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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