Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Big Day/The WeinsteinCo./Steven Soderbergh Maybe?

Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" Could it be at TFF #38?


Yesterday turned out to be a crazy day for this blog.  Very busy.  I was planning two separate posts anyway.  One, a long piece focusing on the presence over the last 5 years of Sony Pictures Classics and Fox Searchlight at the Telluride Film Festival. 
The second post, also lengthy, was a review for the new film "Missing Pieces" (so new that it's still looking for distribution).  So it was going to be the most involved day of the summer insofar as the blog was concerned to begin with. 
Then, mid-afternoon, the surprise word that the Festival had chosen and announced their Guest Director for this year...Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso.  Suddenly, I had a third post to get out quickly and a re-write of the first big post to include the breaking story. 
Whew!  Got it all done but it was a strain.  At the end of the day, it was one of the "most viewed" days in the three year history of this endeavor.  Thanks!


After looking at Fox Searchlight and SPC yesterday, I thought we might evaluate another company that has been something of a player at Telluride.  I reference none other than The Weinstein Company...Harvey Weinstein's shingle now that he's not with Miramax.  There participation the past 5 years hasn't been as involved as SPC, but the films they have had as a part of past TFF's have made a mark.  Look:

2007: "The Band's Visit," "Persepolis," "My Enemy's Enemy" and "I'm Not There"
2008: No TWC at TFF
2009: "The Road,"
2010: "The King's Speech"  (Won 4 Oscars: Picture, Actor, Director, and Screenplay)

Harvey has learned to come to Telluride and play with one or two films and you have to believe after the rousing success that was TKS last year that he'll try to repeat that with one or two pictures.
Currently it seems that there are 5 TWC films that could fit the bill ( with a caveat of a possible 6th or even 7th): "The Iron Lady," "My Week with Marilyn," W.E." "The Artist," and "Coriolanus."  The possible 6th could be "The Wettest County in the World." but IMDB lists it as a 2012 release.  The 7th could be "Le Havre"  which had a hint last week that it would be picked up by TWC, but to the best of our knowledge, that hasn't happened yet. 
What are the chances for each of these? 
At this point I'm guessing Harvey goes for two to play at TFF #38 but if he pushes only one there, my best bet is Cannes favorite "The Artist."   It's a mostly silent, black and white film but from all reports, it's a charmer.  There is even a good deal of early speculation that it could be in the Best Picture mix come Oscar night.  I really think it makes the cut.
After that I have no strong feelings about the rest of the TWC field.  At this point I'd say the next most likely is "Coriolanus" followed by "My Week with Marilyn,"  and "The Iron Lady."  I think there is virtually no chance that we'll see Madonna's "W.E." at Telluride.  Of course this guestimate could all change in a flash.  I personally think there's an excellent chance that "Le Havre" makes the list whether its under the TWC banner or not.

I haven't mentioned Soderbergh's two films ("Contagion" and "Haywire")  that have been bandied about as possible awards fodder because Soderbergh has no history with Telluride.  A report from The Playlist at Indiewire on the Soderbergh films has underscored the fact that this year is likely to be no different.  Reports are that "Haywire" has been bumped to 2012 for release and that "contagion" will be released Sept. 9...just 4 days after the Festival closes. 
That story is here:

Though it doesn't mean it's impossible for "Contagion" to be a part of Telluride's may make it less likely.  It may mean that the film doesn't play at any of the big three festivals.

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