foreign Language Film- The turn in this category because of the travel ban coming from the Trump administration continues to influence how the experts say Oscar voters are going to go in this category.  The Salesman maintains a recent solid lead with Toni Erdmann trailing off even a bit more over the past week and a bit of a surge for A Man Called Ove.

Documentary Feature- O.J.: Made in America maintains a solid lead with a bit of a surge for I am Not Your Negro.

Animated Feature- Kubo's BAFTA win has only eaten marginally into Zootopia's perceived dominance.

Original Song-  Apparently everyone clucks about vote splitting between the two nominated songs from La La Land and no one thinks that it's actually going to happen.  Exactly one of the nine experts I use says How Far I'll Go/Moana wins (Anne Thompson/Indiewire) and the rest say City of Stars/La La Land.

Film Editing- Hacksaw Ridge has moved into a more competitive position after its BAFTA win but every one of the Oscarologists listed above thinks La La Land wins this Sunday night.

Cinematography- Lion's ASC win doesn't seem to have this category very much.  Still very solid for La La Land.

Production Design- Fantastic Beasts' win at BAFTA has boosted it to the #2 spot in The FAC but a large majority of FAC experts still say La La Land.


Despite my listing these nine categories as interesting and allowing for a week of contemplation, The FAC seems relatively confident that La La Land will win: Film Editing, Cinematography, Original Song and Production Design among these nine categories which, when added to what we think are already "Locked" wins: Picture, Director, Actress, Score and Sound Mixing put it at nine Oscars.

That means that one win in the Toss Up categories gets it to double digit wins, two ties the all time record and three sets a new record of 12 wins.  La La Land is in four Toss Up races: Best Actor, Original Screenplay, Costumes and Sound Editing.  Its chances of winning any of those in order of likelihood are: Original Screenplay, Costumes. Sound Editing and Actor is least likely.

Moonlight looks good for two Oscars for Ali as Supporting Actor and Jenkins and McCraney.

Again, fully a fully updated FAC is coming your way Thursday with the (probably) final predictions for the 89th Oscars.


It appears that TFF #43 was a good fest to be a writer that was a part of the lineup as the WGA named Moonlight by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney the Best Original Script of the Years (it's in the Adapted category for Sunday night's Oscars) and Eric Heisserer's Arrival the Best Adapted Screenplay of the year in ceremonies held last night in both New York and Los Angeles.

Because of Moonlight's opposite categorization for Oscar, the WGA results likely don't tell us very much about what's going to happen Sunday night in the close, close, close Original category.  Had Manchester by the Sea or La La Land prevailed last night, we might have a had a clue but what we did find out is that Moonlight, as we have suspected, seems like a very good bet to win the Adapted category on Sunday night.

WGA  stories and analysis are here:

from Awards Daily.

from Variety.

from The Hollywood Reporter.


Welp...The Berlinale is over with awards passed and critical notice taken.  Which should lead serious Telluride watchers to ponder what films from Berlin will appear on the TFF #44 program when it is announced on Aug. 31?

That there will be one, two or even three Berlin titles at TFF #43 seems very likely as that has been a trend for awhile.  Take note...

Berlin's presence in Telluride's recent programs:

2016: Fire at Sea (Golden Bear winner), Things to Come
2015: Taxi (Golden Bear winner), 45 Years, Ixcanul
2014: 50 Year Argument, '71, The Decent One, Diplomacy
2013: Gloria, Fifi Howls from Happiness, Le Maison de la Radio, Slow Food Story, On Death Row
2012: Barbara, A Royal Affair
2011: Forgiveness of Blood, Mondo Lux, Pina, A Separation (Golden Bear winner), Target, The Turin Horse
2010: Daniel Schmid, If I Want to Whistle I Whistle, The Illusionist
2009: Gigante, London River
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky, I've Lover You So Long
2007: The Counterfeiters

So what made waves at Berlin that we might think make the T-ride lineup?  Start with the Golden Bear winner Ildiko Enyedi's On Body and Soul.  The last two Golden Bear winners have played Telluride (Fire at Sea and Taxi) but On Body and Soul has no current U.S. distribution and we may be in a more common year where the Golden Bear does not play Telluride.

So what else?  Angneiska Holland's Spoor won the Silver Bear and Holland has been a Telluride participant before: Burning Bush, In Darkness.  So that seems like a real possibility.

Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman won the Screenplay prize and Lelio has a recent T-ride profile with Gloria in 2013.

Three other competition films to keep an eye out for are Volker Schlondorff's Return to Montauk,
Sally Potter's The Party and Aki Kaurismaki's The Other Side of Hope which win the prize for Best Direction.

I'll be keeping an eye on these five films (and perhaps one or two others) in terms of U.S. distribution and announced release dates here in the states.


Michael's Telluride Film Blog/The Film Awards Clearinghouse blew through its 300,000th view over the weekend.  Thanks to everyone for reading.  It's difficult for me to believe the overall number and that MTFB/FAC went from the 250,000 mark to 300,000 in less than six months (we hit 250,000 on Sept. 1. 2015).



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