Thursday, December 18, 2008

Oscar Clearinghouse #5 Post SAG/Globes

Sean Penn (A 2007 Telluride attendee) as Harvey Milk in "Milk" may be on his way to another Oscar!

The Golden Globes noms are out and this morning the nominations from SAG were announced...and a slew of Critics choices and Top Tens are out so the last two weeks have seen some movement, so here is our pre-holiday update...Ultimately, it now seems that the 5 nominations for Best Picture come down to 7 films and two of them will left outside looking in.(Telluride connections in CAPS & BOLD)

Best Picture: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, BENJAMIN BUTTON, Milk, Frost/Nixon, and Dark Knight
Lurking: Revolutionary Road, Doubt, Australia, The Reader, The Wrestler
Comment: Generally the retreat by Australia continues and now Revolutionary Road is struggling...The Globes should have provided Rev Road with a shot in the arm, but this morning's SAG awards hurt it some (since DiCaprio missed on Best Actor and it didn't get an ensemble nod). Doubt is the film that got a lift this morning. As to this evaluation...the two biggest movers in this category were SLUMDOG up 2 spots and Milk down 2...although I think both of these also got boosts this morning...Milk, however took a hit from the Globes...yet despite that, I think it's a very likely Best Pic nom.

Director: BOYLE/SLUMDOG, FINCHER/BUTTON, Van Sant/Milk, Howard/Frost, Nolan/Dark Knight
Lurking: Mendes/Rev Road, Aronofsky/Wrestler, Daldry/The Reader, Demme/Rachel Getting Married, Eastwood/Gran Torino
Comments: Mendes actually jumped up a couple of spots as does Daldry. Eastwood is back on the list despite the fact that Gran Torino also seems to be losing some steam.

Actor: Penn/Milk, Rourke/Wrestler, Langella/Frost, DiCaprio/Rev Road, PITT/BUTTON
Lurking: Eastwood/Gran, Jenkins/Visitor, Brolin/W, Del Toro/Che, and Hoffman/Harvey
Comment: The only big mover here is Eastwood who drops a couple of spots out of the nominees. Pitt returns and his SAG and Globe noms probably help him quite a bit. I still think Richard Jenkins will sneak a nom and his SAG nom helps.

Actress: Winslet/Rev Road, Streep/Doubt, Hathaway/Rachel, Jolie/Changeling, THOMAS/LOVED YOU SO LONG
Lurkers: HAWKINS/HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, BLANCHETT/BUTTON, Leo/Frozen River, Beckinsale/Nothing Bot the Truth, Kidman/Australia
Comment: Movers...Jolie back up 2 spots, Blanchett takes a big dive of 3 spots. Her exclusion from both Globes and SAG may doom her shot. Melissa Leo got a lift this morning with her SAG nom. Ultimately, the 3 Telluride connected actresses may all end up being shut out...or fight for the fifth spot or they could all end up with nominations.

Supp. Actor: Ledger/Dark Knight, Hoffman/Doubt, Downey/Tropic Thunder, Brolin/Milk, Shannon/Rev Road
Lurkers: Franco/Milk, PATEL/SLUMDOG, Fiennes/Reader, Schreiber/Defiance, Fiennes/Duchess
Comment: Michael Shannon, whom I have thought was a lock, is a substantial dropper (2 spots). The other note is Ralph Fiennes lurking in 2 different movies now. Heath Ledger still seems to be the prohibitive favorite and that is unlikely to change. Patel gets a lift from his SAG nom and the general upward trajectory of Slumdog in almost all of its categories.

Supp. Actress: Cruz/Barcelona, Davis/Doubt, Winslet/Reader, Tomei/Wrestler, HENSON/BUTTON
Lurking: DeWitt/Rachel, Adams/Doubt, Winger/Rachel, Bates/Rev Road, Farmiga/Nothing
Comment: Movers are Winslet up 2, Henson down 2, Bates down 2 and Farmiga retuning to the list. Amy Adams was helped a ton by the SAG nom and her Globe nom last week.

Adapted Screenplay: BUTTON, SLUMDOG, Frost/Nixon, Doubt, and Rev Road

Lurkers: The Reader, Dark Knight, Gomorrah

Comment: No changes from last post.

Original Screenplay: Milk, Rachel Getting Married, Vicky Christina Barcelona, Wall E, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY

Lurks: The Visitor, The Wrestler, Australia, Burn After Reading and The Changeling

Comment: Burn and Changeling new to the list...No other big movement.


BUTTON and Milk 5

Doubt, Frost, Rev Road 4


Rachel/Wrestler 2
Totals with "lurkers" included:
Revolutionary Road 7
BUTTON, Milk, Doubt 6
Rachel 5

Telluride still looks like 10 noms and 4 lurkers in the Big 8 categories with tech, foreign and animation noms still to be included. Those may actually boost the number of Oscar nominations for Festival linked films past last year's total. I am thinking the BUTTON will lead all pictures with double digit nominations and that SLUMDOG may have as many as 9...Pic, Director, Supp Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Score, Song, Sound Editing, Film Editing and Cinematography...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oscar Clearinghouse #4

3 Months away from Telluride and a couple of months til Oscar night...

Telluride connects in CAPS AND BOLD.

Best Picture: Milk, BENJAMIN BUTTON, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Dark Knight, and Frost/Nixon...Lurkers: Revolutionary Road, Australia, Doubt, The Wrestler, and The Reader.

Comment: The "Slumdog" momentum out of Telluride has continued and Danny Boyle's tale has thundered from a blip to a full-fledged solid contender...and many guessperts now have it at the top of their lists. Including this morning's announcement that it was The National Board of Review's Best Picture of the year. Here's the list of their choices and top ten:
Best Director: DAVID FINCHER, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Actor: CLINT EASTWOOD, Gran Torino
Best Actress: ANNE HATHAWAY, Rachel Getting Married
Best Supporting Actor: JOSH BROLIN, Milk
Best Supporting Actress: PENELOPE CRUZ, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Foreign Language Film: MONGOL
Best Documentary: MAN ON WIRE
Best Animated Feature: WALL-E
Best Ensemble Cast: DOUBT
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: DEV PATEL, Slumdog Millionaire
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: VIOLA DAVIS, Doubt
Best Directorial Debut: COURTNEY HUNT, Frozen River
Best Original Screenplay: NICK SCHENK, Gran Torino
Best Adapted Screenplay: SIMON BEAUFOY, Slumdog Millionaire and ERIC ROTH, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Spotlight Award: MELISSA LEO, Frozen River and RICHARD JENKINS, The Visitor
The BVLGARI Award for NBR Freedom of Expression: TRUMBO.
Finally, I think SLUMDOG will get some tech noms as well (Cinematography, editing, sound editing and end up with 7 nominations) Big Movers: "Dark Knight" charged up the list 3 spots, "Australia" is taking a huge hickey this post as it drops 4 spots...people actually seeing it is my guess as to the cause. I saw it last week and uh...NO.

Director: DANNY BOYLE, Gus Van Sant, DAVID FINCHER, Ron Howard, and Christopher Nolan...Lurkers: Darren Aronofsky, Baz Luhrmann, Sam Mendes, Jonathan Demme, and Stephen Daldry.

Comment: Boyle moves into the #1 spot for Slumdog...very exciting for those of us that got to see the film in Telluride. Big Movers: Boyle and Ron Howard are both up a couple of spots...The Frost/Nixon trailer looks amazing. Baz Luhrmann drops 5 spots as "Australia" goes south in every category in which it was competitive last month. (as a mater of fact, it was in play for 3 noms among the Big 8 last month and is gone from all 3 categories now).

Actor: Sean Penn/Milk, Mickey Rourke/Wrestler, Frank Langella/Frost, Clint Eastwood/Gran Torino, and Leonardo DiCaprio/Revolutionary...Lurkers: PITT/BUTTON, Jenkins/Visitor, Del Toro/Che, Brolin/W, And D. Hoffman/Harvey.

Comment: I've seen the trailers now for both Milk and Frost/Nixon and both Penn and Langella look amazing! I've also seen the Gran Torino trailer...uhh, Clint looks OK, but not in their league...of course, they're trailers, soooo...And I saw Richard Jenkins in "The Visitor" last week. A really nice performance. I'm guessing he ends up with a nomination after it's all said and done.

And another quick looks increasingly like Best Actor will come from a non-Telluride film for the first time in quite a few years. Big Movers: Eastwood moves up 2 spots and Hoffman appears on the list for the first time...that's Dustin not Philip Seymour...

Actress: Meryl Streep/Doubt, Kate Winslet/Revolutionary, Anne Hathaway/Rachel, CATE BLANCHETT/BUTTON, and KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS/LOVED YOU. Lurkers: Jolie/Changeling, HAWKINS/HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, Leo/Frozen River, Kidman/Australia, and Beckinsale/Nothing.

Comment: Potentially the category upon which there may be the most Telluride emphasis (although I expect that actually will be Foreign which all 5 may have been at Telluride). Big Mover: Blanchett soars 5 spots. Kidman drops 2 spots.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger/Dark Knight, P.S. Hoffman/Doubt, Michael Shannon/Revolutionary, Robert Downey, Jr./Thunder, and James Brolin/Milk...Honorary inclusion for James Franco for Milk as he trailed Brolin by one point...Lurkers: DEV PATEL/SLUMDOG, Schreiber/Defiance, Fiennes/Reader, and Irwin/Rachel.

Comment: Mr. Patel makes a substantial move, up 3 spots and I expect the trend to continue as the heat for Slumdog just seems to be getting hotter. Downey and Fiennes are big movers up as well.

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis/Doubt, Penelope Cruz/Barcelona, TARAJI P. HENSON/BUTTON, Marisa Tomei/Wrestler, and Kate Winslet/The Reader. Lurkers: DeWitt/Rachel, Bates/Revolutionary, Adams/Doubt, Winger/Rachel, and Abbas/Visitor.

Comment: Winslet is flirting with a double nom. Big Movers: Winslet is up 3 spots and Abbas appears for the first time.

Adapted Screenplay: BUTTON, SLUMDOG, Frost/Nixon, Doubt, Revolutionary Road. Lurkers: Reader, Dark Knight, Defiance, GOMORRAH.

Comment: Can't even really get to 10 possibles. Gomorrah appears for the first time. Big Movers: Slumdog up 2 spots to tie with Button for #1 and Revolutionary drops 3 spots.

Original Screenplay: Milk, Rachel Getting Married, Vicky Christina Barcelona, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, and Wall-E. Lurkers: Wrestler, Visitor, Australia, Gran Torino, and Seven Pounds.

Comment: The fall of Australia continues in this category as well as it dropped 5 spots. Other Big Movers: Wrestler up 3 and Seven Pounds making its first appearance. And it looks impressive in trailers as well. Stronger,to me at least, than Pursuit of Happiness...which has the same pedigree in terms of actor/author/director.

Nom leaders (in the Big 8 categories): Milk and BUTTON with 5, Revolutionary Road, Doubt and Frost/Nixon have 4 and 3 for SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE and Dark Knight.

Totals of noms and lurks:

1) Revolutionary Road (7)

2) Milk/BUTTON/Doubt (6)

5) SLUMDOG/Dark Knight and Frost/Nixon (4)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oscar Clearinghouse #3

(above: Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor in Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire")
Hello sports fans!

A lot of movement in the last three weeks. Added to the the news that both "The Soloist" and "The Road" are off the release schedule and the dynamic of the Oscar race has changed a good deal since my last post...

Here's the latest compilation of Oscar prognostications from the 8 or so websites that I peruse to put this together..with commentary, of course! And Telluride connections are in CAPS and BOLD...

Best Pic...The top 5 at this stage are BENJAMIN BUTTON, Milk, Australia, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and Revolutionary Road. Those just under the surface are: Frost/Nixon, Dark Knight, Doubt, The Wrestler and Rachel at the Wedding.

Comment: Slumdog...which was the hottest thing out of Telluride, continues to jump up. It has moved from being barely on the outer edge of Oscar awareness to one of the 5 that would be nominated, if the predictors are to be believed...and I think they are. As this race continues to develop, it's beginning to look more and more like Luddy and Meyer and crew had it right and the lack of American film at the fest this year seems increasingly justified. (This latest update of The Clearinghouse also seems to underline Telluride's influence on the my last post only 4 "nominations" had Telluride links...that number jumped to 10 for this post...WOW!) Other notes...Australia seems to be losing some steam as is Frost/Nixon.

Best Direction: FINCHER/BUTTON, Luhrmann/Australia, Van Sant/Milk, BOYLE/SLUMDOG, and Nolan/Dark Knight. Lurking: Howard/Frost, Mendes/Revolutionary, Demme/Rachel, Eastwood/Gran Torino, Daldry/The Reader.

Comment: Along with its rise for Best Picture, Danny Boyle has moved way up this list to be one of the five "expected" to get nominated. 6 weeks ago, he wasn't on the top ten list...Buzz, buzz, buzz! Additionally, all of Clint Eastwood's support has devolved away from Changeling and onto Gran Torino...across the board, except for still pretty solid support for Angelina Jolie in the Best Actress category. Eastwood (whose daughter we met in Telluride last year) also has a boomlet in the Best Actor category for Gran Torino.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke/The Wrestler, Sean Penn/Milk, Frank Langella/Frost/Nixon, Leonardo DiCaprio/Revolutionary Road, and BRAD PITT/BENJAMIN BUTTON.

Bubbling under the surface: Clint Eastwood/Gran Troino, Richard Jenkins/The Visitor, Benicio Del Toro/Che, Hugh Jackman/Australia, and Josh Brolin/W.

Comment: Pitt actually rises into the top 5 again, Langella took a real hit the last 3 weeks going from a substantial front runner status to the 3rd spot. Rourke has become the favorite at this point. Again...Eastwood has rocketed from nowhere in the last three weeks to sit at #6 and flirting with jumping up into the list of expected nominees..

Best Actress: Kate Winslet/Revolutionary Road, Meryl Streep/Doubt, Anne Hathaway/Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie/Changeling, KRISTEN SCOTT THOMAS/I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG. Knocking on the door: SALLY HAWKINS/HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, Nicole Kidman/Australia, Melissa Leo/Frozen River, CATE BLANCHETT/BENJAMIN BUTTON, and Kate Beckinsale/Nothing But the Truth.

Comment: Scott Thomas has slowly been edging up the list and this posting sees her on the list of five "nominees" for the first time. Sally Hawkins continues to be in play. Meryl Streep's mention for Doubt is the first for it in the Big Four Categories in this posting as it seems to be losing luster as well. Kate Winslet enjoyed a big jump to the top spot since my last post.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger/Dark Knight, Philip Seymour Hoffman/Doubt, Michael Shannon/Revolutionary Road, James Franco/Milk, Josh Brolin/Milk.

The next five: Robert Downey Jr./Tropic Thunder, Liev Schreiber/Defiance, John Malkovich/Changeling, Bill Irwin/Rachel Getting married, and DEV PATEL/SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Comment: Massive changes because of the moves of The Road and The Soloist to 2009. Ledger remains the prohibitive fave. It looks like the word is the Hoffman will be in this category and not Lead. Downey's support has coalesced around his Tropic Thunder performance since The Soloist has gone away. Slumdog's Dev Patel is now getting a little love and HOORAY FOR BILL IRWIN. The women in the Rachel cast have been getting so much attention, it's great to see Irwin start to get a little light on his performance. Personally, I think Irwin is one of the most under-utilized talented actors in the business.

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz/Vicky Christina Barcelona, Viola Davis/Doubt, TARAJI P. HENSON/BENJAMIN BUTTON, Marisa Tomei/The Wrestler, and Rosemarie DeWitt/Rachel Getting Married.

Lurking: Amy Adams/Doubt, Debra Winger/Rachel Getting Married, Vera Farmiga/Nothing But the Truth, Kate Winslet/The Reader, and Kathy Bates/Revolutionary Road.

Comment: Not a lot of movement at the top here. the top 4 stayed the same and in the same order. Dewitt makes a big leap up the chart.

Best Adapted Screenplay: BENJAMIN BUTTON, Revolutionary Road, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Frost/Nixon, The Reader.

Also: Doubt, Defiance, The Dark Knight, and Che.

comment: Not even 10 scripts make the list here. Frost/Nixon is a big drop and Button and Slumdog make big jumps.

Best Original Screenplay: Rachel Getting Married, Milk, Australia, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

Also: Wall-E, Gran Torino, The Visitor, The Wrestler, and Synecdoche NY.

Comment: Rachel takes a massive leap up the chart. Happy-Go-Lucky makes a big move too.


TELLURIDE CONNECTS: 10 "NOMINATIONS" AND 3 "lurking". A large jump from our last posting.

Noms/Lurks Combined:

1) Revolutionary Road (7)

2) Rachel Getting Married (7)

3) Milk(6)


5) Australia/Doubt (5)

Nominations Alone:

!) Milk (6)

2) BENJAMIN BUTTON/Revolutionary R0ad (5)

3) Australia/SLUMDOG/Rachel/Doubt (3)

Comments: Of course there are other Telluride connections that are not included. I expect that there will be a very solid connection in the Foreign film category again this year as has been true for the past several years. I expect "Waltz with Bashir" to pop up in that category and perhaps in the animation category as well. all in all, Telluirde's influence might even be larger this year because of the very reasons that made it a different festival from the last two years.

Until next time...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oscar Clearinghouse #2

Three weeks since my first post and interest is beginning to increase. I have the latest compilation of Oscar picks from a number of the better known Oscar websites. Here's the new run-down (with Telluride films in bold):

Best Pic: Australia, Benjamin Button, Milk, Revolutionary Road and Frost/Nixon

Also: Slumdog Millionaire, The Changeling, The Dark Knight, Doubt, and The Reader.

Comment: Milk and Button swap places, Slumdog has moved up significantly. Doubt, Defiance and The Soloist have fallen back...The Soloist & Defiance have fallen completely off the top ten list.

Best Direction: Fincher/Button, Luhrmann/Australia, Van Sant/Milk, Eastwood/Changeling, and Nolan/Knight

Also: Howard/Frost, Mendes/Revolutionary, Boyle/Slumdog, Shanley/Doubt and Daldry/Reader

Comment: A lot of Eastwood support despite seemingly weak feelings about the film for Best Pic. Christopher Nolan's stock has risen for Dark Knight quite a lot the last 3 weeks. And Danny Boyle has a big boost as well due to the great reactions at Telluride and Toronto.

Actor: Langella/Frost, Penn/Milk, Rourke/Wrestler, Hoffman/Doubt, DeCaprio/Revolutionary.

Also: Pitt/Button, Jenkins/Visitor, Mortenson/Road, Del Toro/Che, Brolin/W

Comment: Langella seems like a total lock even this far out. Rourke has risen a lot since Toronto, Pitt falls back some...And we don't know what category Hoffman will end up in... which makes this difficult...others also in the same boat include Michael Sheen, Jamie Foxx, and Robert Downey, Jr.

Actress: Streep/Doubt, Jolie/Changeling, Winslet/Revolutionary, Hathaway/Rachel, Kidman/Australia

Also: Thomas/Loved You, Hawkins/Happy, Leo/Frozen, Blanchett/Button, Winslet/Reader

Comment: Blanchett is in the same situation as Hoffman et. al....Maybe Lead, maybe Supporting. This race seems very fluid at this point and unlike Langella in the male lead category, no one seems to have a nomination locked down at this point.

Supporting Actor: Ledger/Knight, Smit-McPhee/Road, Downey/Soloist, Shannon/Revolutionary, Foxx-Soloist

Also: Franco/Milk, Sheen/Frost, Brolin/Milk, Schreiber/Definace, Malkovich/Changeling

Comment: Ledger continues to dominate. Everyone else is fighting a close battle and this category is likely to be affected by decisions about where to position Hoffman, Sheen, Downey, Foxx...

Supporting Actress: Cruz/Barcelona, Davis/Doubt, Henson/Button, Tomei/Wrestler, Farmiga/Truth.

Also: Adams/Doubt, Bates/Revolutionary, DeWitt/Rachel, Winger/Rachel, Zylberstein/Loved You.

Comment: Tomei has come on like gang busters. Zylberstein is new to the list.

Adapted Screenplay: Frost/Nixon, Button, The Road, Revolutionary Road, Slumdog Millionaire.

Also: Doubt, Dark Knight, Defiance, The Reader, and Body of Lies.

Comment: Slumdog jumps into the actual nominee list.

Original Screenplay: Milk, Australia, Wall-E, Barcelona, The Changeling.

Also: Visitor, Synecdoche NY, Happy-Go-Lucky, Rachel, Soloist

Comment: Wall-E is the big mover here and I kind of wonder why it wasn't getting more love in this category a month's going to be on a ton of top ten list at the end of the year.

Telluride mentions on this posting in all categories: 4 nominations and 7 hovering just below.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Oscar Clearinghouse #1

Well...Telluride and Toronto are over and it's time to start thinking about awards season. I've done the first analysis of the guessperts and as the season moves along, I'll add more prognosticators into the matrix. I'll update every 2-3 weeks or so, until we get closer and then update weekly.

The Telluride link to Oscar has been fairly prevalent the past 5 years, but this year that's expected to be less likely because of the smaller number of American films at Telluride. However, after the first run though, it seems that Telluride may still be pretty impactful. Last year Telluride films received 23 Oscar noms...the year before I think it was 17. Looking at this year's first combination chart shows 6 solid noms in the Big 8 categories with Telluride ties and another 4 possibles lurking...and that doesn't include the foreign film Oscar possibles and even an animation nom possibilty.

Of course, this will all mutate before the announcement of the nominees and probably drastically.

Here's what the first wave of predictions are pointing toward with Telluride connections in bold:

Best Pic...Australia, Milk, Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road and Frost/Nixon

Other possibles: Doubt, Defiance, The Changeling, The Soloist, The Dark Knight and Slumdog Millionaire (riding a wave of popular and critical success out of Telluride and into Toronto)

Best Director: Gus Van Sant, Baz Luhrmann, David Fincher, Clint Eastwood and Ron Howard.

Other directors in play: Christopher Nolan, Sam Mendes, Jonathan Hillcoat, John Patrick Shanley, Joe Wright, and Ed Zwick

Best Actor: Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Leonardo DeCaprio, Brad Pitt, Mickey Rourke.

Others: Viggo Mortenson, Richard Jenkins, Benicio Del Toro, Robert Downey, Jr., and Hugh Jackman

Best Actress: Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Sally Hawkins.

Others: Nicole Kidman, Melissa Leo, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Drew Barrymore.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Josh Brolin, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe.

Others: James Franco, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John Malkovich, Jamie Foxx, Michael Sheen, and Robert Downey, Jr. (for the same roll in "The Soloist"...apparently the guessperts don't really know which category he should be in)

Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Tajari Henson, Viola Davis, Kathy Bates, and Vera Farmiga.

Others: Marisa Tomei, Amy Adams, Kim Basinger, Debra Winger, Rosemaire DeWitt, and Charlize Theron.

Adapted Screenplay: Frost/Nixon, The Road, Benjamin Button, Revolutionary Road, and Doubt.

Others: The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Defiance, Body of Lies, The Reader.

Original Screenplay: Milk, Australia, Vicky Christina Barcelona, The Cahngeling, Rachel Getting Married.

Others: The Visitor, Wall-E, Happy-Go-Lucky, The Soloist and Gran Torino.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Telluride Stories

Variety has posted a slew of interviews with a number of the participants from this year's festival. You can find them at this link:

Included are Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Boyle, Ari Folman and many others. Check it out.

Friday, September 5, 2008

And Home

We've been home for a couple of days and I am trying to catch up after the whirlwind that was Telluride this year. The last day we got in "The Good, The Bad and The Weird" a Korean homage/send-up of the Eastwood spaghetti western. Very LOUD and very entertaining.

Followed that up with what appears to be the hit of the Festival. Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire". We really enjoyed it. And the response from the rest of the Telluride attendees seems to be very good (if you read the reviews and blogging that has come out of last weekend. It was gratifying to see/hear Boyle introduce the film and thank the audiences in Telluride for giving it a boost as it heads to Toronto's festival... I suspect that part of the response is due to "Slumdog" having a brighter tone and conclusion than most everything else at the fest this year. Sometimes you just need some relief.

We concluded the fest with "American Violet" a true story of racially biased mass arrest in Texas...a lot like the Tulia, Texas case of a few years ago that those of us in the Amarillo media market are familiar with. A good performance from Nicole Behaire (Kris talked to her briefly on Sunday) is the highlight of this film...which you want to like, but dramatically falls short.

All in all, this year's fest didn't reach the heights of last year's in terms of film quality nor in our chance encounters and interaction with the famous and near famous. That being said, the opportunity to meet and talk with Salman Rushdie pretty much made the weekend. I mean, how often does something like that happen?

Movie round up (what I/we saw)

Asphalt Tango (Romanian and one of the 3 best things I saw)... 3 stars

Tribute to David Fincher (20 min. of "Button"...looks great also derivative)

Hunger (Bobby Sands hunger strike/brutal)...2 and 1/2 stars

Happy-Go-Lucky ( Sally Hawkins is good in a fair movie) 2 and 1/2 stars

Waltz with Bashir (animated and a likely Oscar nominee) 3 stars

Flash of Genius ( not so much, Greg Kinnear) 2 stars

Firaaq (Rushdie introduced Indian "Crash") 2 and 1/2 stars

Tribute to Jean Simmons (who didn't she work with?)

Good, Bad Weird (fun!) 3 stars

Slumdog Millionarie ( best movie of the weekend) 3 stars

American Violet (seemed to lack dramatically) 2 and 1/2 stars

Other buzz we didn't get to see:

I've Loved You So Long

Flame and Citron


Will probably morph this blog into an Oscar watch/clearinghouse with emphasis on what was at Telluride and the chances those films have for winning Oscar glory in February...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Gondola Ride with Salman

Few films's our personal day. We'll spend some time with our hosts this afternoon and this evening. Caught "Firaaq" and the Jean Simmons tribute this morning into this afternoon. We'll do a bunch of films tomorrow and....

Rode the gondola down from the Mountain Village with Salman Rushdie...the Salman Rushdie....talked with him about the film he introduced here this morning (the aforementioned Firaaq)...made my head spin...we were returning from the Jean Simmons tribute...which ended with Leonard Maltin talking to her about her career and movies including stories about Laurence Olivier, Marlon Brando (another person that I somehow met years ago), Spencer Tracy, and Cary Grant among others...Kris talked to Maltin just before she went into the theater...CRAZY!

Day Two

Short tonight...will do a real entry later. Still waiting for a great movie. Saw "Hunger", "Happy-Go-Lucky", "Waltz with Bashir" and "Flash of Genius" today. Bashir is closest to being a really great movie...but it still falls short.

Celebs today...Ken Burns (who I keep running into), Laura Linney, Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, and the directors for all 4 films I saw today: Steve McQueen, Mike Leigh, Ari Folman, and Mark Abraham.

Hoping to get to see "American Violet" before the fest is over and talk to Oklahoman Tim Blake Nelson who is here and in that cast. Tomorrow will include "Firaaq" introduced by Salman Rushdie (which blows my mind) and the Jean Simmons tribute (she worked with Olivier and Brando!)...after that, who knows???

Friday, August 29, 2008

And Day One Is Done

Just finished the David Fincher tribute...

Impressions...Fincher is a dynamic director...the tribute included a 40 minute reel of his work...still impressive. Se7en, The Game and Fight Club are all very good. Zodiac was good...It will be interesting to see how Fincher continues in his career.

We were also treated to about 20 minutes of "Benjamin Button" which looks and sounds very Forrest Gumpy...I mean really Forrest Gumpy....which may be OK...maybe

It's a period piece, it's southern, it attempts the same kind of acceptance of a kind of magical realism that Gump asked you to buy into. And it's effects intensive too...just like Gump...

I think it's a very tricky tight rope that Button is going to try to walk...but I'm afraid that most people are going to feel that the steps were blazed by Gump and that Button is mostly a re-run.

Was going to attend "I've Loved You So Long" but am out of gas. Will start tomorrow morning with the Cannes entry, Steve McQueen's "Hunger". Then go from there. Waiting to see what the Fest organizers add as TBA's for tomorrow before planning the whole day. Looking forward to "Flash of Genius" which is NOT on the bill of fare...but the presence of Greg Kinnear means it will be sneaked at some point this weekend.

Celeb sightings tonight included Jeff Goldblum who is here with "Adam Resurrected" and singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman

Catching My Breath

We're in the lull between the Patron Brunch and the Patron Preview. The Brunch was marvelous...highlight...corn pancakes with chipoltle butter and shrimp salsa...tasty!

Star gazing at the Brunch (IE who I saw there)...Laura Linney, Salman Rushdie, Greg Kinnear, film critics Leonard Maltin and Richard Schickel (another tributee here this year), Lauren Graham (of Gilmore Girls fame) and documentarian Ken Burns.

Going to see "Asphalt Tango" at 2:30..our other choice was Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" but we're going to go see that tomorrow afternoon with our kids and see Mike Leigh (the director) do the Q & A afterwards.

I haven't assaulted any stars or directors...yet...

Morning in Telluride

We're here. And getting ready to leave for the patron's picnic. When we did this last year, we had a great time and met really interesting people. So I'm looking forward to it again.

Also looking forward to the first tribute tonight for film director David Fincher. We think there's a good chance that we're going to get to see some of "Benjamin Button". I also wonder if anyone surprising will appear to make the actual presentation. Last year Paul Thomas Anderson was on hand to award Daniel, we'll see. They're also unspooling the director's cut of "Zodiac" as part of the fest.

Later Taters...we're out the door...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And Away We Go

Good Morning! We leave for Telluride in about 3 1/2 hours. The latest news is no news. A couple of confirmations about "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Adam Resurrected"...and this article posted by Variety last night echoing Anne Thompson's comments from a few weeks ago. The link is:

From the article which quotes both Tom Luddy and Gary Meyer, it sounds as if the Festival will be heavy in European Film...which makes me feel OK with most of the guess work I have done up to now. They reference "The Lives of Others", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and "The Counterfeiters" from recent Telluride history and if those examples are truly a reflection of what we might see this weekend, that would be just fine. "Counterfeiters" was a good film, "Lives" and "Diving Bell" were great films. So, we certainly could do worse.

Anxiously awaiting the big reveal and hoping it happens before I get on the road.

See you in Telluride! Or in the blogosphere!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Add Another Probable

Tonight's news has a definite French air.

Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere has unearthed the nugget that "I've Loved You for So Long" directed by Phillipe Claudell will be at the Festival. It stars Kristin Scott Thomas. She is perhaps best known for "The English Patient" and "The Horse Whisperer". Claudell also wrote the screenplay.

Wells also says that we can expect one of the tributes for what he calls a "major director". This is the quote from his blog, verbatim,

"I know about a special tribute presentation for a major director (which will include a short 10 or 12-minute reel from his latest film, which will open later this year), along the lines of a tribute TFF had last year for Paul Thomas Anderson that included a short There Will Be Blood reel. "

Intriguing, yes? One wonders who it might be...

Of course, I hasten to point put that the actual tribute was for Daniel Day-Lewis and that Anderson was there as a part of that presentation.

The address for the Wells speculation is:

Added to the revelation about the Claudell film is another guess on my part and that is Barbet Schroeder's "Inju, la bĂȘte dans l'ombre". Schroeder has been in Telluride in the past and it wouldn't surprise me if he returns with this film.
Another film that wouldn't surprise me with an appearance is "Gomorah" a crime drama that won plaudits at Cannes.
I expect that the speculation will begin to pick up some steam now that the Festival is days away. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Week To Go

Multiple sources including Variety confirmed today that Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" will be part of the Telluride film line-up for this year's festival. That tidbit was reported here on Aug. 12.

Otherwise, speculation remains very muted with one week left prior to the kick off of the fest. Other Cannes possibles (that are also aligned with Sony Classics Pictures which was a big connection to films that played the fest last year) include "Adoration"and "Lorna's Silence".

Also, a frequent contributor of films that past 2 years has been Paramount Vantage, which has 3 films positioned for fall release. "The Duchess" with Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley, "Defiance" with Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber and, of course, DeCaprio and Winslet reunited in the Sam Mendes directed "Revolutionary Road".

You have to think that a couple of these also end up on the Telluride play list.

Monday, August 18, 2008

All Quiet...

It is almost eerie how little is out there in terms speculation about this year's films. We're 10 days away and the buzz is very muted. One wonders if the Festival is especially tight-lipped this year. Nevertheless, there have been hints about 1/2 dozen films...perhaps guesses, perhaps wishful thinking, perhaps well-informed.

As previously noted we think that these films are on the list: "Rachel Getting Married", "Happy-Go-Lucky", "Adam Resurrected" and "Slumdog Millionaire"...with a hint at "Milk". I still think that "The Other Man" and "Humboldt County" are good bets. Also "The Class". "Synecdoche, NY" and "Waltz with Bashir". There are probably another 4-6 possibilities from Cannes.

I'm still holding my breath about the possibility of a "Revolutionary Road", "The Road" or "Benjamin Button" appearance...and maybe Ed Harris' "Appaloosa"...any of those would be very cool. We shall see...

Friday, August 15, 2008

And Then Again...

"The Playlist" hints that "Milk" may be at Telluride after all. Spencer Martin says...

"Lastly, where's 'Milk' on the fall festival circuit? It's surely an Oscar-bait film, yes? We're hearing informed inside rumblings that say it's going to premiere in San Francisco and bypass the regular festivals purposely. Anne Thompson said 'Milk' wouldn't be ready in time for the fall season and that's why it wouldn't appear at TIFF or NYFF, but our source says it's in the final stages and basically complete (they also hinted that Telluride could be a possiblilty). "Milk" is set for a December 5, 2008 release date and also co-stars Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, Josh Brolin, with appearances by Eric Stoltz and solid character actors Denis O'Hare and Victor Garber."

This would be a definite must-see if it turns out to be the case...We can only hope!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And a New Addition

Blogger at The Lorenzo Xperience reports tonight that Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" is on the bill of fare for Telluride. Actress Sally Hawkins has already started getting some buzz for possible Oscar consideration having won Best Actress at the Berlin Fest.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just In

Patrick Goldstein in the LA Times reports tonight that Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" is on the list for the Festival. Boyle previously directed "28 Days Later" and "Sunshine" and the minor classic "Trainspotting".

Sunday, August 10, 2008

And Don't Forget the Tributes

One of the cooler things about the festival is that they honor three filmmakers each year. Past tributees have included actors: Daniel Day-Lewis (last year), Penelope Cruz, Peter O'Toole, Laura Linney, Meryl Streep, Shirley MacLaine, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster, Gerard Depardieu, Richard Widmark and Jack Nicholson.

Directors that have been honored include: Ang Lee, David Lynch, Mike Leigh, John Schlesinger, Ken Burns, Clint Eastwood, Pedro Almodovar, Stephen Frears, Don Siegel, Henry Hathaway, Robert Altman, Robert Wise, King Vidor, Leni Riefenstahl and Francis Ford Coppola.

It was more than a little unworldly last year to watch Daniel Day-Lewis receive his medallion from Paul Thomas Anderson, see 20 minutes of "There Will Be Blood" (it wasn't finished with post-production yet), see a compilation of Day-Lewis' career, and see/hear him talk about his life, career, films and acting for an hour. Then to see him win the Oscar 5 months later!

To see some of that evening, here's a link:

Can't wait to find out who has been chosen for the honors this year!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Maybe Some Disappointment

I ran across an Anne Thompson blog entry from Variety from about three weeks ago in which she says that "Revolutionary Road", "Milk" and "The Road" are all still too far from a completed state to expect them to be festival ready. Disappointing all the way around if it's true. There have reportedly been some screenings of "Revolutionary Road" which lead to a little ray of sunshine, but Thompson was pretty good last year at knowing what to expect in Telluride. Some guesses that I have would include "The Other Man" with Telluride citizen Laura Linney and Liam Neeson, Cannes Palm D'Or winner "The Class", and if the recent past is a guide, we'll see a lot of the Cannes list in southwest Colorado in three weeks. Might that include Clint Eastwood's "The Changeling" with Ms. Jolie? That would surprise me. Soderbergh's 4 plus hour Che Guevera epic with Benicio Del Toro...more likely. I'll have some more ideas as we get closer...

Friday, August 8, 2008

This is the poster art for this year's festival by board member Laurie Anderson...

The Countdown

Of course, the fun right now is speculating/guessing what films might be in the Festival...and who might be there with those films or as one of the tributees. The only solid guesses that I have run across are Jonathan Demme's first fictional film in some time featuring Anne Hathaway and entitled "Rachel Getting Married". And also Paul Schrader's new directorial effort featuring Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe entitled "Adam Resurrected"...What I'd like to see would include "Revolutionary Road" from Sam Mendes, the new film from the Coen Brothers, Charlie Kaufman's first attempt at directing (with Phillip Seymour Hoffman) called "Synedoche,New York" and "Milk" directed by Gus Van Sant with Sean Penn and Josh Brolin.

Three weeks

The festival opens three weeks from today and the Pattersons are uber excited. Last year's fest was such a great experience that we're really looking forward to whatever awaits us in the San Juans in a few days. See you there! When in Telluride, stay at the lovely River Club!