Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oscar Calculations/A Separation in New York/War Horse News

Good Thursday morning!


Although the prediction game is still in its early stages, some of the expected choices in the major categories seem to already be solidifying.  This week saw a new Gurus of Gold chart from Movie City News for Picture, Actor and Actress.  Gurus features, among others, the collective wisdom of Pete Hammond, Dave Karger, Kris Tapley, Anne Thompson and Sasha Stone plus 8 others.  Among the films and talent on their charts, in the Best Pic category: "The Descendants", "The Artist" at #1 and #3 respectively. Also getting a little heat "Shame" and "A Dangerous Method".

In the Best Actress category: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs) is at #3.Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) is at #8 and Keira Knightley (Dangerous Method) is at #10.

The Best Actor category has George Clooney (Descendants) at #1, Jean Dujardin (Artist) at #2 and Michael Fassbender (Shame) at #6.

The complete Gurus of Gold chart can be seen here:

Meanwhile, Greg Ellwood at HitFix (who also appears as a "Guru") put together a piece this week on where he sees those same three races.  In the BP category he puts Descendants at #3 and "The Artist" at #7. 
For Actress, he has Close at #6 and in the Actor category he has Clooney at #1, Dujardin at #3 and Fassbender at #4.  His complete article is here:

Finally, a very interesting conversation about any number of facets of this year's Oscar race can be found at the Oscar Roundtable at Awards Daily that is up this week.  Look for it here:


Jeff Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere caught a screening of the Iranian entry for Best Foreign Language Picture, "A Separation" in NYC again this week.  Regular readers know that I have been very high on this film since seeing it in Telluride earlier this month.  Check out Wells' story here:


OK, it's not a Telluride film, but I am very curious about Steven Spielberg's "War Horse" which I would have listed at #1 if I were a Guru of Gold on the Best Picture chart.  Yesterday we heard a couple of pieces of news about the film.  First, that it's release date had been changed to Christmas Day and second, that it has an actual poster.  Here it is (thanks to Rope of Silicon):
                                                                                                                                                                              The ROS story is here:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Film Awards Clearinghouse 2011 Vol. #1/Foreign Film Fun/New Oscar Party Rules/The Artist is a Winner/Drive and Moneyball

FAC 2011 #1
Here's the first number crunching of predictions from select Oscarologists.  This first go around includes: Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter, Kris Tapley of InContention at, Sasha Stone at Awards Daily, Film Experience and Film Misery.  I'll add more Oscar predictors as the season progresses.  Telluride films are Big and Bold!

Best Picture:
1) The Descendants
2) The Artist
3) War Horse
4) J. Edgar
5) Moneyball
6) The Help
7) Tinker , Tailor, Soldier, Spy
8) Midnight in Paris
9) Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
10) The Ides of March
11) The Tree of Life

Note: Most prognosticators are saying with the new "5 to 10" nominees rule that they expect 7-8 films to be nominated.

Comments: Descendants seems like the closest thing to a lock and even that's not really true.  The race seems very, very fluid at this point.  Moneyball seems to have gotten the biggest lift from Toronto and the surprise Audience Award winner there (Where Do We Go Now) actually would seem to point at some weakness for The Descendants and/or The Artist.  Additionally, after seeing the trailer this week for "J. Edgar" (and admittedly, it's just the trailer) I have some pretty serious reservations about it ending up in the mix (as well as for Eastwood as director, DiCaprio in the Best Actor category).  Right now, if I was actually betting real money, I'd be betting on the horse, War Horse...and Spielberg.

Best Direction:
1) Michel Hazanavicius/Artist
2) Steven Spielberg/War Horse
3) Clint Eastwood/J. Edgar
4) Woody Allen/Midnight in Paris
5) Alexander Payne/Descendants
6) Terrence Malick/Tree of Life
7) Tomas Alfredson/Tinker, Tailor
8) Bennett Miller/Moneyball
9) Stephen Daldry/Extremely Loud

Comment:  The Best Picture race obviously will affect the five who end up with noms here.  Most likely to be nommed without a Best Pic nom: Malick

Best Actress:
1) Meryl Streep/Iron Lady
2) Glenn Close/Albert Nobbs
3) Viola Davis/The Help
4) Michele Williams/My Week with Marilyn
5) Elizabeth Olsen/Martha Mary Mae Marlene
6) Felicity Jones/Like Crazy
7) Tilda Swinton/We Need...Kevin
8) Charlize Theron/Young Adult
9) Keira Knightley/Dangerous Method
10) Rooney Mara/Girl..Tattoo

Comments: Right now, this is a pretty messy category as well.  Davis would probably actually be at #1 save for the fact that one of our sources has her listed in Supporting...which is unlikely.

Best Actor:
1) George Clooney (Descendants)
2) Gary Oldman (TTSS)
3) Leo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)
4) Jean Dujardin (Artist)
5) Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
6) Ryan Gosling (Ides of March)
7) Michael Shannon (Take Shelter)
8) Michael Fassbender (Dangerous Method)
9) Michael Fassbender (Shame)
10) Matt Damon (We Bought a Zoo)

Comments: Clooney with the lead early, but no one is a lock.  Pitt is riding a wave of Toronto and critical love.  Personally I'd vote for Fassbender in Shame.

Best Supporting Actress:
1) Vanessa Redgrave/Coriolanus
2) Octavia Spencer/The Help
3) Berenice Bejo/The Artist
4) Janet McTeer/Albert Nobbs
5) Shailene Woodley/Descendants
6) Judi Dench /Marilyn
7) Jessica Chastain /Take Shelter
8) Sandra Bullock /Extremely Loud
9) Naomi Watts /J. Edgar

Comments: This category could be the most Telluride-centric thanks to McTeer, Bejo, and Woodley.  Personally, I'm surprised and pleased to see this much love for Bejo and I am unabashedly championing the nomination of McTeer.  Jessica Chastain, who has had an unbelievably fantastic year could well eliminate herself because of her great work in multiple films...and that's a shame.  Speaking of Shame...I'm also apologetically campaigning for Carey Mulligan.

Best Supporting Actor:
1) Christopher Plummer/Beginners
2) Albert Brooks/Drive
3) Kenneth Brannagh/Marilyn
4) Nick Nolte/Warrior
5) Viggo Mortensen/Dangerous Method
6) Philip Seymour Hoffman/Ides of March
7) Ezra Miller/We Need...Kevin
8) Jonah Hill/Moneyball
9) Jim Broadbent/Iron Lady

Comments: It tells you a lot that Mortensen is in the conversation for a performance that he could have done in his sleep.  I'm very pleased that Ezra Miller is at least in the conversation.  His turn as Kevin in We Need to incredible.  Also, I saw Drive last weekend and liked it, didn't love it.  Just like Brooks' performance...

Adapted Screenplay:
1) The Descendants
2) Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
3) War Horse
4) Extremely Loud,and Incredibly Close
5) The Ides of March
6) Moneyball
7) Carnage
8) The Help/We Need to Talk About Kevin
10) A Dangerous Method

Comments: Descendants has a decent lead here.

Original Screenplay:
1) Midnight in Paris
2) J. Edgar
3) The Artist
4) The Iron Lady
5) Like Crazy
6) Tree of Life
7) Martha Marcy Mae Marlene
8) Bridesmaids
9) 50/50

Comments:  The category with the least Telluride impact, it would seem.


The Descendants and The Artist each with 5 nominations in the BIG EIGHT categories.
Albert Nobbs with 2 nominations.
A Dangerous Method with 1 nomination and 3 possibles
We Need to Talk About Kevin with 3 possibles.
Shame with 1 possible.
Total for TFF#38 13 noms and 7 possibles.

Telluride will see some noms in the foreign film category and some other possibilities in the "tech" categories, but it is unlikely at this stage that Telluride's 2011 edition is going to match the nomination total it had last year.  Even this early in 2010 there were strong indications that TFF #37 would get to 30 cumulative noms (and it actually surpassed that).  This year looks to be somewhere in the 20-25 range...and maybe the low end of that.


Pete Hammond has an in depth look at what's happening in that arena at  You can find that here:


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science appears to think that Oscar campaigning has gotten out of hand and has established some new, and kind of weird, rules to combat that perception.  Are they enforceable?

Greg Kilday at The Hollywood Reporter took a good look at that development this past week and you can find the results of his labors here:


A lot of people (including me) thought that Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" would win the audience award at Toronto last weekend and , boy, were we wrong.  However, in a bit of redemption, the balck and white silent film won the same award yesterday at the San Sebastian Film Festival...

Two reports...first from Awards Daily:

Also from


I saw both of these films this week.  "Drive" is good, but it's been oversold by a number of critics who seem shocked that it doesn't appear to be connecting to mainstream film goers...sounds a little like last year's hand wringing about "The Social Network".  I liked it, didn't love it.  I'm in for the moodiness and Gosling's brooding.  Music is generally great except for the 2-3 times they get to playing that stuff with lyrics...then it distracts.  Too many coincidences to make it plausible.  And finally, Albert Brooks, I love you, but this is not an Oscar caliber performance.

"Moneyball", on the other hand is as good as the buzz coming out of its turn in Toronto.  Pitt's performance is solid and Jonah Hill (who I admittedly am NOT a fan of) is quite good.  Bennett Miller, who has been missing since "Capote" has done a fine directing job here.  I think it has a real shot to be one of the 7-8 films that get a Best Picture nomination.

See you Thursday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thompson's Post-Telluride Toronto Take/Oscarology/Foreign News/SFFF/

Hello on a Thursday in September.  TFF #38 opened three weeks ago tomorrow and Tornoto closed 5 days ago...


Anne Thompson of indieWire's Thompson on Hollywood is one of the most perceptive film bloggers in the business.  So when she writes about the post mortem of the fall festival season, it's wise to pay attention.  She has and I have. 

Yesterday Thompson posted a good look at what films benefited and what was harmed in the last three weeks.  Among her comments that relate to TFF #38 pictures: 
Winners: "The Descendants":  AT says "multiple nominations"
"The Artist"...although she has reservations about the Best Actor chances for its lead Jean Dujardin.
George Clooney: who Anne says is a lock for a Best Actor nom from "Descendants"
Michael either "Shame" or "A Dangerous Method" (which she really liked...I think she's going to be off on it, though).
Sony Pictures Classics: and AT specifically cites SPC's Dangerous Method as well as Foreign film players from Telluride: "A Separation" and "In Darkness".
Also IFC as she cites "Pina" "Into the Abyss" and "The Kid with a Bike"
 Her only real "loser" was The Weinstein Co. and that was all laid at the feet of their Madonna Toronto offering "W.E."

The article contains a ton of other interesting info.  See it here:


Taking a run around some of the better known Oscar prognosticators, here's some of what I found this week.

Kris Tapley of InContention which is now housed at submits the following as regards Telluride 2011 offerings:
Best Picture: Good Bet: The Artist", Other Possibilities: The Descendants
Director: Good Bet: M. Hazanavicius/The Artist, Other Possibility: A. Payne/Descendants
Actor: Good Bet: Clooney/Descendant, Other Possibilities: J. Dujardin/Artist and M. Fassbender/Shame
Actress: Good Bet: Glenn Close/Albert Nobbs, Other Possibility: T. Swinton/We Need to Talk About Kevin
Supporting Actor: Other Possibility: Ezra Miller/Kevin
Supporting Actress; (T-ride's hottest category according to Tapley): Possibilities: Shailene Woodley/Descendants, Keira Knightley/Dangerous Method, Berenice Bejo/Artist, Janet McTeer/Albert Nobbs.  And he lists Carey Mulligan as a "Dark Horse" for Shame
Adapted Screenplay: Good Bet: Descendant, Possible: Dangerous Method.  "Dark Horses": Nobbs and Kevin
Original Screenplay: Good Bet:The Artist

From Tapley the count for the BIG 8 Categories:
6 Good Bets
11 Possibles and
3 Dark Horses.

By film:
The Descendants: 2 Good Bets and 3 Possibles
The Artist: 3 Good Bets and 2 Possibles
Albert Nobbs: 1 Good Bet, 1 Possible and 1 Dark Horse
Shame: 1 Possible and 1 Dark Horse
Kevin: 2 Possibles and 1 Dark Horse
Dangerous Method: 2 Possibles

You can find the new link to Tapley and InContention here:


A couple of updated lists of official Foreign Language Film Oscar entrants are around.  One is from Rope of Silicon.  ROS lists Telluride films already in the mix as: Le Havre, Pina, The Turin Horse, In Darkness, and A Separation.

Check their complete listing at:

The Playlist list is even a bit more complete.  It's here:


A quick shout out to the Santa Fe Film Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico October 20-23.  MTFB may try to make it there for some of that fest.  Their official website:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Toronto: The Reults and The Bounce/Critical Response at TIFF/Feinberg at THR (the first list)/Clips/Shame News/Butter News/Descendants News/Malick News

Welcome to the now twice weekly MTFB and The Film Awards Clearinghouse.  We'll be posting on Mondays and Thursdays (at least that's the plan for the foreseeable future) with more frequent updates should breaking news warrant it.


Well, there were surprises yesterday when Toronto organizers announced their audience prizes.  Most observers thought Telluride favorites "The Artist" or "The Descendants" would win the main prize.  The big winner is Lebanon's entry for the Foreign Language Oscar "Where Do We Go Now?" from director Nadine Labaki.  It's IMDb page is here:

A couple of Telluride films did get mentioned in the announcements...

"A Separation" was the runner-up to the main prize and "The Island President" won the documentary prize.

The Hollywood Reporter provides a complete list of Toronto's announcement here:

With the conclusion of the Toronto International Film Festival this past weekend comes a reckoning from pundits and prognosticators as to which films earned a bounce in the awards season parade and which took a hit.  Today we'll examine three of those posts and parse the meaning for films that played at TFF #38.

The Hollywood News/Awards Alley:
Bounce for:
George Clooney (tributee this year) for Best Actor in "The Descendants" (also some bounce for his direction and writing and for Best Pic for his "Ides of March).

"The Descendants" for many potential noms including Best Picture.

Glenn Close and Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs" for Best Actress and Supporting Actress respectively.

"The Artist" for many potential noms including Best Picture.

Michael Fassbender in "Shame" as a possible Best Actor nom.

Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley in "A Dangerous Method" for acting possibilities plus a possible Adapted Screenplay nom (really???)

Look at the complete article for the other non-Telluride pics/peeps that THN says earned a bump from Toronto:

Bounce for :
Fassbender/Shame-Best Actor
Robert Forester in "The Descendants" for Supporting Actor (interesting)

Taking a hit:
"A Dangerous Method" in the BP race as well as "Butter"...exactly...

HitFix's complete article:

The Wrap:

Bounce for:

Fassbender and Shame
Pina (foreign language Oscar race)
In Darkness (also FLF)
Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
"The Island President" (documentary)

The complete slide show is at:


IndieWire has updates their round-up of critical response to films that have played the last week and a half as a part of the Toronto Fest.  Here's how TFF #38 films have fared:

The highest rated film thus far is Steve McQueen's "Shame."

A- Ratings (the top): "A Separation" "Shame" "The Turin Horse"
B+ Ratings: "The Artist" "The Descendants" "Le Havre""The Kid with a Bike" "Pina"
B Ratings: "A Dangerous Method" "Into the Abyss" "We Need to Talk About Kevin"
B- Ratings: "Albert Nobbs"  "Footnote"

To see the complete list of films that have been rated go to:


Scott Feinberg (whom I met this year just before we saw the Dardennes Brothers"The Kid with a Bike"...we had a very nice conversation) has his first forecast for Oscar since joining The Hollywood Reporter.  Breaking it down by Telluride #38 films:

Frontrunners include "The Artist" and "The Descendants"
Major Threats include: "A Dangerous Method"
Possibilities include: "Albert Nobbs" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Frontrunners: M. Hazanavicius/The Artist
Major Threats: A. Payne/The Descendants, D. Cronenberg/A Dangerous Method
Possibilities: R. Garcia/Albert Nobbs, L. Ramsay/We Need to Talk About Kevin

Frontrunners: G. Close/Albert Nobbs
Major Threats: K. Knightley/A Dangerous Method
Possibilities: T. Swinton/Kevin, J. Garner/Butter (

Frontrunners: G. Clooney/The Descendants, J. Dujardin/The Artist
Major Threats: M. Fassbender in both Shame and A Dangerous Method
No other possibles from TFF

Supporting Actress:
Frontrunners: S. Woodley/The Descendants
Major Threats: J. McTeer/Albert Nobbs
Possibles: C. Mulligan/Shame

Supporting Actor:
No Frontrunners from TFF #38
Major Threats: V. Mortensen/A Dangerous Method
Possibilities:  E. Miller/Kevin

Adapted Screenplay:
Frontrunners: The Descendants
Major Threats: A Dangerous Method
Possibilities: Albert Nobbs, Kevin

Original Screenplay:
Frontrunners: The Artist
No other threats or possibilities from Telluride.

Feinberg's totals for the Big 8 categories for TFF #38:
Frontrunners: 9
Major Threats: 9
Possibilities: 10

By film:
The Descendants: Fronts: 4, Threats: 1
The Artist: Fronts: 4
A Dangerous Method: Fronts: 0, Threats 6
Albert Nobbs: Fronts: 1, Threats: 1 Possibles: 3
Shame: Fronts: 0, Threats: 1, Possibles: 1
Kevin: Possibles: 5
Butter: Possibles: 1


There are some new clips and teasers out this week from some of this year's Telluride films.  Links below...

"George Harrison:Living in the Material World" from The Playlist (indieWire):

"The Artist" also from The Playlist:

"The Descendants" from, you guessed it, The Playlist (the story also features a link to my review of "The Descendants" for them):


Perhaps no film has created as much of a stir during its run at Telluride, Venice and Toronto over the past three weeks as Steve McQueen's uncompromising "Shame."  It is not a film for everyone.  It is explicit.  Michael Fassbender gives what is likely the best performance by an actor this year.  Carey Mulligan is better than she's ever been.  But because of the nature of the film's subject (sex addiciton) and because it pulls very few punches, it's not a film that is going to be Oscar friendly and that's to bad.

Here are a few posts/articles that have turned up the last week or so about the film:
An indieWire interview with the director and co-writer Steve McQueen:

More from McQueen from the LA Times:


If you read this space much, you know I wasn't a big fan of "Butter."  Nevertheless, I'm keeping an eye on it as I do all the Telluride offerings now that we are moving into the post TFF/TIFF/Venice autumnal period.  So here are some "Butter"-centric posts:

"Butter" will get an Oscar qualifying run...from The Playlist:

The Playlist also had another review of the film from one of their regular writers (they had my review which they published on Sept.'s here: )

and their regular guy...sounds a lot like me:


Alexander Payne's "The Descendants" and Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" were the two titles coming out of Telluride and into Toronto with the most heat.  Toronto didn't diminish the fervor for either.  Payne's "Descendants" has kept up a steady drumbeat of P.R. and here is some of it from the last week:

Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood (indieWire) was generally positive, but not exactly over the moon:

Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Descndnats co-star (and generating some Oscar buzz) Shailene Woodley for an interview:

HitFix (among others) posted some of Geroge Clooney from a Telluride Q & A:


Bale and Malick in Austin, TX on Saturday

After the two year long dance of infatuation I did with Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" I've found it difficult to let go of obsessing about what he's doing.  Fortunately for me there is no paucity of material floating around out there in web land to stoke the flames of that small obsession.  It would appear that Malick has started work on his second post-Tree project and that it involves Christian Bale and may focus on music.  Check the following posts:

From Johnny Garcia and @jarrettem via twitter actual video of Malick and Bale filming in Austin (it's about 3 min. long):

Malick and Bale at Austin City Limits...The Playlist:

Malick and Haley Bennett in Austin, TX.  on Saturday


Also The Daily Mubi:

Potential casting news of a relative unknown, again The Playlist:


See you Thursday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Foreign Submissions/Close Gets Close/Toronto's Telluride Echoes/Carving Butter/Dialing It Back

Good Morning Ladies and Germs...


Word from two nations over the past 48 hours about their submissions for the Foreign Language Best Pic Oscar race and both announcements deal with films from TFF #38.

Norway has announced that its submission will be Aki Kaurismaki's "Le Havre."  A pleasant enough exercise  but rather arid for my tastes.  The story can be found from The Hollywood Reporter here:

Le Havre's IMDb page:

For my money the much superior film will be Iran's entry in the FLF Oscar sweepstakes; Asghar Farhadi's " A Separation."  That story via here:

A Separation's IMDb page:

As a side note: News yesterday that was joining congratulations to Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge.  This news comes on the heels of the move of Scott Feinberg to The Hollywood Reporter.  Oscar season is going to look and feel different this year.


Glenn Close has an new interview posted just yesterday at Hollywood News yesterday wherein she talks about TFF #38 film "Albert Nobbs."  The film has garnered mixed reviews but I quite liked it.  You can read my full review here from The Playlist:

Close's Hollywood News interview is here:

Albert's IMDb page is here:


A good deal has been written about the fact that Telluride may well have stolen a big chunk of Toronto's thunder this year (as if that's not true every least I think so) and that sentiment is driven home by indieWire's Toronto critic's project.  Just as they did during Cannes, the indieWire folk are collating critical response to a number of films during the TIFF.  Yesterday saw their first post as results are starting to become available.  Leading the pack (and not to  my surprise) Steve McQueen's "Shame."  Other TFF #38 films that you'll find (and their aggregate grade) on the first listing include:
A Separation
The Turin Horse
The Artist
The Descendants
Le Havre
The Kid with a Bike
A Dangerous Method
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Into the Abyss

Check their scores at:


A lot of hoopla over a Harvey Weinstein stunt in Toronto to intensify publicity for his Telluride sneak peak film "Butter."  He had actress Olivia Wilde, who stars in the film, do an "introduction" designed to tie the film and its political satire element and the current political climate together.  All this was reported in a number of news outlets the last 24 hours.

If you read this space often you know that I wasn't a real fan of the film. My complete review of "Butter" for The Playlist can be found here:

Interestingly, at least to me, was this story of the P.R. stunt from The Olympian and the mention in the fifth paragraph that TWC is re-editing the film after its Telluride sneak.

Here's the story:

Kind of hope I had something to do with that...


Well, it's time to dial back MTFB for the fall.  Now that the 38th edition of the Telluride Film Festival is in the books (and school is under way in earnest) I'm going to go to a twice a week publication format (Mondays and Thursdays is what I'm going to try for).  Of course there will always be the option to publish more often should news warrant.

The focus now shifts to the other part of the blog's name "The Film Awards Clearinghouse" as I'll track the awards season fortunes of this year's crop of Telluride films through the Globes, the Guilds, the Critics and finally Oscar night.

It should be fun!

Next post on Monday, Sept. 19th!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More Tilda/Reviews: Shame & Descendants/TTSS

Good Morning All...


The Tilda Swinton blitz that started 10 days ago in Telluride with her tribute has continued through the Toronto International Film Festival.  Ms. Swinton continues to lead the charge for "We Need to Talk About Kevin."  As a part of that The Lost Boy at indieWire has posted a Q & A that followed the film's presentation at the Canadian fest.  You can find that here:

Kevin's IMDb page is here:

Swinton's IMDb page is herte:


Reviews continue to come in for TFF #38 films.  Steve McQueen's "Shame" starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan continues to make big waves.  Here is the latest review from Rope of Silicon:

Shame's IMDb page:


Meanwhile, a Washington based radio station review of the Clooney starring vehicle directed by Alexander Payne gets four stars:

Descendant's IMDb page:


And because I can't resist, a link to the domestic trailer for Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy":

TTSS IMDb page:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shame News/Pina Trailer/Tilda Talks/Dangerous and Albert


Director Steve McQueen says that "Shame" will stay exactly as we saw it in Telluride over Labor Day weekend. The film which has created a sensation after showing in the San Juans and also in Venice and Toronto especially for the performances of Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan is almost certainly headed toward an NC-17 MPAA rating. McQueen says that he won't change anything to avoid the rating. McQueen's insistence is reported in this story from Hollywood News:

Shame's IMDb page:


Wim Wenders film homage to dance pioneer and legend Pina Bausch that was well received by a lot of Telluride patrons.  The film "Pina" has a trailer up now and you can take a look at it from First here:

Pina's IMDb page:


Tilda Swinton was one of this year's three tributees and appeared at TFF #38 with her new film "We Need to Talk About Kevin."  The film premiered at Cannes in May and has created a good deal of Oscar buzz for her performance.  She sat down recently with Roger Ebert in an interview that I have linked for you to look at here:

Kevin's IMDb page:


Reviews continue to pour in from Toronto screenings of Telluride #38 films.  David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" is still swimming upstream (I agree) while Rodrigo Garcia's "Albert Nobbs" is still dividing critics (I thought it was very good).  Hollywood News posted brief reviews yesterday (along with a brief review of Sundance favorite "Take Shelter").  Here's the link:

Method's IMDb page:

Albert's IMDb page:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Venice/Post TFF Tea Reading/The Master

TFF #38 came to a close a week ago today.  In some ways I feel like it just ended last night and in others, like it was months ago...


The Venice Film Festival drew to a close this past weekend with presentation of a number of awards.  Perhaps the most notable with regard to Telluride's Festival was the naming of Michael Fassbender as Best Actor for "Shame."  I'm pleased at that since I think Fassbender's performance in the film was the best acting I saw last weekend in the Rockies.  Frankly, I think he's incredible.  So I was pleased to hear that he had been rewarded.

The award plus the news over the weekend that Fox Searchlight had picked up the U.S. distribution rights for "Shame" means that Fassbender and maybe Carey Mulligan also, has at least a shot at an Oscar nomination for Actor and Supporting Actress respectively.

Perhaps no other film drew such distinctly polar reactions in Telluride last week as Steve McQueen's sophomore effort.  I often felt pretty lonely standing in a line as a champion of the film.  A lot of people really didn't care for it.  But for my money, Best Film of the weekend and Fassbender and Mulligan give revelatory performances.  So I say "Go Fox Search!"

Here are a number of posts that include the Venice run down and the slate of prizes including the Golden Lion to Alexander Sokurov's "Faust" which drew mixed reviews and was also a minor blip on my Telluride possibilities list at one time.

Sokurov with Venice's Golden Lion

The Playlist:

Deadline Hollywood:

Screen Daily:

The Guardian:

Here's the link to the trailer for Faust at YouTube:

Faust's IMDb page:

Shame's IMDb page:

Fassbender's IMDb page:

Mulligan's IMDb page:


As they do every week, Kris Tapley of and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood do a podcast and update their view of where the awards season is.  This week's is Telluride-centric as you might expect.  You can take a listen (and also look at Tapley's brief introductory comments) here:


One of the films that I have my eye on as a possibility for TFF #39 is the Paul Thomas Anderson project entitled (at least for now) "The Master" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.  Now comes word from "Hollywood Elsewhere",  PT Anderson fan sight "Red Vines and Cigarettes" and Twitter that filming is complete.  That should give Anderson a good amount of time to edit (don't know if it will be enough, though...).  My expectation would be that if it's ready we might see it as an entrant at Cannes in May 2012 and then possibly in Telluride next September...

Here's the tweet:
"Phillip Seymour Hoffman confirms "The Master" is done filming, denies it has anything to do with Scientology. #themaster"

Here's the link to Jeff Wells post at H.E.:

The Master's IMDb page:

One can hope...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Past/The Future


A few notes about films that appeared last weekend at the 38th Telluride Film Festival:

"Shame" has a distributor and it is Fox Searchlight.  FS, you may remember, picked up "Tree of Life" after last year's SHOW.  Take a look at the details from The Huffington Post:

Shame's IMDb page:

Pina, the Wim Wenders 3D dance film homage to Pina Bausch is Germany's Foreign Language Oscar entrant.  That according to this story from The Hollywood Reporter:

Pina's IMDb page:

Hungary has selected "The Turin Horse" as its horse to back for Oscar.  That story is here from The Playlist (indieWire):

Turin Horse's IMDb page:

Samuel Goldwyn has nabbed the distribution rights to the Diana Vreeland documentary "Diana Vreeland:The Eye Has to Travel."  Check the info at The Hollywood Reporter here:


I always have hopes that The Coen Brothers will be at the next Telluride Film Festival.  The next project that they're putting together will, again, be on MTFB's watch list.  There has been a good deal of movement about the film which I talked a good deal about at the beginning of the summer but put on the back burner as the SHOW got closer and closer.  Now back to that obsession, at least for this post.

The film's title: "Inside Llewyn Davis."  Variety reports that Studio Canal is involved:|News|LatestNews&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

The Playlist has further details here: also has some info on the story:

IMDb does has an "Inside Llewyn Davis" page started but it has virtually no info except the anticipated 2013 release date.  Look here:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Reviewing TFF #38/Awards Season Seriously

Here are the films I saw at The 38th Telluride Film Festival:

1) Shame:  A difficult movie to watch.  All signs point to an NC-17 rating.  Both things mean it will difficult to find any audience for it but Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan are both fantastic in it.  My hope is that they get some Indie Spirit love and that the Actor's branch of the Academy takes notice...but I'm not holding my breath.

2) The Artist: A big crowd pleaser last weekend.  It's bold gamble to make a black and white silent film but Michel Hazanavicius has done amazing things here with his collaboration with French actor Jean Dujardin.  The execution is beautiful.  The Weinstien Company probably wanted this in Telluride to continue the film's buzz into Toronto after taking Cannes by storm and consequently continue its momentum into awards season...mission accomplished.

3) The Descendants:  This might have been the best received film overall from last weekend.  If there is a true T-ride film that could end up with multiple Oscar noms, this is it.  Descendants is good not great.

4) Albert Nobbs:  I was more taken by this film than a good portion of the T-ride audience.  Close is fantastic in the title roll.  I think Janet McTeer is also very good in support.  Close appears on the road to her sixth Oscar nom.  In a perfect world McTeer would get her first.
5) A Separation:  Beautifully crafted and acted film about domestic strife in modern day Iran.  My hope is the Iran gets out of its way and the Academy nominates it for Best Foreign Language Film.
6) Le Havre: The deadpan approach works...sometimes.  Frankly, I wanted the film to have a little more warmth.  Also, Kaurismaki's composition is awfully static.

7) We Need to Talk About Kevin:  I'm not as blown away by Tilda Swinton's performance as many others.  It's good but it doesn't hit greatness in my estimation.  However, she doesn't appear to have harmed her chances at an Oscar nomination.  Ezra Miller, however, is a revelation as the Kevin in the title.
8) A Dangerous Method:  A film that's pretty to look at.  But the film's structure starts out with a bang and then proceeds to get quieter and quieter Knightley is annoying and Fassbender and Mortensen seem to be wasted.
9) The Kid with a Bike:  Not bad, but also not what I expected.  Biggest problem for me was how easily and quickly the decision was made to foster parent the child here.
10) Butter:  A mess that can't decide what it wants to be.  It's like director Jim Field Smith decided that if he tried enough approaches, one of them would work...not so much.


And down the stretch we come...Telluride 2011 is done and Venice is winding down.  Toronto started yesterday.  All that means that Oscar speculators have begun to recalibrate the race based on what has been happening on the ground in the Colorado Rockies and on the Lido.  That will continue through the next week and a half as the Toronto folks unspool somewhere around 300 films.

This morning, quick peak at an Oscarologist who have already updated his view in the wake of Telluride...

First, Kristopher Tapley of  Tapley predicts 10 nominations with Telluride ties in the Big 8 Oscar categories (Picture, Director, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor, Adapted and Original Script).

The Artist with 4 (Picture, Director, Actor, and Original Script)
The Descendants with 4 (Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Script)
Nobbs with 1 (Actress)
Dangerous Method with 1 (Supporting Actress)

A look at more Awards season re-calibration tomorrow...