STARTING TO READ THE TEA LEAVES
Last February 28th the fine folks at HitFix/InContention gave us their rundown of 25 films that they thought would have Oscar potential for this year. Included within each film's capsule description was a guess at its fall film festival potential. I have referenced this article a couple of times since its initial post and thought of it again as I get ready for a summer of Telluride #40 speculation so it seemed like a good place to return to as a way of kicking off the summer. You can access the entire post here:
For those that would prefer a truncated version...here you go.
Listed alphabetically, here are the 13 films they mentioned as Telluride possibles on the list of 25 (with a comment or two along the way):
"August: Osage County"...I'm dubious that this will actually play Telluride. This seems more like a New York Film Fest opener or closer to me. That said, it's not impossible. Distribution is by The Weinstein Company...past tributee George Clooney is a producer. Past tributee Meryl Streep plays the lead (or co-lead).
"Captain Phillips"...Again, I'd be surprised.
"Diana"...Third straight film that HitFix lists that I think probably won't play.
"The Fifth Estate"...The Julian Assange film starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Finally, a film that I think has a fighting shot to make the T-ride playlist. Bill Condon directs and has been repped at Telluride previously with "Kinsey" which also provides the second bit of Telluride connectivity. Laura Linney (of "Kinsey" and frequent Telluride appearances) is a in "Fifth Estate". This might even make the first "Ten Bets" list that'll go up at the end of the month.
"Foxcatcher"...Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum in a true story of murder and Olympic wrestling directed by Bennett Miller. This is a soft maybe from me at this point, though I'd be pretty psyched if it actually does show at The SHOW.
"Labor Day"...Jason Reitman directs ("Juno", "Up in the Air") after having not been in Telluride with "Young Adult" in 2011. I think he'll be back. And I am looking forward to that potential return. Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin...yes please. And just to toss a thought out there...A Kate Winslet tribute?
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"...Again, I'm dubious. Although it has a Telluride pedigree in that its distribution is via TWC and director Justin Chadwick was repped at TFF #37 with "The First Grader".
"A Most Wanted Man"...The TFF connection is pretty thin here but I'd love for it to make the grade. It's a John LeCarre story and has Philip Seymour Hoffman in it. Film4 is listed as a producer and that's the only real connection to past TFFs. Film4 helped produce "Shame", "Never Let Me Go" and "Slumdog Millionaire" and looking at what the have produced for the rest of 2013, I believe they will have some presence at TFF #40.
"Nebraska"...If Alexander Payne's new film isn't on the TFF #40 list I would be shocked.
"Oldboy"...If Spike Lee's new film IS ON the TFF #40 list I would be shocked.
"Out of the Furnace"...Director Scott Cooper's follow-up to "Crazy Heart", the little film that earned Jeff Bridges the Oscar for Best Actor. The film stars Christian Bale and Casey Affleck. "Furnace" film doesn't have any particular Telluride pedigree so it wouldn't seem likely.
"Rush"...the Ron Howard directed film about big time auto racing wouldn't seem like the most likely of Telluride films, but T-ride is the only festival that the HitFix article even suggests for the highly anticipated film.
"Serena"...I don't know a lot about this film beyond the fact that it re-unites "Silver Linings Playbook" stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and it's directed by Susanne Bier. What makes me think it's really possible is that U.S. distributor Magnolia also had "The Hunt" and "A Royal Affair" in its stable last year and they played Telluride.
There are 5 films on the Hit Fix list that I would love to see at Telluride that aren't speculated as T-ride films:
"The Counselor", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "Monuments Men", "Wolf of Wall Street" and "Twelve Years a Slave". Although I think I could make a good case for "Twelve Years" and a so-so case for "Monuments Men". The other three...yeah, I'd be surprised too.
The remaining 7 films on the HitFix list are Sundance films, will have already opened prior to Telluride or probably has no chance of playing Telluride.
So, from the entire list of 25, the best bets are "Nebraska", "Labor Day" and "The Fifth Estate".
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More on Wednesday...
More on Wednesday...