Thursday, September 29, 2016

The FAC Looks at Supporting Acting and Screenplays / Fire at Sea Has a U.S. Trailer / New Film for Inarritu and Lubezkl

This is your last Thursday in September 2016...hope it's a good one!


The Film Awards Clearinghouse is back this Thursday with a look at the Best Supporting Actress and Actor categories for Oscar glory as well as the Original and Adapted Screenplay categories.  As always, The FAC uses the publicly available Oscar predictions from the following experts:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Indiewire

After crunching the most recent data available, The FAC says that these are your front runners...

TFF #43 films are in Bold.


1) Naomie Harris/Moonlight
2) Michelle Williams/Manchester by the Sea
3) Nicole Kidman/Lion
4) Kristen Stewart/Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
5) Olivia Spencer/Hidden Figures

6) Greta Gerwig/20th Century Women
7) Lupita N'yong'o/The Queen of Katwe
8) Felicity Jones/A Monster Calls
9) Margo Martindale/The Hollars
10) Helen Mirren/Eye in the Sky


1) Liam Neeson/Silence
2) Hugh Grant/Florence Foster Jenkins
3) Mahershala Ali/Moonlight
4) Lucas Hedges/Manchester by the Sea
5) Michael Shannon/Nocturnal Animals

6) Jeff Bridges/Hell or High Water
7) Stephen Henderson/Fences
8) Aaron Eckhardt/Bleed for This
9) Peter Sarsgaard/Jackie
10) Steve Martin/Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk


1) Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
2) Fences
3) Silence
4) Lion
5) Arrival

6) Hidden Figures
7) Nocturnal Animals
8) Love and Friendship
9) Sully
10) Live by Night


1) Manchester by the Sea
2) La La Land
3) Moonlight
4) Loving
5) Jackie

6) 20th Century Women
7) Hell or High Water
8) The Lobster
9) Florence Foster Jenkins
10) Captain Fantastic

Telluride analysis:

These categories, if the FAC were 100% accurate, would result in:

3 additional nominations for Moonlight
3 additional nominations for Manchester by the Sea
1 additional nomination for La La Land
1 additional nomination for Arrival

with Sully and Bleed for This adding an additional possible nomination.

The major eight categories when added to last week's First FAC for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor give us the following totals:

6 nominations for Manchester by the Sea (Picture, Actor, Director, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay)

5 nominations for La La Land (Picture, Director, Actress, Actor and Original Screenplay)

5 nominations for Moonlight (Picture, Director, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay)

1 nomination for Arrival (Adapted Screenplay) with a chance at 3 more

No nominations for Sully but it's in the convo for a possible 3 nominations

1 possible nomination for Bleed for This

Overall, that's 17 nominations for TFF #43 films with another 7 possibilities and, of course, The FAC won't begin to look at other categories for some time yet but expect some additional nominations for TFF #43 films their as well.  As a matter of fact, if you made me, I'd guess that La La Land is going to end up in double digit nominations and will probably be the nomination leader when those are announced on Jan. 24th.


Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) Gianfranco Rosi's Golden Bear/Berlin award winning documentary about the European refugee crisis and which played at TFF #43 a few weeks ago has a new U.S. trailer. The film is set for U.S. release on Oct. 21 in a limited fashion and then will expand from that point.  Fire at Sea is being distributed by Kino Lorber.  Here's the trailer from YouTube:

And, for good measure, here's coverage of the new trailer release from Alex Billington's as well as The Film Stage


Alejandro Inarritu has had a strong relationship with cinematographer Ernest Lubezki (Birdman, The Revenant) as well as a real love affair with Telluride (Babel, Biutiful, Birdman) so when a new project is announced involving Inarritu and Lubezki, Telluride fans should take notice.

Which is to say, that the two visionaries have just announced plans to work on a virtual reality short film that would be centered on the crossing of immigrants from Mexico into the United States.

The project doesn't yet have a title but that's of little import.  Of greater interest is the question of whether Inarritu returns to T-ride after having missed the fest last year when The Revenant was not ready for a Labor Day rollout.

Check the original story from Indiewire here.

That'll do for this Thursday.  More coming on Monday, have a great weekend.


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Monday, September 26, 2016

La La Will Be Later / Assessing Toronto in a Telluride Context / Listening to the Oscar Whisperers

I hope it's a good Monday for everyone and welcome back from the weekend.


We found put over the weekend that the release plan for Telluride (and Venice and Toronto) hot and what looks to be the momentary Oscar front runner for Best Picture, Damien Chazelle's La La Land has had its release plan altered.  The film was originally scheduled to open inn a limited capacity on Dec. 2nd but as of this weekend the limited release date has been moved to a week later on Dec. 9th. The wide release date will remain Dec. 16 which has been its announced wide release date all along. Here's the full story from Variety.

Meanwhile, we also learned this week that the film's cast was almost very different with Emma Watson penciled in for the Emma Stone role and Miles Teller-who starred in Chazelle's breakout hit, Whiplash, a couple of years ago, was very close to re-upping with the writer/director but reportedly turned down a $4 million offer to play the role that went to Ryan Gosling.  That story is here from Indiewire.


We're a week removed from the close of the Toronto International Film Festival and three weeks from the close of TFF #43.  As occurred after Telluride, critics have now weighed in individually and collectively.  Indiewire and The Film Stage have both weighed in with critical consensus and it's interesting to look at that in the context of films that first played T-ride and then followed with screenings at TIFF.

Here's what Indiewire came up with...

the top film from Toronto critics was the same film that ended up with Toronto's audience award as well as finishing in the #2 spot in MTFB's People's, Professionals' and Composite ratings: Damien Chazelle's La La Land.  Other multi-critic favorites from TIFF were:

#2) Moonlight
#3) Toni Erdmann
#4) Arrival

Telluride films all.

The complete report from Indiewire is here.

Meanwhile, The Film Stage named their 20 Best films at Toronto last week as well and included in that listing were: Into the Inferno, Moonlight, Una and Wakefield.  The complete article and grades for a ton more TIFF films can be found here.


Awards Circuit is hot and heavy into Oscar analysis after the close of the three bog fall film fests with their weekly podcast Clayton Davis and his crew are hard at it trying to decipher which way the Oscar wind is blowing.   Here are links to the last couple of podcasts.

AC Podcast Ep. 10

AC Podcast Ep. 11

And, not strictly and Oscar crystal ball, but New York Times film critic A.O. Scott takes podcasts his preview of the fall film season in the context of Telluride, Toronto and Venice.  That podcast is here.

That's a wrap fro Monday.  More to come on Thursday including The FAC's look at the Supporting Acting categories and the screenplay categories.


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Thursday, September 22, 2016

The First FAC for Oscar 2016-17 / A Brutally Honest Assessment / A Look at Mifune

If it's Thursday this must be a new post from MTFB/FAC...


Here's your first look at the Film Awards Clearinghouse view of the four most major of major Oscar categories.  Our first stab at checking the Oscar temperature for this season evaluates the races for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor with particular focus on the films that played as a part of the 43rd Telluride Film Festival.

For our first pass at these films I have used the publicly available Oscar predictions from the following pundits:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Indiewire

Other prognosticators may be added as the season progresses.

TFF #43 films are in Bold.

Best Actor

1) Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
2) Denzel Washington/Fences
3) Ryan Gosling/La La Land
4) Joel Edgerton/Loving
5) Tom Hanks/Sully

6) Andrew Garfield/Silence
7) Dev Patel/Lion
8) Michael Keaton/The Founder
9) Joe Alwyn/Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
10) Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Snowden

Best Actress

1) Emma Stone/La La Land
2) Viola Davis/Fences
3) Natalie Portman/Jackie
4) Ruth Negga/Loving
5) Meryl Streep/Florence Foster Jenkins

6) Annette Bening/20th Century Women
7) Amy Adams/Arrival
8) Isabelle Huppert/Elle
9) Jessica Chastain/Miss Sloane
10) Emily Blunt/The Girl on the Train

Best Director

1) Damien Chazelle/La La Land
2) Ang Lee/Billy Lynn
3) Martin Scorsese/Silence
4) Kenneth Lonergan/Manchester by the Sea
5) Barry Jenkins/Moonlight

6) Denzel Washington/Fences
7) Jeff Nichols/Loving
8) Denis Villenueve/Arrival
9) Garth Davis/Lion
10) Pablo Larrain/Jackie

Best Picture

1) La La Land
2) Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
3) Manchester by the Sea
4) Silence
5) Fences
6) Lion
7) Loving
8) Moonlight
9) Arrival
10) Jackie
11) Sully
12) Hidden Figures

If these predictions were 100% accurate (and they won't be...check below) then:

La La Land would be nominated for all four of these major awards.
Manchester by the Sea would have three nominations.
Moonlight would be twice nominated assuming at least eight films are nommed for Best Picture as has been the case for the past few years.
Arrival has a shot at three nominations.
Sully has a shot at two nominations.

Some observations:

Every Best Picture winner since I started doing The FAC has appeared somewhere on the First FAC. The last four years, the First FAC has had the BP winner start at the top spot (Spotlight, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave and Argo).  That bodes really well for La La Land.  The two years before that (2010, 2011), the film that was at #2 in the First FAC won BP (The Artist, The King's Speech) which bodes well for Billy Lynn.  In 2009, The Hurt Locker started at #6 on the First FAC and in 2008, Slumdog Millionaire was at #11 on my First FAC.

The First FAC, on average, includes 85% of the nominees for any of the four major categories.  Best Picture is the trickiest as the average there is 81%.  There are frequently one, two or sometimes three films that get a BP nomination that don't appear on the First FAC.  Last year, for example, neither The Big Short nor Mad Max:Fury Road were on the First FAC.  So expect a couple of films to sneak on as the season progresses that aren't already on the list.  Some possible suspects would be: Miss Sloane, Nocturnal Animals or Live by Night.

The First FAC is nominally better at getting the directors right.  That average is 83%.  The acting categories are better with the First FAC averaging naming 90% of Best Actress nominees and 88% of Best Actor nominees.

Last year the First FAC had 6 of 8 BP nominees, 3 of 5 directors (missed Adam McKay/The Big Short and Lenny Abrahamson/Room, and went 5 of 5 in both lead acting categories.

So look at the list above closely.  The history of The FAC suggests that a vast majority of the nominees are on the above lists as are the likely winners.  As a matter of fact, of the 32 winners in these four categories since the FAC started, 30 of them appeared somewhere on The First FAC for their year.  The two exceptions being Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock as Best Actor and Actress for 2009's Crazy Heart and The Blind Side respectively.  So 94% of the time, your winners are already on the First FAC of the season.

I'll have the second edition of The FAC next week and look at the Supporting Acting and Screenplay categories.


Indiewire's (and MTFB TFF film rating Pro) Anne Thompson trains her analysis on the films that have been in the news the past three weeks from Telluride, Venice and Toronto and offers her insight about them and the way the land lays moving forward into Oscar season in this post from yesterday.

Take a look to see where your favorite film for TFF #43 stands in her view.


Mifune: The Last Samurai played as a part of the Telluride 2016  as a part of the Backlot program.  It wasn't a film that enough attendees saw to merit inclusion in this year's Peeps or Pros ratings but the people that did see it and report to MTFB seemed to truly enjoy it.  The Steve Ozazaki film has a trailer which is here from YouTube:

You can also take a look at Alex Billington's First Showing coverage here.

That's all for now.  More to come on Monday.  Have a great weekend.


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Monday, September 19, 2016

The Composite Telluride / Where the Oscar Race Seems to Be / Toronto Comes to a Close / The Moonlight Crew Has a New Project

Good Monday World...


For the fourth year in a row, I've combined the ratings from both groups that I survey after the Telluride Film Festival comes to a conclusion.  I don't know that combining the ratings from both The People and The Professionals really provides any further insight into how films were perceived over the Labor Day weekend but it seems interesting to me as one more tool to use to parse what happened over that three and a half days.

So here it is, the 2016 TFF #43 Composite Ratings.  The ratings are a simple addition of the ratings from the two groups.  The position for each film is also listed with its People's rating position first followed by its Professionals rating position.  14 films earned enough responses from both groups to qualify for The Composite Ratings.

1) Moonlight (9.19) 1-1
2) La La Land (8.91) 2-2
3) Manchester by the Sea (8.13) 5-4
4) Arrival (8.01) 6-7
5) Maudie (7.89) 3-9
6) Sully (7.68) 10-6
7) Toni Erdmann (7.65) 9-8
8) Things to Come (7.25) 19-3
9) Una (6.85) 15-10
10) California Typewriter (6.78)13-11
10) Into the Inferno (6.78) 21-5
12) Wakefield (6.26) 12-14
13) Bleed for This (6.12) 14-13
14) Norman (5.97) 16-15

The People's list included seven films that didn't have enough of The Pros rating them to qualify for The Composite: The Eagle Huntress, Bright Lights, Frantz, Lost in Paris, Chasing Trane, Through the Wall and Graduation.  The Pros only had one film that missed enough votes from The People to get into the Composite and that was Pablo Larrain's Neruda.

The biggest disconnects between the groups were Maudie which The People loved but for which The Pros were less enamored.  Werner Herzog's Into the Inferno was the other film with a disparate reaction but of the opposite nature as The Pros embraced whereas The People were not as enraptured. Una and Sully where also slightly divisive.

In 2013 the top five composite films were:

1) 12 Years a Slave (9.25)
2) Tim's Vermeer (8.97)
3) Gravity (8.75)
4) Nebraska (8.38)
5) All is Lost (8.26)

In 2014 the top five were:

1) Birdman (9.18)
2) Foxcatcher (8.83)
3) The Imitation Game (8.79)
4) Wild Tales (8.43)
5) '71 (8.15)

In 2015 the top five were:

1) Spotlight (8.86)
2) Son of Saul (8.74)
3) Beasts of No Nation (8.62)
4) Steve Jobs (8.17)
5) Carol (8.13)

With this year's ratings, I have put together the All Time (well, for the last four years) Top Ten Composite Rated Films from TFF:

1) 12 Years a Slave (9.25) 2013
2) Moonlight (9.19) 2016
3) Birdman (9.18) 2014
4) Tim's Vermeer (8.97) 2013
5) La La Land (8.91) 2016
6) Spotlight (8.86) 2015
7) Foxcatcher (8.83) 2014
8) The Imitation Game (8.79) 2014
9) Gravity (8.75) 2013
10) Son of Saul (8.74) 2015

Moonlight and La La Land bump Beasts of No Nation and Wild Tales from The Composite All Time Top Ten.


With the Toronto International Film Fest closing last night, the triumvirate of September fests (Telluride, Venice, Toronto) that unofficially start The Oscar Season are in the books and the serious Oscar pundits, experts and handicappers have begun the process of assessing the landscape.  We all know that there are more films still to come that could/will factor into the race (Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Martin Scorsese's Silence jump to mind immediately.  Robert Zemeckis' Allied and Warren Beatty's Rules Don't Apply also).

So MTFB begins to turn the page and emphasize The Film Awards Clearinghouse (FAC) portion of this space's too long name.  The FAC will appear for the first time for the 2016 season on Thursday with my look at four major categories: Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.

Meanwhile, let's see where the experts are saying the race is and how TFF #43 films fit into that as we move past Telluride, Venice and Toronto into the fall...

Latest from The Gold Derby:

Best Picture: La La Land (1), Manchester by the Sea (2), Moonlight (6) and Arrival (9) are the Telluride films in the top ten.  Also listed: Sully at #11, Bleed for This at #31 and Toni Erdmann at #42.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle/La La Land (1), Kenneth Lonergan/Manchester (2), Barry Jenkins/Moonlight (6), Denis Villenueve/Arrival (7), Clint Eastwood/Sully (11), Ben Younger/Bleed for This (16) and Maren Ade/Toni Erdmann (37).

Best Actress: Emma Stone/La La Land (1), Amy Adams/Arrival (6), Sandra Huller/Toni Erdmann (27)

Best Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester (1), Ryan Gosling (4), Tom Hanks (7), Miles Teller/Bleed for This (17) and Peter Simonischeck/Toni Erdmann (28).

Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams/Manchester (1), Naomie Harris/Moonlight (2), Laura Linney/Sully (21) and  Gretchen Mol/Manchester (26).

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali/Moonlight (1), Lucas Hedges/Manchester (2), Kyle Chandler/Manchester (7), Aaron Eckhardt/Bleed for This (10). Aaron Eckhardt/Sully (21), Jeremy Renner/Arrival (22), Forest Whitaker/Arrival (22), and John Legend/La La Land (33).

Here's the link for the latest complete odds from Gold Derby.

Additionally, let's look at the current predictions from Oscar experts; Sasha Stone of Awards Daily and Scott Feinberg form The Hollywood Reporter.

Here's Stone's current assessment:

Best Picture: La La Land (1), Manchester (3), Moonlight (6), Sully (7), Arrival (10).

Best Director: Chazelle/La La (1), Jenkins/Moonlight (5), Lonergan/Manchester (6), Villenueve/Arrival (8).

Best Actress: Emma Stone/La La (1), Amy Adams/Arrival (4), Rooney Mara/Una (10)

Best Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester (1), Tom Hanks/Sully (5), Ryan Gosling/La La (8), Miles Teller/Bleed for This (10)

Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris/Moonlight (1), Michelle Williams/Manchester (2) , Janelle Monae/Moonlight (10)

Best Supporting Actor: Aaron Eckhardt/Bleed for This (2), Lucas Hedges/Manchester (5),
Mahershala Ali/Moonlight (6).

Best Original Screenplay: La La Land (1),  Manchester by the Sea (2)

Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight (1), Arrival (5), Sully (8)

If Stone were 100% right, Telluride films would win seven of the eight major categories.  That would be crazy.

Here's Stone's complete set of current predictions.

And from Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter:

Best Picture: La La Land (1), Moonlight (5), Manchester by the Sea (8)

Best Director: Chazelle/La La (1), Jenkins/Moonlight (4), Lonergan/Manchester (12), Eastwood/Sully (14)

Best Actress: Stone/La La (1)

Best Actor: Gosling/La La (2), Hanks/Sully (4), C. Affleck/Manchester (5), Teller/Bleed for This (10)

Best Supporting Actress:  Harris/Moonlight (1), Williams/Manchester (4)

Original Screenplay: La La (1), Moonlight (2)...should be in the Adapted category as it is based on a play but Feinberg says in the comments section that the designation apparently comes from the film's producers... Manchester (3)

Adapted Screenplay: Sully (10)

Here's Feinberg's current complete rundown.


It didn't come as a surprise to me as Damien Chazelle's La La Land won The People's Choice/Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival yesterday.  If you read my post from Sept. 9th, you know that I wrote that I "wouldn't be surprised" were this to happen.

Here's coverage of the TIFF awards:


The Hollywood Reporter


Entertainment Weekly

Awards Daily

The Wrap

Also, Owen Glieberman and Peter DeBrudge at Variety named their Ten Best films of Toronto and they included films that played previously at TFF #43.  They were: Arrival, La La Land, Moonlight and Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.

The complete Variety list is here.


In an absolute expression of "striking while the iron is hot" various outlets reported over the weekend that the group behind Barry Jenkins' Moonlight has acquired the rights to develop Colson Whitehead's recently released novel The Underground Railroad as a limited series.

No news was included concerning a time frame or an outlet for the series so we'll be looking forward to hearing about those items in the future.

Here's coverage of the announcement from:


That's going to do it for this Monday.  Thursday's MTFB/FAC will have the first FAC of the season for four major Oscar categories: Picture, Director, Actress and Actor.  Until then,

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Professionals Telluride Revealed / Moonlight Sets MTFB Pros Records / Overviews of TFF #43

Good Thursday everyone.  Hope that you've been having a good week.


Ten days removed for the conclusion of TFF #43 and it's time to reveal the results of this year's view of films from the festival of a collection of industry professionals, critics and pundits.

Serving this year as MTFB's Professionals are:

Alex Billington/
David Ehrlich/Indiewire
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Stephen Galloway/The Hollywood Reporter
Mark Johnson/
Tomris Laffly/Film Journal
Kenny Miles/The Movie Blog
Christopher Schiller/
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-In Contention
Anne Thompson/Indiewire

The Professionals (just as The People's Telluride) used a 1-5 rating scale with 1 being "abysmal" and 5 being "outstanding",  A film had to be rated by at least a third of the Pros to earn an average.  15 films met that criteria.

Here are The Professionals' results for TFF #43:

1) Moonlight (4.82)
2) La La Land (4.58)
3) Things to Come (4.20)
4) Manchester by the Sea (3.95)
5) Into the Inferno (3.92)
6) Sully (3.89)
7) Arrival (3.88)
8) Toni Erdmann (3.85)
9) Maudie (3.60)
10) Una (3.44)
11) California Typewriter (3.25)
12) Neruda (3.00)
13) Bleed for This (2.71)
14) Wakefield (2.67)
15) Norman (2.67)


Barry Jenkins' Moonlight becomes the first film in the five years that I've been doing these ratings to top both The Pros and The Peoples ratings AND it is also the highest rated film by The Pros in that five year span (see below).

There is a lot of agreement this year between The People's ratings and the Pros.  Numbers one and two are the same in both polls.  The biggest disconnect occurs on Mia Hansen-Love's Things to Come which the Pros have at #3 with a 4.20 average rating.  The People had Things to Come as their #19 (of 21) with a composite rating of 3.05)

The Pros were more generous at the top of their list.  For example, #1 Moonlight (in both polls) gets a high 4.82 average from the Pros but The People's average was substantially lower (though still the best rating of all films) at 4.37.

However, The Pros only gave three films a rating of 4+: Moonlight, La La Land and Things to Come whereas the People gave six films a 4+ rating: Moonlight, La La Land, Maudie, The Eagle Huntress, Manchester by the Sea and Arrival.

As mentioned above, Moonlight became the highest rated film in the five years I've been doing this project with its stunning 4.82 rating.  Here's the latest version of The Pros Top Ten with 2016 films added into the mix:

1) Moonlight-2016 (4.82)
2) Birdman-2014 (4.72)
3) 12 Years a Slave- 2013 (4.70)
3) Central Park Five-2012 (4.70)
5) Foxcatcher- 2014 (4.63)
6) La La Land- 2016 (4.58)
7) Argo- 2012 (4.50)
8) Son of Saul- 2015 (4.44)
9) Anomalisa-2015 (4.42)
10) Spotlight- 2015(4.41)

2016's #2 film according to The Pros-La La Land- also landed in the top ten all time at #6.  The rise of Moonlight and La La Land bumped Blue is the Warmest Color and Steve Jobs out of The Pros all time Top Ten.

Coming on Monday...The Combination Ratings...adding The Pros and The Peeps together.


Eugene Hernandez took a look at his highlights from the recently concluded 43rd Telluride Film Festival for Film Journal.  Hernandez singles out: Moonlight, California Typewriter, Sully and Bright Lights for detailed commentary.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy et. al. took a larger view and has named ten films from across the triple threat fall film fest lineups: Telluride, Venice and Toronto.  TFF 43 films that make the cut for The THR article include: Moonlight, La La Land, Arrival, Frantz and Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer.  Check out the complete THR list here.

Also, Variety's Kristopher Tapley runs down a number of the films that have played over the past two weeks at the fall festivals in this Variety post.  He places attention on Telluride films: La La Land, Sully, Moonlight, Arrival, Bleed for This and Manchester by the Sea.

That's it for Thursday.  Return Monday for a look at The Pros and The Peeps combination film ratings.

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Monday, September 12, 2016

The People's Telluride Revealed / A Week Removed and Some Reflections / The Gold Derby Says...

Welcome to Monday and the return for MTFB to a more manageable, less crazed twice-a-week posting schedule (Mondays and Thursdays) with extra posts when news warrants...

Call your friends and neighbors because it's time for...


After collecting data from MTFB readers for a week I have the results of this year's People's Telluride film festival ratings.  Using a 1-5 scale with 1 being "not-so-good" and 5 being "a masterpiece".

The People's Telluride had its largest participation since I started it a few years back which is gratifying.  For the purposes of the ratings and to maintain some semblance of balance, I have limited the list of films included to those that were rated by at least a third of respondents.  Over 40 films/programs were rated by at least one respondent and 21 received enough votes to be included in the final ratings.  The films that were the hottest tickets based on the fact that they were the most rated/viewed were:

1) Arrival
2) La La Land
3) Moonlight
4) Sully
5) Bleed for This

The People's Telluride Ratings for 2016 (the number in parentheses is the film's average rating)

1) Moonlight (4.37)
2) La La Land (4.33)
3) Maudie (4.29)
4) The Eagle Huntress (4.21)
5) Manchester by the Sea (4.18)
6) Arrival (4.13)
7) Bright Lights (3.90)
8) Frantz (3.89)
9) Toni Erdmann (3.80)
10) Sully (3.79)
11) Lost in Paris (3.69)
12) Wakefield (3.59)
13) California Typewriter (3.53)
14) Bleed for This (3.413)
15) Una (3.406)
16) Norman (3.30)
17) Chasing Trane (3.29)
18) Through the Wall (3.17)
19) Things to Come (3.05)
20) Graduation (2.90)
21) Into the Inferno (2.86)

It's worth noting that the film that has finished in the SECOND spot of this poll for the last four years has won the Oscar for Best Picture;

2012- Argo wins Oscar (Stories We Tell was #1 in The Peep's T-ride)
2013- 12 Years a Slave wins Oscar (Tim's Vermeer was #1)
2014- Birdman wins Oscar (The Imitation Game was #1)
2015- Spotlight wins Oscar (Room was #1)

In 2016 La La Land finishes #2 in The Peep's poll and Moonlight is #1.  Does this portend La La Land winning Best Picture?

One other La La Land note, over the weekend Emma Stone who I last saw with my own eyeballs eight days ago in Town Park won Venice's Vest Actress Award for La La Land.

Some other history...none of this year's films crack the Top Ten People's rated films in the five year history of its existence.  Here are the ten best rated films of the past five years according to the People:

1) Stories We Tell-12 (4.80)
2) Argo-12 (4.75)
3) The Imitation Game-14  (4.73)
4) The Attack-12  (4.70)
5) Tim's Vermeer-13 (4.67)
6) 12 Years a Slave -13 (4.55)
7) Room -15 (4.47)
8) Birdman-14 (4.46)
9) Spotlight-15 (4.45)
10) The Act of Killing-12 (4.41)

Moonlight's 4.37 rating would put it at #12 just behind Gravity (4.40) and just ahead of Beasts of No Nation (4.35).

The lowest all time (well for these five years) is from 2012...Paradise: Love with a 1.1 rating and over that time span 98 films have gotten enough responses to be included in The People's Telluride.

COMING THURSDAY...The Professionals Telluride.


The 43rd edition of the Telluride Film Festival came to a close a week ago today.  My wife and I stayed through Monday evening for the first time in years and I have to say I'm glad we did.  It allowed us to get a couple of more films and it also allowed us to stay for the Labor Day Picnic which turned out to be a big deal to me (see below).

Encounters with readers throughout the weekend really made me think that MTFB has gained a modestly substantial following.  I kept running into people through the fest that would mention that they were readers.  I am always thrilled and also disconcerted at that.  The notion that people would recognize me as a result of the blog never entered my mind when I started writing in this space eight years ago.  It is humbling and esteeming all at the same time.

Last year I was stunned when Malala's Yousefzai's father reached out to me to arrange a meeting because he had been a reading the blog.  This year's head turner came on Monday when, as I was congratulating Barry Jenkins for his direction I mentioned that I "wrote a little blog about the festival" at which point he stopped me to ask "Are you Michael?"

Well, I was floored.  This is a young man who is right on the cusp of his big breakout with Moonlight and he knows who I am?  Craziness.

We continued the short conversation and I went on my merry way (actually to the Gondola to The Chuck to catch Bleed for This...Oscar nom for Aaron Eckhardt please).

Later I contacted Mr. Jenkins through Twitter and also friend requested him on Facebook.  We're friends now.  I promised that I wouldn't be a stalker.

Other items...

***The final Ten (Plus) Bets list from day before the lineup for this year was announced was 20 for 20. That's right.  For those keeping score, every film on that last list made the TFF #43 lineup.

Here's how MTFB has done with last posted predictions over these past few years:


As you can see, I've gotten better and to be fair, the process is easier since Toronto laid down their "honest premiere status" policy in 2014.

***With today's posting of the results of The People's Telluride Ratings, and since you have shared your ratings with me,  I thought I'd share my ratings with you:

1) La La Land 4.5
2) Moonlight 4
3) Arrival 4
4) Sully 4
5) Toni Erdmann 4
6) Bright Lights 4
7) Manchester by the Sea 3.5
8) Norman 3.5
9) Una 3.5
10) Wakefield
11) Bleed for This 3
12) Through the Wall 3


If you've followed this blog for awhile you know that it's about to switch its focus for the next six months or so and report on the Oscar race with particular focus on the films that played at TFF #43.

To that end, here's a breakdown of the leaders in the major six categories at the conclusion of the fest (but before Toronto and Venice have finished) from The Gold Derby.

Best Picture nominations would go to: Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Moonlight and Arrival (assuming at least eight films are nominated.  Sully is also a possibility.

Best Direction nominations would go to: Kenneth Lonergan/Manchester by the Sea and Damien Chazelle/La La Land.  Close: Denis Villenueve/Arrival, Barry Jenkins/Moonlight and Clint Eastwood/Sully.

Best Actress: Emma Stone/La La Land with Amy Adams/Arrival as a possibility.

Best Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea, Ryan Gosling/La La Land with Tom Hanks/Sully  as a possibility.

Best Supporting Actress: Michelle Williams/Manchester by the Sea, Naomie Harris/Moonlight

Best Supporting Actor: Lucas Hedges/Manchester by the Sea, Marhershala Ali/Moonlight and Kyle Chandler/Manchester by the Sea

From these six categories Manchester would earn six nominations, La La Land would get four, Moonlight would get four with another possibility, Arrival would get one with another two possible and Sully has three possible.

Check the complete odds for the current Gold Derby predictions here.

Contact me at:


TWITTER @Gort2 (and follow me there as well)

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COMMENT to the Blog itself.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

NOTICE: The People's Telluride Ratings

Hello on a rare MTFB post on a Saturday..

NOTICE: The People's Telluride Ratings will close tomorrow at 6:00pm EDT.  Make your vote count and get those ratings to me.  Use a 1-5 scale with 1 being "the worst" and 5 being "fantastique!"

Report your ratings in any of the following ways:


TWITTER @Gort2 (and follow me there as well)

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COMMENT to the Blog itself.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Focus On: La La Land, Wakefield, Una and Toni Erdmann / Amy Adams Speaks...with Kris Tapley / Remember to Rate

Well, it;s Friday and aren't you glad?


Director and writer Damien Chazelle's La La Land was a huge hit last weekend at TFF #43.  Well reviewed, loved by the Telluride audiences as next week's collected People's Telluride film ratings will attest and it earned some serious Oscar buzz that I suspect will continue into the Toronto Fest which opened yesterday.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be surprised if La La Land walks away with TIFF's Audience Award at the end of next week.

Chazelle sat down recently to talk about the film with Nigel M. Smith of The Guardian and you can find that interview here.


Bryan Cranston's performance is the key factor in Robin Swicord's Wakefield based on an E.L. Doctorow short story.  The film has gotten a mixed reception which you will also see in next week's People's and Professionals' Telluride ratings.

Indiewire's Anne Thompson examines the film in this post.


Benedict Andrew's Una dropped a new clip to the internet yesterday.  Here it is via YouTube:

Coverage of the clip release was provided by The Playlist.


Generally regarded as the early favorite for the Foreign Language Oscar, Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann played well in Telluride last week and also sported the appearance of a new clip yesterday.

You can find it in this Tweet from IMDb


Possible Oscar contender for Arrival and/or Nocturnal Animals  and one of this year's Telluride Tribute recipient, Amy Adams sat down with Variety's Kristopher Tapley during TFF #43 to talk.

Check Variety's Playback here.


I'll be taking ratings through the weekend but the collection is going to stop soon so make your voice heard and rate the films you saw at this year's Telluride Film Festival on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being soooooo bad and 5 being soooooo terrific.

Send those ratings to:


TWITTER @Gort2 (and follow me there as well)

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COMMENT to the Blog itself.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beginning to Read the Oscar Tea Leaves / Barry Jenkins Talks Moonlight with A.O. Scott / A Photo Gallery / Rate Those Films!!!

Hello and welcome to Thursday... Quick note about yesterday's post...I thought I had included Chris Schiller in my list of film friends and discovered I didn't.  I have corrected that but wanted to make sure to shout out Mr. Schiller who has been a really good friend to me and this space over the years.


This is just the beginning of our long conversation that will end at the Academy Awards next February.  Oscar analysts are beginning to get a real feel about how the season may lay out and close followers of this space know that in the next couple of weeks it really changes from MTFB to The Film Awards Clearinghouse.  We'll track the Oscar race all the way through the season with special attention on the films that played as a part of TFF#43.

To that end I have linked the first post-Telluride analysis from Awards Daily's Sasha Stone, Awards Circuit's Mark Johnson and Indiewire's Anne Thompson.

TFF #43 films that get serious focus are:

La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Arrival, Sully.  Frankly, I'm beating the drum for Aaron Eckhardt to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Ben Younger's Bleed for This.  He's terrific.

Here are the respective pieces from:

Awards Daily

Awards Circuit



Moonlight writer/director Barry Jenkins sat down with The New York Times A.O. Scott recently and talked about his film, his life and his long history with the Telluride Film Festival.  The NYT posted the interview yesterday.  Check out the Barry Jenkins interview here.


My wife is the pictorial chronicler of our Telluride Film Fest adventures and I thought it might be cool to show some of the pics she got during last week's fest.  So here they are:









I had a really nice start yesterday with film ratings coming in from regular Janes and Joes that attended this year's TFF.  Keep them coming!  I'm keeping the polls open through this weekend at least but it won't be indefinite so send them in!  Use a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being abysmal and 5 being masterful.

and send them to me:


TWITTER @Gort2 (and follow me there as well)

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COMMENT to the Blog itself.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

TFF #43 Comes to a Close / Critic's Take via Indiewire / Rate the Films

Welcome to Wednesday...


The 43rd Telluride Film Festival came to a close on Monday night.  For my wife and I, the fest doesn't really feel complete until we're back in Casa Patterson.  We arrived home last evening and started to unpack so now the fest is well and truly complete.

Highlights for me this year were the Patron Brunch and the opportunity to meet Casey Affleck.  The Labor Day Picnic also afforded me the chance and exchange words with writer/director Barry Jenkins whose life is about to change dramatically, I think given the response I'm seeing and hearing for his film Moonlight (see the next story).

Also spoke briefly to and congratulated Aaron Eckhardt (Sully/Bleed for This), Miles Teller (Bleed for This), Fisher Stevens (dir: Bright Lights) and got really, really near the legend: Clint Eastwood. That's always fun to rub shoulders with the film makers.

Also thoroughly enjoyed tributes and Q and A's that allowed me to see and hear first hand: Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Laura Linney, Emma Stone, Amy Adams, Bryan Cranston, Carrie Fisher, Jennifer Garner and Richard Gere.  That's a full plate, my friends.

Films seen:

La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Bright Lights
Bleed for This
Through the Wall
Toni Erdmann

And it's always a pleasure to renew acquaintances with TFF friends: Alexandra and Mark Helfrich, Jack Wertzberger, Chris Schneider, Eric Bialas, Sasha Stone, Kris Tapley, Tomris Laffly, Alex Billington, Chris Schiller and new acquaintance Mark Johnson.

And I was overwhelmed by meeting many of you fine humans that take the time to read my efforts here.  So many of you said hello over the weekend that it was a little breathtaking.  It's a always a treat to meet you.

Finally thanks to our hosts Mitzi and Larry Mallard.  They have made this all possible these last 11 fests.  Words aren't.  Also a big shout out to my brother Jim Patterson who seems to have found TFF to be a new and wonderful tradition.  He appeared to have a good time this weekend (his 2nd fest) and was invaluable at making the experience easier and more memorable for my wife and I.

Coming in the next few days will be The People's Telluride (see below), The Professionals' Telluride, an early look ahead to TFF #44 and, from me, and analysis of the weekend that was TFF #43.


For the second straight year (or maybe it's even more) Eric Kohn at Indiewire has canvased a list of critics and industry pros asking them what their preferred film was for the just concluded TFF #43. Of the 17 responders to Kohn's requests, fully seven will be rating films for The Professionals' Telluride (being posted sometime late next week.)  Those pros who are double-dipping and their film choice are:

Alex Billington/ La La Land
David Ehrlich/Indiewire: Moonlight
Eric Kohn/Indiewire: Moonlight
Tomris Laffly/Film Journal Int'l: La La Land
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily: La La Land, Moonlight and Arrival (tie)
Kris Tapley/Variety-InContention: Moonlight
Anne Thompson/Indiewire: Moonlight

Other critics and pros for the Indiewire survey: Peter DeBruge/Variety, Stephen Farber/Variety, Pete Hammond/Deadline, Eugene Hernandez/Film Comment, Rebecca Keegan/L.A. Times, Kate Kilkenny/Pacific Magazine, Richard Lawson/Vanity Fair, Todd McCarthy/The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Nashaway/Entertainment Weekly and Jeff Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere.

Check out all the choices and comments at The Indiewire Critic's Poll TFF #43


The ratings from the People and the Professionals are beginning to pour into MTFB.  Get in on the action NOW.  Make sure to be counted when I post the collective results next week.  Remember to rate the films you saw on a 1 to 5 scale with 1 being "lousy" and 5 being "terrific".  I am anxiously awaiting the results.

You can get your ratings to me in any number of ways:


TWITTER @Gort2 (and follow me there as well)

FACEBOOK Message me on FB MTFB's Facebook Page

COMMENT to the Blog itself.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Short Post for a Tuesday / Day Four in the Books / Reminder

Good Tuesday every one....the 43rd Telluride Film Festival has come to a close.  It was awesome.


As you read this I am in a Jeep Patriot headed back from Heaven (Telluride) to the home base in Oklahoma.  So excuse me if this is short.  I have about a 9 1/2 hour drive topped by a play rehearsal ahead of me.

First and foremost a shout out to my hosts for the 11th consecutive year: Larry and Mitzi Mallard of Telluride.  They make the fest and by extension this Blog possible.

Also a tip of the hat to professional friends who have embraced MTFB in various ways: Kris Tapley, Sasha Stone, Tomris Laffly, Scott Feinberg, Eric Kohn, Anne Thompson, David Ehrlich, Mark Johnson, Greg Ellwood, Kenny Miles and the irrepressible Chris Schiller.  You folks make me feel like a part of the club.

And to the Festival a big thanks.  Julie Huntsinger, Shannon Mitchell and Richard make me feel welcome.

Finally, to  my wife Kristy who indulges the obsession that I have for the Telluride Film Festival...Thank you.


A lazier day than two or three and that's OK.

Slept in a bit on Day Four so started with the Labor Day Picnic at 11:00.  Nice eats.  Good ice cream.  Stuck around long enough for the arrival of the iridescent Emma Stone.  Before leaving Town Park I had the chance to speak briefly with Moonlight screen writer and director Barry Jenkins.  In the midst of that conversation came the revelation that he knew of MTFB and mentioned that this space had been the first to suggest a Telluride play for his film (thanks to Jason Osiason).  He was appreciative. That moment became the highlight of a very eventful weekend for me.  Thank you Mr. Jenkins!

Caught my breath and then  hiked to the Gondola to catch the 1:00 pm screening of Bleed for This. It's competently constructed and lead Miles Teller does a convincing job as the central character, real life boxer Vinny Pazienza.  For my money the film is stolen by Aaron Eckhardt as Vinny's troubled trainer,  I'm imploring any members of the Academy or any readers that know members of the Academy to lobby for Mr. Eckhardt here.  Liked him in Sully on Saturday...loved him in Bleed for This on Monday.  He's fantastic.

Closed film watching late Monday afternoon at the Chuck with the Israeli film Through the Wall which was a delight.


The 43rd Fest is People and Professionals...send me your film ratings!  1 to 5 scale with 1 being not so good and 5 being a Kubrick level masterpiece.

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as a comment to this blog