Thu. Aug 6th, 2020

43rd Telluride Film Festival Lands Manchester, Moonlight and Sully


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Unlike most film festivals that announce their lineups sometimes months in advance, the Telluride Film Festival is unique in that it announces theirs just a day before it begins. There’s always a lot of gossip and intel as to what’s going to be there but the final list always has a surprise or two. It’s also a festival that only last for four days – a mere blink compared to the two-week extravaganzas of most festivals. But something else Telluride has over other festivals is how closely it now connected to winning the Best Picture Oscar. While some films hit a few festivals, it’s only Telluride that holds the distinction of showing the eventual Best Picture winner for the last six years. Spotlight, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave, Argo, The Artist and The King’s Speech all played here – kicking off their run to the Oscars.

This year’s lineup is going to be looked at the same way, at least for us Oscar pundits, and it whittles down the possibilities quite a bit. Not here are Silence (no surprise), Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (it’s set to premiere at NYFF) or The Birth of a Nation (which is now even questionable for a nomination). So let’s focus on what is here; Arrival, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, but most especially, La La Land. The Damien Chazelle modern-day musical starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, which has already garnered rapturous reviews at Venice, has positioned itself to be the new Oscar frontrunner rather quickly. This, despite being (now) a December release in an era where December films don’t win Best Picture anymore (2004’s Million Dollar Baby was the last). But there’s a reason they don’t – they’re usually not ready in time for festivals and critics’ awards so their window of visibility is small. Not the case for La La Land, which is swooping in on every major festival of the fall (watch it win the Audience Award at TIFF) and with the Academy much more ok with rewarding its own industry (Argo, The Artist) like it never used to and you’ve got a winning recipe.

This year will see tributes to actors Amy Adams and Casey Affleck and director Pablo Larraín. Adams has Arrival, Affleck has Manchester by the Sea and Larraín has Neruda appearing at the fest. Clint Eastwood is bringing Sully to Telluride, his first film at the festival since 1990’s White Hunter, Black Heart. It speaks to Warner Bros. seriousness about positioning the film as an awards player this season.

Open Road Films, which brought last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight here, will bring the boxing drama Bleed for This starring Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart and Katey Sagal. Maudie, starring Oscar-nominee Sally Hawkins is on board, looking for U.S. distribution and for a studio in need of a Best Actress contender. Also looking for a distributor is Robin Swicord’s Wakefield starring Oscar-nominee Bryan Cranston. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this gets picked up here and looking at the current Best Actor slate it could be a good fit for Sony Pictures Classics or even Fox Searchlight if they’re so inclined. The current Foreign Language Film Oscar frontrunner and festival favorite Toni Erdmann will also be here.

Here is the full lineup of the 43rd Telluride Film Festival, which runs from September 2-5:
Arrival (d. Denis Villeneuve, U.S., 2016)
The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography (d. Errol Morris, U.S., 2016)
Bleed for This (d. Ben Younger, U.S., 2016)
California Typewriter (d. Doug Nichol, U.S., 2016)
Chasing Trane (d. John Scheinfeld, U.S., 2016)
The End of Eden (d. Angus Macqueen, U.K., 2016)
Finding Oscar (d. Ryan Suffern, U.S., 2016)
Fire at Sea (d. Gianfranco Rosi, Italy/France, 2016)
Frantz (d. François Ozon, France, 2016)
Gentleman Rissient (d. Benoît Jacquot, Pascal Mérigeau, Guy Seligmann, France, 2016)
Graduation (d. Cristian Mungiu, Romania/France/Belgium, 2016)
Into the Inferno (d. Werner Herzog, U.K./Austria, 2016)
The Ivory Game (d. Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani, Austria/U.S., 2016)
La La Land (d. Damien Chazelle, U.S., 2016)
Lost in Paris (d. Fiona Gordon, Dominique Abel, France/Belgium, 2016)
Manchester by the Sea (d. Kenneth Lonergan, U.S., 2016)
Maudie (d. Aisling Walsh, Canada/Ireland, 2016)
Men: A Love Story (d. Mimi Chakarova, U.S., 2016)
Moonlight (d. Barry Jenkins, U.S., 2016)
My Journey Through French Cinema (d. Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2016)
Neruda (d. Pablo Larraín, Chile/Argentina/France/Spain, 2016)
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (d. Joseph Cedar, U.S./Israel, 2016)
Snapshots: Eyes on the World — three nonfiction short films including Extremis (d. Dan Krauss, U.S., 2016); Refugee (d. Joyce Chen, Emily Moore, U.S., 2016); The White Helmets (d. Orlando von Einsiedel, U.K., 2016)
Sully (d. Clint Eastwood, U.S., 2016)
Things to Come (d. Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany, 2016)
Through the Wall (d. Rama Burshtein, U.S./Israel, 2016)
Toni Erdmann (d. Maren Ade, Germany/Austria, 2016)
Una (d. Benedict Andrews, U.K./U.S./Canada, 2016)
Wakefield (d. Robin Swicord, U.S., 2016)

(Behind-the-scenes movies and portraits of artists, musicians and filmmakers)

Beauties of the Night (d. María José Cuevas, Mexico, 2016)
Bernadette Lafont, and God Created the Free Woman (d. Esther Hoffenberg, France, 2016)
Bright Lights (d. Alexis Bloom, Fisher Stevens, U.S., 2016)
Cool Cats (d. Janus Køster-Rasmussen, Denmark, 2015)
The Family Whistle (d. Michele Salfi Russo, U.S./Italy, 2016)
A Fanatic Heart — Bob Geldof on W.B. Yeats (d. Gerry Hoban, Ireland, 2016)
Gulag (d. Angus Macqueen, U.K., 2000)
I Called Him Morgan (d. Kasper Collin, Sweden/U.S., 2016)
Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown (d. Gregory Monro, France, 2016)
Mifune: The Last Samurai (d. Steven Okazaki, U.S., 2015)

(Selections by Guest Director Volker Schlöndorff)

The Barefoot Contessa (d. Joseph Mankiewicz, U.S., 1954)
The Fire Within (d. Louis Malle, France, 1963)
I Was Nineteen (d. Konrad Wolf, East Germany, 1968)
It Was the Month of May (d. Marlen Khutsiev, U.S.S.R., 1970)
Les Enfants Terribles (d. Jean-Pierre Melville, France, 1950)
Spies (d. Fritz Lang, Germany, 1928)

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