Monday, January 19, 2015

Berlin Adds Titles/Looks at the Queen and Holmes/Yet More Lists to Contemplate/Wither Warner Brothers?/Rudderless Is Arriving

Welcome to Monday!

There WAS other news that had some Telluride Film Festival interest this last week in addition to the phenomenal 33 (35 counting TFF #40's "Ida") Oscar nominations for Telluride titles; 22 between "Birdman", "The Imitation Game" and "Foxcatcher".  So, I thought it'd be a good idea to peruse some of those developments/stories...


The Berlin International Film Festival added competition titles this week.  At least two of them immediately caught my eye.  Werner Herzog's "Queen of the Desert" with Nicole Kidman and Bill Condon's "Mr. Holmes" with Sir Ian McKellan and Laura Linney were announced in that group of titles.

As I have pointed out, we usually see a title or two that premieres at Berlin at Telluride.  To my thinking, and unless the film's respective distributors have some other plan for general release, these two films would be serious contenders to make the Berlin/Telluride play. "Queen of the Desert" has no distributor as yet and "Mr. Holmes" is with Roadside Attractions which ran "'71" through Berlin then Telluride last year.  Roadside also had Tommy Lee Jones "The Homesman" at Telluride as well.  Roadside also had "All is Lost" and "Gloria" in TFF #40.

Considering Herzog's strong ties to Telluride and Condon's occasional presence there (Condon's "Kinsey" with Linney played in 2004) as well as Laura Linney's frequent connection to the fest, means that both films would seem to be very real T-ride possibilities.

This all assumes that both films meet the exacting standards of the Telluride programmers.

Here's the post from IndieWire about the new Berlin titles:


"Mr. Holmes" via Sir Ian McKellan's Twitter account

With the announcement of the addition of "Queen of the Desert" and "Mr. Holmes" we saw some posts this week with images for the two films:

Nicole Kidman as the "Queen of the Desert" from The Playlist

Check more of the shots from "Queen" from either The Playlist or Thompson on Hollywood here:


I continue to collect and analyze various "Most Anticipated" lists for 2015 in an effort to identify what films are coming down the pike that could make an appearance over Labor Day weekend.  I've got three more to eyeball in today's post:

First, IndieWire's 40 Indie Films they're "Most Excited" to see in 2015:

Possible Telluride titles from this list:

"A Hologram for the King"
"Queen of the Desert"
"The Hateful Eight"
"The Revenant"
"The Tale of Tales"

Then, Ioncinema's 25 Most Anticipated Studio Films of 2015:

Among the films they list, those that would seem to have some Telluride potential are:

#3 "The Light Between the Oceans"
#4 "The Hateful Eight"
#5 "The Revenant"
#6 "Our Brand is Crisis"
#8 "Sicario"
#9 "Macbeth"
#20 "Truth"
#25 "Mr. Holmes"

And from The Playlist: The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films:

And from that list, here's what stands out as early Telluride potentials:

#7 "Erran"'
#5 "Every Thing Will Be Fine"
#3 "La blessure"
#1 "Flashmob"


Warners announced this past week that the Ron Howard film "In the Heart of the Sea" was being moved from a spring date to December.  Along with the announcement came a good deal of speculation as to why Warners had made the decision with positioning for an awards season run being a common theory.  Of course, from my perspective, it made the film go from "can't play Telluride if it's released in March" to "December makes it a possibility".

I've already mentioned that I believe that Warners may press to return to Telluride after a noticeable presence in 2012 ("Argo")  and again in 2013 ("Gravity" and "Prisoners").  Warners wasn't in T-ride this year and that may be that their two biggest possible players: "American Sniper"  and "Inherent Vice" couldn't be ready in time or just preferred not to be a part of Telluride...or that Telluride didn't prefer those films.  Nevertheless, I wouldn't be surprised for Warners to be back at Telluride this year and they have a number of prospects that could make the lineup including the newly moved Ron Howard film "In the Heart of the Sea".  Other possibilities (meaning that they are films that have an announced released date post-Labor Day):

Jeff Nichols "Midnight Special" (Release: Nov. 25)
Scott Cooper's "Black Mass" (Release: Sept. 18)
and now
Ron Howard's "In the Heart of the Sea" (Release: Dec. 11)

At this point, I don't have a sense that any one of these films is more likely than the others.  I'd probably lean to starring "Black Mass" if it weren't for the release date opening less than two weeks after the close of the festival.  So let's leave it at..."Warners might be back with one or more of these films".


William H. Macy's Oklahoma shot and written directing debut "Rudderless" arrives on DVD and BluRay tomorrow.   Seek it!

More on Thursday...

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