Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Usual Suspects Part Two/"The Revenant" News/The Guardian on the Fall Season

Welcome to Wednesday film fans...


I'm continuing my metaphorical stroll through some of the directors, producers and others who seem to have a personal and frequent connection to Telluride to parse their participation to see if there are clues for the TFF #42 lineup.

Today we start with actress Laura Linney.

Linney hasn't appeared at the fest since 2012's "Hyde Park on Hudson".  For a good long while I thought she'd be back this year with Bill Conden's "Mr. Holmes" starring Sir Ian McKellen.  Then, some months ago, Fox Searchlight dated the film for a July release (it opened last weekend).

But fear not Linney fans, she's still in the TFF #42 possibility game as she appears also in Michael Grandage's "Genius" which is in the Lionsgate stable.  The film was listed by IMDb as being in post-production in February.  The film also stars Nicole Kidman, Jude Law and Colin Firth (TFF tribute 2010). Grandage is a first time director.

Our next "Usual Suspect" for today's post is Stephen Frears.  Frears is an interesting case.  He hasn't had a film at the fest since 2010's "Tamara Drewe" but was reportedly supposed to have had "Philomena" sneak in 2013 only to have it pulled at the last minute (The Weinstein Company replaced it with "Salinger").  Another story that I heard was that Frears was approached to be Guest Director for the 2013 fest but couldn't due to other obligations.

If all that's true, then Frears still is in the Telluride orbit.  His current project that could make the grade for TFF #42 is his long gestating Lance Armstrong examination "The Program" starring Ben Foster as Armstrong and Chris O'Dowd as the journalist who kept after the allegations of doping that eventually caught up to the multiple Tour de France winner.  The film is currently without U.S. distribution.

Number three on today's look at "Usual Suspects" is Wim Wenders. Wenders has been coming to Telluride since 1978 and has played there with "Paris, Texas", "Faraway, So Close", "Pina" and last year with "Salt of the Earth"  This year he has a feature film called "Every Thing Will Be Fine" that stars James Franco and has played the Berlin Fest.  The film wasn't received all that warmly in a critical sense, but Wenders past connection with Telluride might be enough to get the film into the lineup.  The film's U.S. distribution is still up for grabs.

Our final "Usual" for this Wednesday are the Dardenne Brothers.  Now, I can hear some of you saying, "Wait, Michael.  The Dardenne don't have a film in the can."  And you're right.  But they do act as producers on a film that may have some Telluride legs:  Benoit Jacqout's "Diary of a Chambermaid" which stars Lea Seydoux (who made the trip to Telluride in 2013 with "Blue is the Warmest Color").  "Chambermaid" played Berlin in February and a couple of other fests and has U.S. distribution from the Cohen Media Group.  That distributor was last represented in Telluride in 2012 with "The Attack".

These factors might edge the film into the T-ride lineup.

So, in review, your chances for each of these four (five, if you count both Dardennes) "Usual Suspects" and their projects:

Linney/"Genius" 30%
Frears/"The Program" 35%
Wenders/"Every Thing Will Be Fine" 30%
Dardennes/"Diary of a Chambermaid" 20%

Tomorrow's "Usual Suspects" will be a little different as I'll look at two directors who are close to being "Usuals' as well as three fellows that are "Usuals" that would be doing something unusual if they were to come to this year's SHOW: Ariel Vromen, Matteo Garrone, Steve McQueen, Alejandro Inarritu and Francis Ford Coppola.


Alejandro Inarritu's "The Revenant" moved up on my wish list this past weekend with the release of a fantastic teaser/trailer.  Admittedly, the film isn't going to be ready in time for Telluride as word is that the crew is re-shooting a sequence in South America (where it is winter).  I have mentioned that I have some serious concern whether it will be ready TO go by its stated Dec. 25th release date.

Adding some fuel to that concern was a weekend tweet from The Playlist that asked if Fox was really likely to release both "The Revenant" and David O. Russell's "Joy" on the same date, as is now what is announced.

As if in answer to these concerns, Jeff Well/Hollywood Elsewhere posted late Monday night a piece concerning the re-shoot plans and timing based on a translated version of an interview with Inarritu. The good news, the post suggests that the film will be done earlier than thought.  The bad news, still not early enough to make it to Telluride.  Wells extrapolation suggests that it could be finished by late September/early October.  AFI Fest perhaps?

Here's the link to the Wells post:

In other "Revenant" news, Chris Connelley was up yesterday at Grantland with a big piece on the film and interviews with DiCaprio and Inarritu.  If you're excited about the film, as I am, it's worth a read:

Additionally, I have linked this Rope of Silicon story about cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki's interview about the difficulties in making the film here:


The Guardian's Nigel M. Smith posted his take on 40 films that he feels have the most serious Oscar potential late yesterday.  Included in the assessment of each of the 40 films, if they haven't already appeared at Cannes, are his guesses about where the films might show up in the fall festival lineup, including a number of Telluride guesses.  They include:

"Adam Jones" Dir: John Wells.  Stars Bradley Cooper.  Distrib: The Weinstein Company.  Release Date: Oct. 2.

"Black Mass" Dir: Scott Cooper. Stars: Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch. Distrib: Warners.  Release date: Sept. 18. (Parenthetical note...please let this be true...and the smoke is gathering that it might be).

"The Danish Girl" Dir: Tom Hooper.  Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander. Distrib: Focus Features.  Release date: Nov. 27.

"Everybody Wants Some" Dir: Richard Linklater. Stars: Tyler Hoechlin. Distrib: Paramount Pictures.  Release date: TBD.

"Freeheld" Dir: Peter Sollett.  Stars: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page. Distrib: Lionsgate. Release date: Oct. 2.

"I Saw the Light" Dir: Marc Abraham.  Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen. Distrib. Sony Pictures Classics. Release date: Nov. 27.

"The Light Between Oceans" Dir: Derek Cianfrance.  Stars: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander.  Distrib: TDB.  Release date: TBD.

"Manchester-by-the -Sea" Dir. Kenneth Lonergan.  Stars: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams.  Distrib: TBD.  Release date: TBD (but perhaps 2016).

"The Program" Dir: Stephen Frears.  Stars: Ben Foster, Chris O'Dowd.  Distrib: TBD.  Release dates: TBD.

"Suffragette" Dir: Sarah Gavron.  Stars: Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter.  Distrib: Focus Features.  Release date: Oct. 23.

"Truth" Dir: James Vanderbilt.  Stars: Robert Redford, Cate Blanchett.  Distrib: Sony Pictures Classics. Release date: TBD.

Among the Cannes debuts that Smith mentions that I feel have some shot at playing at Telluride are:

"Carol", "Son of Saul", "Macbeth" and "Youth"

And the films that Smith pegs as possible plays for Venice that I feel are also possible for T-ride:

"A Bigger Splash", "A Hologram for the King", "Our Brand is Crisis".

Other films that Smith includes in the list of 40 that might have Telluride legs would be "Steve Jobs".

Read the whole piece here:

That's enough for today...more tomorrow...

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