Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cannes Catches "Foxcatcher"/"Coming Home" Could Still Come Home/Galapagos Web View

Good Monday Everyone!


Steve Carell as John duPont in Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher"

After several weeks of Cannes speculation (and three more to come until the April 17th official announcement) Guy Lodge of HitFix reports that Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" has been "independently verified" for a slot in one of the Cannes programs.  Lodge suggests a competition slot is likely for the based on true events film that was originally set for release last year but was subsequently pulled.

A Cannes premiere would add to the case for "Foxcatcher" becoming a Telluride programming choice. Miller's previous Telluride screening of his Oscar nominated "Capote" (with Best Actor win for the late Philip Seymour Hoffman) adds to the case as well.  Also indicating a possible Telluride play is the film's distributor Sony Pictures Classics.

Should it receive a favorable critical response and SPC set an appropriate release date, as is expected then the biggest hurdle to a Telluride play would likely be the "Toronto Ultimatum" from a couple of months ago that suggests that films are going to have to make a choice between Telluride and a prime spot at Toronto.  Miller's "Capote" and "Moneyball" both played Toronto.

The complete HitFix post is here:


Zhang Yimou in NYC this past weekend (via Variety)

I reported last week that Thompson on Hollywood had reported that Zhang Yimou's "Coming Home" (hotly anticipated as a Cannes selection) was going to screen this past weekend in NYC as a part of a dialogue with Yimou and Ang Lee.  As a result, I said, that screening could diminish the chances that the film became a choice for Telluride.

Happily, an alert MTFB reader commented that the said screening was not happening.  I published that comment but also thought I'd highlight it here as it certainly allows me to put the Yimou film right back into the thick of T-ride speculation...and happy am I that it is.  Secretly I am hoping to see/meet Gong Li on Colorado Ave. or in line at The Chuck!

Here's the text of Dan's comment:

Dan said...
There is no screening of the ZY film tonight at NYU, Its a Q@A with Ang lee and Yimou. Although I think it was screened for Ang lee.

Further, reports of the evening back up Dan's claims.  Here are links to a couple of stories reporting on the Lee/Yimou .

From Variety:

The New York Times:

So, put "coming Home" back on the "Telluride possible" list and thanks to "Dan"!


"Galapagos" poster via IMDb

"The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden" didn't get a lot of buzz during last year's fest but people I ran into it had seen it during the fest were complimentary.  The film's distributor, Zeigeist Films, announced this week that a new website was going live in support of the film.  That website is here:

The film officially opens in the U.S. this week.

More on Thursday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Variety Weighs In on Cannes/Meryl and Diablo?

Good Thursday to All...


Marion Cotillard working on "Two Days, One Night"

As we get down to three weeks left before the announcement of titles for the 67th Cannes Film Festival, speculation continues as to what may play at the famed French fest.  Yesterday Hollywood heavyweight Variety weighed in with some speculation of its own.  Here's some of what they have to say and they do it geographically.  So, here are their films that might double down in Cannes and then Telluride:

North Americans (best chance):

Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher"
Alejandro Gonzlaez Inarritu's "Birdman"

Brits (best chance):

Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner"
Stephen Frears' untitled Lance Armstrong biopic (this is a new title among our other Cannes spec posts)

Longer shots: Michael Winterbottom's "The Face of an Angel" and John Boorman's "Queen and Country"

French and Belgians (best chance):

Mia Hansen-Love's "Eden"
Olivier Assasyas' "Clouds of Sils Maria"
Michel Hazanavicius' "The Search"
Xavier Beauvois' "The Price of Glory"
The Dardennes Brothers' "Two Days, One Night"

Asian (best chance):

Zhang Yimou's "Coming Home"

Other Territories (best chance):

Thomas Vinterberg's "Far from the Madding Crowd"

As you can see, a lot of the usual suspects, although the Frears mention is a first for that film.  Here's the link to the complete article:


News this week that Meryl Streep is said to be cast in the latest Diablo Cody script.  The Oscar winning scribe for Juno also looks to have Jonathan Demme on board to direct.  We probably should keep an eye on this project.  Here are links to a couple of posts about the project:

More on Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Handicapping Cannes/Fox Searchlight is 20 and Grew Up in Telluride/"Coming Home" Teaser

Welcome to Monday...Spring Break is over and I have the cold to prove it!


Neal Young of the Jigsaw Lounge has begun setting the line for the winner of this year's Palme d'Or for The Cannes Film Festival.  It's all academic at this point as we don't know which titles will be named to the competition list.  Cannes usually has somewhere between 20-24 films in the competition category and Young lists 25 with odds of less than 30 to 1.

On his list of 25 are these that I continue to point to as potential Telluride choices:

Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria" which Young has listed at 16:1 for the Palme.
The Dardennes Brothers "Two Days, One Night" at 25:1
Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner" also at 25:1
Xavier Beauvois' "The Price of Glory" at 28:1

Two other films are mentioned that earn their way onto the Telluride watch list: John Boorman's "Queen and Country" which Young lists at 16:1 and "Christian Petzold's "Phoenix" at 20:1.

Other films that Young includes that are in the over 30:1 category and that have some Telluride potential are:

"Birdman", "The Search", "Everything Will Be Fine", "Far From the Madding Crowd", "While We're Young", "Coming Home" (see story below), "Foxcatcher", "The Face of an Angel" and "The Look of Silence".

Take a look at Young's complete betting line/list here:


The folks at HitFix put together a look back at Fox Searchlight's 20 year history this week by naming what they consider the 20 best films that the Indie Studio has distributed.  It will come as no surprise to serious Telluride watchers that a number of those films played at Telluride over the years.  On the HitFix list that are Telluride alums:

#20 "The Descendants"
#17 "Juno"
#15 "Slumdog Millionarie"
#13 "Shame"
#5 "12 Years a Slave"
#1 "Black Swan"

I also semi-include Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" (at  #4 on the HitFix list) which didn't actually play Telluride but did screen there secretly as an attempt to get a distribution deal in 2011 which it did.

You can see their entire array of Fox Searchlight's "20 Best" here:

I have been relatively high on the notion that we could see Zhang Yimou's "Coming Home" at both Cannes and then Telluride this year.  I was, therefore, fairly excited to see posts this week about a teaser/trailer for the film including this link to it via Thompson on Hollywood:

But the Thompson article throws some water on the Telluride notion when it reveals plans by Sony Pictures Classics (the SPC connection was actually another thing working in favor of a Telluride play) that they plan to do a preview screening of the film in New York on Mar. 27th.  Knowing Telluride's predilection for showing only films that have not played in the U.S. prior to their T-ride unveiling (though that's not a hard and fast rule) I would say that the preview definitely reduces the chance that we'll see "Coming Home" over Labor Day weekend.

 More on Thursday...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

IndieWire's Bit O' Cannes Speculation/The Playlists's Cannes Spec

Welcome to Thursday...Spring I'm running late...


IndieWire has posted its 40 film "wish list" for Cannes.  Here's the parsing of that list of the films that I feel would be most likely to complete the Cannes/Telluride double play (with occasional commentary):

"Birdman" dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

"Clouds of Sils Maria" dir: Olivier Assasyas

"Coming Home" dir: Zhang Yimou.  A new addition to the my Cannes/Telluride double lists.  Yimou's "House of Flying Daggers" appeared at Telluride in 2004.

"Eden" dir: Mia Hansen-Love.  Hansen-Love could return after playing Telluride in 2011 with "Goodbye First Love"

"Everything Will Be Fine" dir: Wim Wenders

"Far from the Madding Crowd" dir: Thomas Vinterberg

"Foxcatcher" dir: Bennett Miller

"The Imitation Game" dir: Morten Tyldum.  I'm just saying this now...TWC peeps...if you want this to be a serious part of the end of the year awards convo...Telluride would be a good thing to do.  And any Telluride programmers out there who might read this space...if it's any good...please...

"Inherent Vice" dir: Paul Thomas Anderson.  I remain skeptical, but there are others who think the latest from PTA has a real chance to play both Cannes and then Telluride.  Again...please...

"A Most Violent Year" dir: J.C. Chandor

"Mr. Turner" dir: Mike Leigh

"The Price of Glory" dir: Xavier Beauvois. This is a new addition to previous lists.  Beauvois' previous           Cannes/Telluride double play with "Of Gods and Men" make this project a real possibility.

"The Search" dir: Michel Hazanavcius

"Squirrel to the Nuts" dir: Peter Boganovich.  A Cannes play and a decent critical reception would almost guarantee Bogdo's return to Telluride...I think.

"Two Days, One Night" dir: Jean-Pierre  and Luc Dardennes

"While We're Young" dir: Noah Baumbach

The complete list of 40 films can be found here:


The Playlist from has posted its fairly extensive list of films that it has on its Cannes radar.  As you might expect, there are a number of titles that are repeats from other Cannes spec that we've looked at and there are a number of titles that could, as a result of their Cannes play, end up in Telluride at the end of the summer.

Here's the rundown of titles from their "strongest" list that will go on my list as well:

"Clouds of Sils Maria" dir: Olivier Assasyas

"Birdman" dir: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

"The Price of Glory" dir; Xavier Beauvois

"The Search" dir: Michel Hazanavicius

"Two Days, One Night" Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes

"Mr. Turner" dir: Mike Leigh

"Coming Home" dir: Zhang Yimou

"Far from the Madding Crowd" dir: Thomas Vinterberg

From their "Also Possible" list I might add:

"Foxcatcher" dir: Bennett Miller

"Everything Will Be Fine" dir: Wim Wenders

The complete list from The Playlist is here:

More on Monday...

Monday, March 17, 2014

More Cannes Spec/First Look at Cotillard in "Two Days"

Welcome to Monday...


I continue to hunt down Cannes lineup speculation  as a window into what films might be among the first that Telluride programmers eyeball with the intent of placing them in the program for TFF #41.  This week, I found this post from Andrew Pulver and Xan Brooks from The Guardian that mentions 15 films that they want/predict to be on the Cannes list.  Among their choices that have serious Telluride potential (in my view) are (in the order that Pulver/Brooks present them):

"Far from the Madding Crowd" dir. Thomas Vinterberg
"Two Days, One Night" dir. The Dardennes (see story below)
"Clouds of Sils Maria" dir. Olivier Assasays
"Birdman" dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Those four films are your best bets from the list of 15 possibles.

A reminder about the close connection between Cannes and Telluride is listed here.  This is a fairly comprehensive list of films that have played in both fests over the last five years. The average is seven films.

2013: Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Blue is the Warmest Color, All is Lost, The Past, The Missing Picture, Manuscripts Don't Burn, Jodorowsky's Dune, The Lunchbox
2012: Rust and Bone, Amour, Paradise:Love, The Hunt, The Sapphires, Central Park Five
2011: Footnote, The Kid with a Bike, Le Have, We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Artist
2010: Of Gods and Men, Biutiful, Poetry, Another Year, The Princess of Montpensier, Tamara Drewe, Inside Job
2009: Bright Star, Fish Tank, A Prophet, Vincere, The White Ribbon, Samson and Delilah, Inferno

Look at the complete Guardian guess list for Cannes here:

Word is that the official lineup announcement will be on Apr. 17.


Marion Cotillard stars in "Two Days, One Night" from The Dardennes Brothers.  You see that film in the segment listed above as a very real possibility for Cannes and then Telluride.  Last week, we saw the first photos of Cotillard from the film.  Here's one view via The Playlist:

Check the others at The Playlist here:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Opening the Cannes/Oscar Lessons/Lynne and Jane

Welcome to Thursday...


When I get to this point each year, the point at which Oscar season is over and it's time to begin to seriously think about Telluride's future list of films, I focus on three sets of information initially.  The first is the "most anticipated" lists of films that any number of websites and blogs toss out at the start of the calendar year.  The second is the immediate post-Oscar lists of possible Oscar films for the next year.

Both of those sets of info have happened and I've already done a couple of pieces based on that.

The third set of info is the speculation about Cannes titles.  The films chosen for the Cannes film festival have long provided a large number of the titles that make up the program at Telluride each year.  I don't expect this year to be any exception.

Historically, the link between the two fests is very strong.

That being said, Jake Howell has written an excellent analysis of what he thinks, and what historical data show, might be some of the films that could well play Cannes and by extension some films that will have an improved chance of playing at Telluride.

Among what Howell terms "The Likely Suspects" for Cannes emerge these films/directors who, historically, would seem to be the most likely to make the Cannes/Telluride connection for this year:

"Clouds of Sils Maria" from Olivier Assasyas
"Two Days, One Night" from The Dardennes Brothers
"The Search" from Michel Hazanavicius
"Birdman" from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
"Mr. Turner" from Mike Leigh
"Far from the Madding Crowd" from Thomas Vinterberg
"Every Thing Will Be Fine" from Wim Wenders

There are other possibilities, but these seem the most likely.  Check out Howell's post.


HitFix's Gregory Ellwood ventured into post-Oscar analysis mode this week with this post from Monday:

Most notable from my perspective is this paragraph from that post:

Stop whining, Toronto: Telluride is the kingmaker
The powers that be at the Venice and Toronto film festivals hate it, but there is no argument anymore.  If you're not able to screen your film at the Telluride Film Festival (and preferably before it goes to Toronto) you're not a serious player to win best picture. Five of the last six Best Picture winners all had either their world premiere, er, "sneak preview," at the Colorado festival, or, in the case of "The Artist," its North American debut. In that same time frame, "Black Swan," "127 Hours," "Gravity," and "The Descendants" also made Telluride their first (or almost first) stop. Now, those films are all from The Weinstein Company, Fox Searchlight and Warner Bros. The three companies who have won the last four Best Picture Oscars. Guess they realize it too, huh?

Here's hoping that Ellwood has a good bead on why films and film makers with an interest in awards season should look closely at attempting to get on the Telluride program in light of Toronto's newly established criteria for screening films that might want to play both places.


Over the past year I have posted a considerable number of times concerning the travails of "Jane Got a Gun".  The project was originally under the direction of Lynne Ramsay but that changed as did a number of the cast members.  Now comes word from Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood that Ramsay and the film's producers have reached a settlement in the dispute surrounding her participation.  That story is here:

More on Monday...

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Playlist's Oscar Look for 2014/Sasha's Early Shot/The Atlantic Takes a Dip in the Oscar Pool

Welcome to Monday...


The Playlist posted its "Premature Oscar Picks" just prior to the weekend and it has most of what are becoming the "usual suspects".  All in all, they included 15 films as Oscar possibilities, leading me to, inevitably, to parse them for possible Telluride '14 potentialities.  Among the 15 Playlist selections that might have some T-ride chances:

Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken".  I'm a little bit higher on the chances that this might make a Telluride appearance this week after the "12 Years a Slave" Best Picture Oscar win last week.  I can hear (in my head) Brad telling Angie that Telluride was a big part of the process that led to that Oscar.  Will distributor Universal think that Telluride is a good idea?  Who knows?

Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar".  Friend of the blog Christopher Schiller has said he thinks this could surprise at Telluride and my thinking is that it makes some sense in the context of the success "Gravity" had this year.  I can see it being a BIG SURPRISE at The Zog...Paramount is the distributor and has had some presence in Telluride previously (including Jason Reitman's "Labor Day" this past year).  I'd be very excited were it to happen and I have raised my estimation of the possibility of its appearance at T-ride...but...honestly, it's still a loooong shot.

Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher".  Things working in favor of thinking it could make this year's lineup:  Miller (Capote in '05 played T-ride) and the distributor Sony Pictures Classics.  Working against:  Like a lot of people, the decision to move it from 2013 to 2014 makes me wonder about quality issues.

J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year".  Despite "All is Lost" not really catching fire as an Oscar contender this year, I got the impression that Chandor loved his experience at Telluride.  A24 is the distributor and though its resume is short, they have had a substantial presence at Telluride the past couple of years.  "Ginger and Rosa" and "Under the Skin".  So this is a real possibility...and it would be very cool to get Oscar Isaac back to T-ride.  Also cool would be an appearance by Jessica Chastain.

Michel Hazanavicius' "The Search"...reason for:  "The Artist" and its run through Telluride on the way to Oscar in 2011.  Hazanavicius was in Telluride for that.  He could well return.  However, IMDb doesn't list a U.S. distributor yet.  The Weinstein Company had "The Artist".

Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice".  This would be a big "get".  Despite whatever happened regarding why "The Master" did not appear at Telluride in 2012...and I heard a number of reasons...there are a couple of reasons that we might see this film in the San Juans...First, it's under the Warner Brothers banner and Warners has stepped up the last couple of years at Telluride with: "Prisoners" and "Gravity" this past year and they had to be pleased with how that played out (despite the loss of the Best Picture Oscar to "12 Years").  Then there was that "Argo" thing in 2012.  That seemed to work out too.  Reason #2:  PTA has been in Telluride previously with the tribute to Daniel Day Lewis and he 20 min. preview of  "There Will Be Blood" (though one of the narratives about why "The Master" didn't play is that PTA wasn't thrilled with the reception that the sneak peak of TWBB received and admittedly I was a part of that reaction as I wasn't bowled over by what I saw...I have, however, recanted many times since as I have often said after having seen the whole film...more than once...that it's a masterpiece and maybe the best film of the 2000' PTA...if it's my fault, as unlikely as that might be...mea culpa! and come back!)

David Fincher's "Gone Girl".  Fincher was tributed in 2008 and that included "Zodiac" and a preview of "Benjamin Button" and the fest certainly doesn't shy away from the crime genre, into which this film fits.  Ben Affleck in the lead probably boosts the film's chances of making the T-ride list.  20th Century Fox has the distribution and they had a hand in "12 Years a Slave"  20th Century Fox also has another possibility that we'll get to (and that could cut either way).

Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game".  The Weinstein Company is involved as distributor here and that certainly doesn't close the door...but it's also no guarantee that we'll see his film either.  TWC had "Tracks" and "Salinger" (as a late added Sneak Preview reportedly replacing "Philomena" and I would have been interested to see if the the Oscar race would have been different had "Philomena" shown at Telluride) at last year's TFF.  But TWC's presence at TFF is also kind of spotty.  Still, "The Imitation Game", the story of Brit Alan Turing, who was instrumental in the breaking of Germany's Enigma code but who was then pilloried for his sexuality, is the kind of film that seems tailor made for Telluride.

Jean Marc Vallee's "Wild"...It's produced by Fox, there's that. The film's description reminds me of the aforementioned "Tracks" and Sean Penn's 2007 TFF film "Into the Wild" but my feeling at the moment is that it's unlikely.

Saul Dibb's "Suite Francaise".  I've periodically mentioned this last year as a Telluride possibility.  It, too, is from TWC.  A World War II film with Michele Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts.  It's a light "maybe".

Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" ...Burton on Colorado Ave., maybe Amy Adams with him ,would be cool.  It's yet another Weinstein film so see above...

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman".  This is probably your most solid bet on the list.  Inarritu has played TFF with "Babel" and "Biutiful" and was there this past year in support of Alfonso Cuaron.  "Birdman" is distributed by Fox Searchlight.  I also bet that this plays Cannes...see Cannes note below.  Final note: please bring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone with you.

The Playlist posts some other awards can see the whole thing here:

Finally, if any of the above are chosen for Cannes, that increases the chances for a Telluride play.


Over at Awards Daily, Sasha Stone has listed some of the films that she thinks could make Oscar waves this coming year...and you'll see a number of the same films listed.

That post is here:

From her notes, what I would add to the films that I have mentioned above is:

"Men, Women and Children" from Jason Reitman.  Reitman has played Telluride with "Juno", "Up in the Air" and last year with "Labor Day".  The first two were well received..."Labor Day's" response was muted. With the"Toronto Ultimatum" in play, you have to wonder which way this film will jump.  As a side note...I am wary of the Adam Sandler casting.


And The Atlantic gets into the act with  a list of Oscar possibles as well.  Here that is:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Turning the Page in Full/Tickets for Sale/Yearbook Photos

Welcome to Thursday...


Oscar #86  is in the rearview mirror and The FAC is retired for a half a year.  This goes back to being what it always has been MTFB focused on the potential films for the upcoming Telluride Film Festival.  This year will be its 41st iteration and the ninth for me and the Mrs.

If you've been reading along since the first of the year, you have already seen a couple of posts that have assessed various "Films to Look Forward to in 2014" or some variation of that title.  I'll be re-visiting those soon but we're in post Oscar territory and that means the focus for a few posts will be on those outlets that have already begun to try to read the tea leaves for Oscar #87...starting with this from Glenn Whip and The Los Angeles Times:,0,4523470.story#axzz2uvTMj7cA

The story focuses on Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken" but also mentions a number of other films that could come into Oscar play including Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" which is on my Telluride watch list...again.

There will be more of these kinds of articles in the next few weeks...and trust me, I'll parse them within an inch of their lives.


Kristopher Tapley at HitFix/InContention posted on Tuesday an article entitled "On Telluride's New Found Place in the Season, and a Modest Glimpse Ahead."

Tapley talks about T-ride's growing effect on Oscar, the "Toronto Ultimatum" and some films that he thinks might end up in Telluride's venues on Labor Day weekend.

It's here:

Tapley writes in the article, "I can only imagine that a year after the fest's 40th anniversary drove record sales and attendance, it will be even more on fire after its impact, perceived or otherwise, on this season. I also imagine a number of studios and filmmakers will be desperate for a big reveal on that stage."

Among the films that he suggests might be Telluride possible: The latest Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig collaboration, "Foxcatcher", "Birdman" and "Mr. Turner".  All of which you will have seen on posts already centered on TFF #41 possibilities in this space.

There is another film mentioned, but I hesitate to list it here.  Let's just say tat the title has the word "Vice" in it.

Check the whole post.


I got this email on Monday:

Dear Michael:
Join us for the 41st Telluride Film Festival this Labor Day Weekend Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1st, 2014.
Our online Box Office opens Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 9AM PST. You will need a headshot for your pass at the time of purchase, but uploading photos is easier than ever with our redesigned order form. Take the time now to scan that special shot, or better yet take a selfie with your camera phone. Any picture that is a close-up of your face will do.
If online forms give you heart palpitations, use our downloadable form to complete your order. Available on our website, simply download the form, fill it out by hand and then mail your check and order form to Festival Headquarters. We'll still need those gorgeous photos.
If you have any questions on the best way to order your pass, or other general inquiries regarding the Festival, give us a call at 510.665.9494.
We are deeply grateful for your generosity and continuous support. Thank you, and see you at the SHOW!
So, it's on again for another year as tickets will go on sale tomorrow.  You might want to strike early as Tapley says in the article linked above, with the success of TFF #40, you can expect #41 to be a hot ticket.


In an occurrence of nearly cosmic significance, I received my TFF #40 Yearbook Monday, the day after the Oscars.  Cool huh?

As always, it sparked a million memories of the five day dream that was last years festival...and, for the first time, yours truly makes it into a picture in the yearbook...barely.

You might remember me posting this shot not too long ago.  It is primarily of novelists and past Telluride guest directors Michael Ondaatje and Salman Rushdie.  I'm the guy in blue standing in the background.

It's in the yearbook.  On a page with Don Delillo and Geoff Dyer.  It's a literary page.

Monday, March 3, 2014

12 Years a Slave is Your Best Picture as Telluride Does It Again/The FAC on a Streak/Transition

Welcome to Post Oscar Monday...


For the fifth time in the last six years the Telluride Film Festival served as a conduit to the Oscar winner for Best Picture as Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" deservedly won Best Picture last night.  The run has been impressive:

2013-"12 Years a Slave"
2011-"The Artist"
2010-"The King's Speech"
2008-"Slumdog Millionaire"

"The Hurt Locker" won in 2009.

"12 Years" also picked up Oscars for Lupita Nyong'o for Best Supporting Actress and for John Ridley for Best Adapted Screenplay.

"Gravity"...the other "Telluride" film expected to have a good Oscar night...did.  Winning Best Director, Film Editing, Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Original Score for a total of seven Oscars.

That means 10 Oscars for TFF #40 films.  We knew it was a grand year when we were there!

"Dallas Buyers Club" picked up three Oscars: Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor, Jared Leto for Supporting Actor and Makeup/Hair

"Frozen" wins two: Best Animated Feature and Song.

"The Great Gatsby" won two for Production Design and Costumes.

The other feature winners were Cate Blanchett for Best Actress for "Blue Jasmine" and Spike Jonze winning for Original Screenplay for "Her".

Night of futility for "American Hustle" which went 0-10.  "Nebraska" 0-6 and "Capt. Phillips" 0-5 and "Wolf of Wall Street" 0-5.


The normally 75% accurate Film Awards Clearinghouse went 22 of 24 last night...a whopping 92%.  The FAC missed Animated Short calling it for "Get A Horse" and it went to "Mr. Hublot".  The FAC also missed "Her" for Original Screenplay, though, to be fair, I did point out that it was a dead heat.  I just leaned the wrong way.

After the 14 of 15 mark last fall on the final "Ten Bets" list of films that would play the festival...maybe I'm starting to figure this thing out a little bit.


And so Oscar #86 is over as is the book on TFF #40.  Michael's Telluride Film Blog returns to its roots over the next month or so as we turn our attention away from what was to what could be on Labor Day weekend in the San Juans some six months from now.

My thanks to Larry and Mitzi Mallard of The River Club in Telluride who have made it possible for my wife and I to attend each year since 2006.

Thanks also to the various members of the media who have been so kind to me over these last few years as I've continued this experiment.

Thanks to my wife, Kristy, for indulging this crazed obsession.

And thanks to all of you who drop in and read these ramblings from time to time.

See you in Telluride on Aug. 29th!

More, as usual, on Thursday.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"12 Years a Slave" Wins Five Independent Spirit Awards. Will Oscar Duplicate?


Independent film was honored last night by The Independent Spirit Awards.  "12 Years a Slave" had a big night winning five awards.  It's also possible that each of the four Indy winners from last night's acting categories will get another chance at a speech tonight as these wards could well overlap Oscar 100%.

The list of winners from last night from Awards Daily:

Best Film: 12 Years a Slave

Best Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Best Lead Female: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Lead Male: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Female: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Male: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave

Best Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best Editing: Nat Sanders, Short Term 12

Best International Film: Blue Is The Warmest Color

Best Documentary: 20 Feet from Stardom

Best First Feature: Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station

Best First Screenplay: Bob Nelson, Nebraska

John Cassavetes Award: This Is Martin Bonner

Robert Altman Award for Best Ensemble: Mud

It's Oscar Morning in America: The Final FAC (Again)/The New Final Predictions and Re-posts of the Final FAC and Actual Experts

Welcome to Oscar Sunday...

Nothing much has changed to my mind since the "final" Film Awards Clearinghouse went up on Thursday. There was some buzz yesterday that The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg had revised his Supporting Actress pick from Jennifer Lawrence to Lupita Nyong'o.  There also seems to be a bit of a groundswell for "The Voorman Problem" in Best Live Action Short over "Helium" which is what The FAC Final had.  But, all in all, I'm staying with what I published on Thursday.

NOTE:  I WILL BE live tweeting, or, more accurately re-tweeting the Oscar results tonight via this account: @Gort2

For this set of predictions I have consulted the publicly posted picks from:

Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/HitFix-InContention
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Brad Brevet/Rope of Silicon
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit


Out of the 24 categories, a dozen Oscars appear to be locked up including three of the four acting trophies.

"Gravity" appears to be solidly in place to win: Best Direction (Alfonso Cuaron), Original Score, Cinematography, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.  It's also a player in other categories as you'll read below.

"Dallas Buyers Club" seems to be a lock for three Oscars: Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto) and Best Makeup/Hair.

"Frozen" has a choke hold on two Oscars: Best Animated Feature as well as Best Song for "Let it Go".

The two other locks are Cate Blanchett for Best Actress for "Blue Jasmine" and "Get a Horse" as Best Animated Short.


There are categories that don't look locked but do have strong favorites.

Best Adapted Screenplay, for example, looks very likely to go to "12 Years a Slave" but there is a slight undercurrent that "Philomena" has a chance to sneak in.

Production Design appears likely to go to "The Great Gatsby" despite some sentiment that "Gravity" could win here or Spike Jonze's "Her".

Short Form Documentary is probably going to "The Lady in #6".  

Sound Editing is probable for "Gravity".


Eight Oscar categories appear to have serious races going on including the biggest prize, Best Picture.  

Here's the breakdown of those categories:

Best Live Action Short:  The FAC says "Helium" wins in a squeaker but that "The Voorman Problem" and "Just Before Losing Everything" are also possible.

Costumes: It's now a dead heat between "American Hustle" and "The Great Gatsby".  The FAC says it's a tie.  I'm going to break the tie in favor of "Gatsby".

Film Editing:  "Gravity" is the probable winner (says the FAC) but don't be surprised if "Captain Phillips" picks up this Oscar.

Documentary:  The FAC says "20 Feet from Stardom" but it's a tight category with "The Act of Killing" and "The Square" also real possibilities.

Foreign Language Film:  "The Great Beauty" has an edge here (in a late charge) but "The Hunt" or "The Broken Circle Breakdown" could also win.

Original Screenplay:  This is a real race between "Hustle" and "Her".  The FAC points to "Her".  I'm personally thinking "Hustle".

Best Supporting Actress:  "12 Years a Slave's" Lupita Nyong'o maintains a lead in the FAC metric, but Jennifer Lawrence ("Hustle") could steal a second straight Oscar.


The FAC still says "12 Years a Slave" but "Gravity" hasn't faded and I still think "American Hustle" could split the vote and come out on top.

If the FAC is 100% accurate (and it is historically about 75% accurate)...

"Gravity" ends the night with seven Oscars but that could go as high as nine.

"12 Years a Slave" wins three, including Picture.  "12 Years" could also go home empty handed.  It's best shot to add to its total is likely Costumes.

"Dallas Buyers Club" wins three.

"Frozen"  and "Gatsby" win two each.  "American Hustle" and "Blue Jasmine" each win one Oscar.


Film Misery:

Film Experience:

The Carpetbagger/New York Times:

Tomris Laffly/Popcorn Business


I have included links here to the final predictions from Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.  I'll be tweeting and posting additional "Finals" over the next three days.



And here's the line from Gold Derby as of this morning:

Brad Brevet at Rope of Silicon says "12 Years" wins Best Picture.  Take a look at all of his picks here:

IndieWire has compiled the choices of over 60 critics and bloggers to produce their version of The FAC/Gurus etc.  Here's a link to that:

Over at Gold Derby they've posted a story about the Best Picture race and a podcast featuring Tom O'Neil and Tariq Khan.   Those can be seen here:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday Special: More Oscar Final Predix/Another "Only in Telluride" Moment

Good Saturday Everyone.

Here's a quick special edition of The FAC with links to more final predictions from Oscarologists as we move into the final hours before the envelopes are unsealed.


Brad Brevet at Rope of Silicon says "12 Years" wins Best Picture.  Take a look at all of his picks here:

IndieWire has compiled the choices of over 60 critics and bloggers to produce their version of The FAC/Gurus etc.  Here's a link to that:

Over at Gold Derby they've posted a story about the Best Picture race and a podcast featuring Tom O'Neil and Tariq Khan.   Those can be seen here:

And...late breaking...word is that Hollywood Reporter expert Scott Feinberg is about to change one of his major category predictions.  Feinberg's track record is pretty good so a switch from him at this late date should be taken very seriously.

Of course, I don't know how Scott defines "major category" but, seriously, what could it be?  Feinberg's picks for the Big Eight Categories as posted earlier this week were:

Adapted Screenplay: "12 Years"
Original Screenplay: "American Hustle"
Supporting Actress: Jennnifer Lawrence
Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
Actress: Cate Blanchett
Actor: Matthew McConaughey
Director: Alfonso Cuaron
Picture: "12 Years a Slave"

So...pretty sure he won't be changing Leto, Blanchett, McConaughey or Cuaron.  I could see a change in either screenplay category, Best Supporting Actress and Best Picture...stay tuned.

UPDATE:  Feinberg changes Supporting Actress pick from Lawrence to Nyong'o:


I always have a lot of fun after each year's Telluride is over coming back home to the real world and having anecdotes to share about the films I saw and the people that were there.  Then I caught this last  night on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon"...Kind of gave me goosebumps as I'm pretty sure I had to be nearby when the event that Ralph Fiennes describes occurred.  Sure, this kind of thing probably happens all the time in that world...but it's still rare in mine. The relevant segment starts at 1:08 into the clip. Take a look:

I hope Lupita wins tomorrow night...

More later including the Feinberg switch...