Friday, July 5, 2013

"Ten Bets" #2/The Usual Suspects Part Two/No "Blue" Changes the Foreign Oscar Race?

Good Post Independence Day Friday!


Last week's Ten Bets were:

1) Nebraska
2) The Past
3) Daughter of the Dawn
4) Aguirre: The Wrath of God
5) The Immigrant
6) Life Itself
7) The Invisible Woman
8) Labor Day
9) 12 Years a Slave
10) Like Father, Like Son

This week's Ten Bets:

1) Nebraska
2) The Invisible Woman
3) The Past
4) The Unknown Known
5) A Story of Children and Film
6) Daughter of the Dawn
7) The Immigrant
8) Aguirre: The Wrath of God
9) Labor Day
10) The Selfish Giant

Note:  With the removal of "Life Itself" (see Tuesday's blog post) a spot opened up.  It wasn't difficult to fill.  I added "The Unknown Known"  as its replacement on the list. "

"A Story of Children and Film" replaces "12 Years a Slave", though I still am fairly bullish that we'll see the McQueen film.

"The Selfish Giant" replaces "Like Father Like Son " but the two of them are part of four Sundance Selects films any or all of which might be in Telluride.  The other two being "Blue is the Warmest Color" and "Young and Beautiful".  They seem virtually interchangeable in as far as the "Ten Bets" list is concerned and probably will be for the next few weeks unless I garner some compelling evidence that one has a greater chance than the others.


Yesterday I began a three part series focusing on some of the Telluride "Usual Suspects" and what they might have in store for this year's festival.  In Part One I mentioned Mark Cousins, Werner Herzog, Ken Burns and Alexander Payne

I today's Part Two we begin with Steve McQueen.  McQueen certainly has one of the higher profile films of the fall season awaiting.  His "12 Years a Slave" is expected to make a lot of noise.  McQueen's thrid feature follows his "Hunger" and "Shame" which both played at Telluride.  I fully expect, as do many others, that "12 Years" will be a part of the Venice lineup.  The question becomes whether the film follows the path "Shame" did as it also played Venice...Telluride...Toronto and New York.

For awhile, I thought that I was the only one that thought that "12 Years" might follow the "Shame" path...but I have since discovered that there are a number of others who think it could happen.  Enough so that "12 Years" made it onto my initial "Ten Bets" list last week.

Usual Suspect #6 today: Roger Michell.  The South African born director appears at T-ride with some frequency.  Last year he had "Hyde Park on Hudson".  In prior years he has been included with "Venus"and "Enduring Love".  Michell's new film "Le weekend" stars Jeff Goldblum (present in Telluride in 2008 for "Adam Resurrected"), Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.

Frankly, I could see this being on the SHOW list, but for some reason, I'm rather dubious.  The U.S. distributor is Music Box Films... which distributed Herzog's "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" in 2010" so there is some tenuous history there. Still, I'm doubtful.  Put "Le Weekend's chances at 25%.

Usual Suspect #7 is Errol Morris.  Errol plays in Telluride a good bit too.  Last year as a producer on "The Act of Killig"  In 2010: "Tabloid".  "Fog of War" in 2003.  Morris has a go at his first directing gig of a fictional work with "Freezing People is Easy" starring Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson and Christopher Walken.  But it doesn't seem to be ready.  What does seem to be ready is the Morris directed documentary about Donald Rumsfeld: "The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld'.  I think you can almost count on it being on the playlist for TFF #40.

And you have to wonder a little...when Morris did "Fog of War" in 2003, his subject, Robert McNamara came along.  Any chance Rumsfeld would?

Usual Suspect #8: Stephen Frears:  The Brit director was last represented in Telluride with "Tamara Drewe".  He was tributed in 1987 along with a screening of "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid".  His latest project has "prestige" smeared all over it.  Perpetual Oscar nominee Judi Dench stars in "Philomena" which also has The Weinstein Company as its distributor.

I think it seems like about a 40% chance of playing this year.

Tomorrow, the final four of "The Usual Suspects".


This week's revelation that Cannes Palme d"Or winner "Blue is the Warmest Color" won't be eligible for the French entry for the Foreign Language Oscar (due to its release schedule) has some wondering how or if it will shape the race for that trophy.

I think it almost certainly does and that has major implications for Telluride's Film Festival.  TFF almost always is the U.S. launching pad for any number of films from around the world that have Foreign Oscar designs.  Incontention/HitFix's Kristopher Tapley tackled that issue this week in this post:

Among the films he mentions that could well be in the Telluride baliwick are:
"The Past"
"Mood Indigo"
"Child's Pose" (which is really increasing its hold on my thinking as another possible entrant from the Berlin Fest where it won The Golden Bear.)
"The Great Beauty"
and "like Father Like Son"

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