Monday, September 29, 2014

Five Future Films/And Then There's Another/MCN's Latest Gurus/Birdman Poster and Images/Latest Screen Talk


Alejandro Inarritu

I'm always on the lookout for announcements of future film projects that seem to me to have the potential to end up in Telluride over Labor Day weekend.  I'll collect some of the posts and press material when I stumble across that kind of thing and hoard it.  Now that we're almost a month removed for the 41st edition of TFF, I thought that I might as well drag some of those out and post the some of the info that's been out there.  So, without further adieu, here are ten films that have been announced that could end up at a future Telluride Film Fest:

1) "The Revenant". Director: Alejandro Inarritu and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.  A revenge western.  Reason for a TFF play: Inarritu.  The Oscar nominated director has played Telluride with three straight films: "Babel", "Biutiful" and "Birdman".  A couple of sticking points:  Will it be done in time?  It's set for a Dec. 25th release in 2015 and the distributor is 20th Century Fox which has a spotty record at Telluride at best.  Here are your "Revenant" posts:

And the IMDb page:

Sir Ian as "Mr. Holmes"

2) "Mr. Holmes". Director: Bill Condon.  Starring: Ian McKellan and Laura Linney.  Reasons it would play Telluride:  Condon and Linney who have been at Telluride in the past with "Kinsey" in 2004.  Linney has also been a Telluride presence in "Jindabayne", "The Savages" and "Hyde Park on Hudson".  Additionally, the film is being co-distributed by Roadside Attractions whose TFF profile grew to three films this year and one of the Production companies is See Saw Films which has had a high profile Telluride presence in recent years with films: "The King's Speech", "Shame" and "Tracks".

"Mr. Holmes" links:

"Mr. Holmes" IMDb page:

From IndieWire; Trumbo and Cranston

3) "Trumbo" Director: Jay Roach.  Starring: Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, John Goodman.  Reasons ot would play Telluride:  Well, there really aren't ANY.  No history with this director.  As a matter of fact, Jay Roach's resume is odd.  He has a couple of quality HBO gigs under his belt: "Game Change"  and "Recount" but he also is the director of such "classics" as all three "Austin Powers" films as well as a couple of the "Fockers" franchise.

The listed U.S. distributor for "all media" via IMDb is Bleeker Street.  It's listed as exactly their fourth feature to distribute.  The other three: "Pawn Sacrifice" (Ed Zwick's Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky flick), "Danny Coliins" (from Dan Fogelman) and "Captain Fantastic" (from Matt Ross).  So there's no TFF history there.

The film's production companies don't have any Telluride connection either.  IMDb lists Groundswell Productions (no T-ride past), Inimitable Pictures (ditto) and ShivHans Pictures (the same).

So, why is it on my list?  Because I think a Dalton Trumbo biopic starring Bryan Cranston in the title role sounds like a perfect fit for Telluride if it's well executed.  If Roach is in "Game Change/Recount" mode, then I could see this being a part of the TFF #42 lineup.

Here's some of the stories that have come out about "Trumbo":

"Trumbo's IMDb page:

From The novel and Affleck

4) "Live by Night" Director: Ben Affleck.  Starring: Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Elle Fanning and Sienna Miller.  Affleck returns to a Dennis Lehane story for this film.  Lehane wrote the novel that was the basis for Affleck's first directing experience, "Gone Baby Gone".  This story is set in the Prohibition era and features cops and gangsters.

Why Telluride?  Affleck and Warner Bros. cannot be unhappy with the way Affleck's last directing gig turned out.  "Argo" launched at Telluride and went on to win three Academy Awards including Best Picture.  That's enough for me to think that they may want to try the same path in 2015 or 2016 (IMDb lists its  domestic release on Oct. 7, 2016 but a number of the posts you'll look at below say it'll be out at the end of 2015).  TFF #42 or #43 could be a very real scenario.

Posts about "Live by Night":

The IMDb page for "Live by Night":

5) Danny Boyle's next project...Boyle has a couple of potential projects bouncing about.  There's "Porno", sequel to his acclaimed "Trainspotting" and then there's the untitled film that centers on the 1973 "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs.  "Porno" seems to be closer to actually being on the tracks to being made.  Either way, it seems that Boyle would be a likely candidate to return to Telluride after very successful trips there in 2008 with eight time Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire" and then again in 2010 with "127 Hours" which was nominated for six Academy Awards.  If Fox Searchlight gets involved, that would further increase the chances that we'd see the film in T-ride as they were distributors for both "Slumdog" and "127 Hours".

Here's some press about "Porno":

and other posts about the possible "Battle of the Sexes":

 "Porno's" IMDb page:


It's been rumored for awhile and though still not confirmed, it appears to be very close to that.  We're talking the possibility/probability of Quentin Tarantino shooting seven weeks for his next film "The Hateful Eight" near Telluride.

You have to also think that if he does shoot there that he'd maybe want to play the film there as a part of TFF #42.  I've actually seen a couple of people suggest that possibility in correspondence.

According to the linked story below from the Denver Business Journal, the film would begin shooting in the San Juans in December if all the pieces fall into place.  Further, the film is being produced and will be distributed domestically by The Weinstein Company which just came off a triumphant set of screenings of "The Imitation Game" at last month's film fest.  The film is planned to have a late 2015 release.  It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins and Bruce Dern among others.

Check the Denver Business Journal story here:

another story from The Denver Post:

"The Hateful Eight's" IMDb page:


The Gurus of Gold have been polled post fall festival season and just prior to this past weekend's kickoff of the New York Film Festival.  They have "boyhood" at the top followed by "The Imitation Game" and "Birdman".  Take a look at that here (as well as some interesting numbers concerning actors and bumps that may have happened as a result of festival plays):


New images and a new poster for Alejandro Inarritu's "Birdman" emerged at the beginning of the weekend.  The poster you see above.  Here are accompanying stories from and The Playlist:


Check here for the latest edition of Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn's Screen Talk podcast as the duo tackle the early info from the New York Film Festival and the ever evolving Oscar race:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New History!/Post-Telluride: What the Tells Tell Us/The Playlist's 15 Films That Didn't Play/The Latest Feinberg Forecast

Welcome to Thursday...


Check out the second "page"of Michael's Telluride Film Blog/The Film Awards Clearinghouse.  The Selected History of the Telluride Film Festival has been updated to include TFF #41.  Click on the page link above and stroll down memory lane.


Nearing a month removed from the Telluride Film Festival's 41st edition, I thought it was time to review some of things that I look for as I try to predict the fest and see what, if anything, they sowed us and if they continue to be methods that are useful to the analysis that consumes half the year on this blog.  For example, what distributors played in a big way.

Commonly represented distributors Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, The Weinstein Company (and its Radius division), Roadside Attractions and Sundance Selects were all there with more than one film.   SPC led the way with seven films.  Here's the breakdown:

Sony Pictures Classics: "Mr. Turner", "Red Army", "Wild Tales", "Foxcatcher", "Merchants of Doubt", "Salt of the Earth", "Leviathan".

TWC/Radius: "The Imitation Game", "Escobar: Paradise Lost", "Keep On Keepin' On"

Roadside Attractions: "The Homesman", " '71", "Mommy"

Sundance Selects: "Two Days, One Night", "Seymour; An Introduction"

Fox Searchlight: "Wild", "Birdman"

Single film distributors this year:

Open Road: "Rosewater"
Kino Lorber: "The Decent One"
Zeitgeist: "Diplomacy"
Drafthouse: "The Look of Silence"
HBO Documentaries: "50 Year Argument"
Millenium: Madame Bovary

And there were five films without distribution at the fest:

"99 Homes" (which has since been picked up)
"Tales of the Grim Sleeper"
"Dancing Arabs"
"The Gate"
"The Price of Fame"

A total of 28 features played at TFF this year.

Among "The Usual Suspects" that played at this year's fest:

Errol Morris: "Three Short Films About Peace"
Alejandro Inarritu: "Birdman"
Mike Leigh: "Mr. Turner"
Bennett Miller "Foxcatcher"
Wim Wenders: "Salt of the Earth"
The Dardennes Brothers: "Two Days, One Night"
Joshua Oppenheimer: "The Look of Silence"
Martin Scorsese: "The 50 Year Argument"
Xaviet Beauvois: "The Price of Fame"
Ramin Bahrani: "99 Homes"

Some of the "Usuals" that did not play Telluride even though they had films:

Olivier Assayas/"Clouds of Sils Maria"
Rolf De Heer/"Charlie's Country"
Peter Bogdanovich/"She's Funny That Way"
Jason Reitman/ "Men, Women and Children"
Noah Baumbach/While We're Here
Lone Scherfig/"The Riot Club"
John Boorman/"Queen and Country"

The Festival Crossover...

Venice and Telluride shared four films this year: "99 Homes", "The Price of Fame", "The Look of Silence" and "Birdman".

Cannes and Telluride shared nine films this year: "Foxcatcher", "Mr. Turner", "Two Days, One Night", "Mommy", "The Homesman", "Wild Tales", "Leviathan", "Salt of the Earth" and "Red Army".

The Toronto Fest and Telluride shared 20 films this year:

" '71"
"The 50 Year Argument"
"99 Homes"
"Escobar: Paradise Lost"
"The Imitation Game"
"The Gate"
"The Look of Silence"
"Madame Bovary"
"Merchants of Doubt"
"Mr. Turner"
"Red Army"
"Seymour; An Introduction"
"Tales of the Grim Sleeper"
"Two Days, One Night"
"Wild Tales"

And, of course, Toronto's 2014 "premiere" policy and its subsequent listing of films allowed many more Telluride film followers to discern the films that were likely to play at Telluride.


"Suffragette"...maybe TFF #42?

The Playlist published a lengthy story this past week that focused on 15 films that were thought to have been real possibilities for one or more of the fall film fests but, for whatever reason, didn't play. Each film is accompanied by a list of expectations and a rationale for why it did not play as well as some speculation as to what may happen with it in the near future.  Included on their list are a number of films that, at one point or another,  were on my list as possible Telluride #41 choices.  Included on their list:

"Suite Francaise"
"Far from the Madding Crowd"
"Queen of the Desert"
Stephen Frears' Lance Armstrong film
"Slow West"

Check out the entire article here:

The Playlist analysis seems to imply that "Carol", "Suite Francaise", "Queen of the Desert" and "Suffragette" could play Telluride next year.  The post also suggests that a couple of other of the 15 films could make a T-rider play in 2015 as well.


The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg has updated his Oscar projections.  Feinberg's latest listing of Oscar predictions has Telluride #41 films in many categories.  If Feinberg is 100% accurate, these TFF #41 films will be nominated as follows:

In Best Picture: "The Imitation Game", "Foxcatcher" and "Birdman"
Best Director: Inarritu/Birdman
Best Actress: Witherspoon/Wild
Best Actor: Keaton/Birdman, Cumberbatch/Imitation Game, Carell/Foxcatcher
Best Supporting Actress: Knightley/Imitation Game, Dern/Wild, Stone/Birdman
Best Supporting Actor: Ruffalo/Foxcatcher, Norton/Birdman
Adapted Screenplay: Moore/Imitation Game
Original Screenplay:  Inarittu et. al./Birdman, Futterman and Frye/Foxcatcher, Leigh/Mr. Turner
Documentary: "Keep On Keepin' On, "Red Army"
Foreign Language Film: "Wild Tales", "Two Days, One Night"
Cinematography: "Birdman"
Costumes: "Mr. Turner"
Film Editing: "Birdman", "The Imitation Game"
Makeup/Hair: "Foxcatcher"
Original Score: "The Imitation Game"
Production Design: "Birdman", "The Imitation Game"

That puts "Birdman" with nine nominations.  "The Imitation Game" with seven.  Foxcatcher with five.  "Mr. Turner" and "Wild" with two apiece.  And it would mean 29 Telluride nominations with another nine categories still to come.

Telluride films that Scott lists as being "major threats" by category include:

Best Picture: "Wild" and "Mr. Turner"
Best Director: Miller/Foxcatcher and Leigh/Mr. Turner
Best Actress: Swank/The Homesman
Best Actor: Tatum/Foxcatcher, Spall/Mr. Turner
Best Supporting Actress: Bailey/Mr. Turner
Adapted Screenplay: Hornby/Wild
Original Screenplay: Szifron/Wild Tales
Documentary: "Salt of the Earth", "Tales of the Grim Sleeper", "Merchants of Doubt"
Foreign Language Film: "Mommy", "Leviathan"
Cinematography: "The Imitation Game", "Mr. Turner", "Wild"
Costumes: "The Homesman"
Film Editing: "Wild", "Foxcatcher"
Original Score: "The Homesman"
Production Design: "Mr. Turner"

So additional possibilities for nominations according to Feinberg are:

"Mr. Turner" with six possibilities, "Foxcatcher" with three possibilities, "Wild" with four possibilities, "The Homesman" with three possibilities and "The Imitation Game" with one possibility.

All categories included by Feinberg has a total of  23 possibilities.

Check Scott's full predictions here:

More on Monday...have a great weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The FAC: Major Categories Part 1-A/New Looks at.../Foreign Affairs

Good Monday everyone...


Last week, The Film Awards Clearinghouse laid out the first look at potential Oscar nominees from four major categories: Best Picture, Direction, Actress and Actor.  Today we'll add to that with the FAC analysis for the remaining four major categories: Best Supporting Actress and Actor as well as Best Adapted and Original Screenplay.

As always, The FAC uses the published predictions of the following to develop its list of likely Oscar nominees:

Kristopher Tapley/InContention/HitFix
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Bred Brevet/Rope of Silicon
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter

Telluride #41 films are Bold.


1) Patricia Arquette/Boyhood
2) Kiera Knightley/The Imitation Game
3) Laura Dern/Wild
4) Emma Stone/Birdman
5) Emily Blunt/Into the Woods
6) Katherine Waterston/Inherent Vice
7) Jessica Chastain/Interstellar
8) Jessica Chastain/A Most Violent Year
9) Carmen Ejogo/Selma
10) Anna Kendrick/Into the Woods

Comment:  Arquette seems to already be lock in the category.  The Telluride women: Knightley, Dern and Stone all appear to be in good shape but none of them cinches for a nomination yet.  There are a lot of women with a good shot to be one of the five nominees.  Another note, distributor A24 confirmed last week that J.C. Chandor's "A Most Violent Year" will open on Dec. 31 qualifying it for Oscar consideration for this year.  The buzz has been, however, that they will campaign Jessica Chastain in the lead category for that film.  Chastain has a slew of awards potential in both categories this year and the person that might benefit the most from this move might be...Jessica Chastain in Interstellar.


1) J.K Simmons/Whiplash
2) Edward Norton/Birdman
3) Mark Ruffalo/Foxcatcher
4) Ethan Hawke/Boyhood
5) Josh Brolin/Inherent Vice
6) Logan Lehrman/Fury
7) Tom Wilkinson/Selma
8) Robert Duvall/The Judge
9) Channing Tatum/Foxcatcher
10) Domhnall Gleeson/Unbroken


Both Simmons and Norton seem to be in good shape and very, very close.  Ruffalo is looking good but not assured.  After that, it's a free-for-all the rest of the way down the list (and we probably shouldn't rule out Tim Roth/Selma who sits just outside the list at #11).


1) Unbroken
2) The Imitation Game
3) The Theory of Everything
4) American Sniper
5) Inherent Vice
6) Gone Girl
7) Into the Woods
8) Wild
9) Men. Women and Children
10) The Fault in Our Stars


At this early point it appears that the five nominations will come from among the top six listed here.  The drop off between "Gone Girl" and "Into the Woods" is remarkably large in The FAC metric.  Also, none of the top six appear to be locks either.  Could be a fun category to track for the next few months.


1) Birdman
2) Boyhood
3) Foxcatcher
4) The Grand Budapest Hotel
5) Mr. Turner
6) Interstellar
7) A Most Violent Year
8) Fury
9) Selma
10) Whiplash


I was a little surprised to see "Birdman"sitting at the top of the list.  I had assumed that it would be "Boyhood".  Still, both of those films look solid for a nomination here.  "Foxcatcher" is in good shape and then after that it could be any of the remaining seven scripts in the top ten that end up with one of the last two nominations.

From these four categories, if The FAC is 100% accurate, TFF #41 films would grab nine nominations with an additional two possibilities.  Add that to the first FAC from last week that focused on the four major categories in which TFF #41 films are projected to have eleven nominations with another three possible.  Totals: 20 nominations in the Big Eight categories with another five in play.  Add to that the potential for "under the line" nominations and Foreign Language and Documentary possibilities and it appears that 2014 could well be another outstanding year for Telluride films come Oscar time.

Here's the breakdown of the 20 "nominations" and five possibles by film:

"Birdman" Noms: Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay.  Total: Six nominations.

"The Imitation Game" "Noms": Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay.  Total: Four nominations and another possible for Best Direction.

"Foxcatcher" Noms: Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay.  Total: Five nominations. Another possible nomination for Best Supporting Actor

"Wild" Noms: Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress and another possible for Best Adapted Screenplay.

"Mr. Turner": Noms for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture if the category goes nine deep as it has the last two years. Also a possible for Best Direction.

"The Homesman": Possible nomination for Best Actress.


Clips from "Birdman".  Set for release on Oct. 17th, the P.R. machine is rumbling to life from Fix Searchlight.  As a part of that we have a clip from the film.  I have linked to the Rope of Silicon site which has the clip:

Clips from " '71"... From The Playlist, two clips from the Yann Demange directed film starring Jack O'Connell.  The film finished at #5 on MTFB's combined ratings.  The People had it at #6 while The Pros had it at #3.  Check the clips here:

And, a new poster for Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game" starring Benedict Cumberbatch.   The People's #1 film for TFF #41.

Accompanying the poster release, here's a brief story from Anne Thompson:


A couple of announcements about intentions for Foreign Language Oscar submissions.  Belgium will put forth The Dardennes Brothers' "Two Days, One Night" and Canada has chosen Xavier Dolan's "Mommy" both of which played at Telluride this year.  Stories about the selections are linked below:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The First 2014 Film Awards Clearinghouse-Four Major Categories/Words from Inarritu/The Playlist Looks at Telluride

Welcome to Monday and another week in the middle of September.


With Telluride and Venice done and Toronto wrapping up, here's the first look at The FAC for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress.  TFF #41 Films in Bold.

The FAC uses the published predictions f the following to develop its list of likely Oscar nominees:

Kristopher Tapley/InContention/HitFix
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Bred Brevet/Rope of Silicon
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter

A bit later in the season, I'll  add other Oscar experts...but for now...


1) Birdman
2) Boyhood
3) The Imitation Game
4) Foxcatcher
5) Unbroken
6) The Theory of Everything
7) Interstellar
8) Gone Girl
9) Mr. Turner
10) The Grand Budapest Hotel

Comment:  Personally, if I were wagering, my money would likely be on "Unbroken", "The Imitation Game" and then "Birdman" in that order.


1) Alejandro Inarritu/Birdman
2) Richard Linklater/Boyhood
3) Bennett Miller/Foxcatcher
4) Christopher Nolan/Interstellar
5) Angelina Jolie/Unbroken
6) Morten Tyldum/The Imitation Game
7) David Ayer/Fury
8) Mike Leigh/Mr. Turner
9) Wes Anderson/The Grand Budapest Hotel
10) Paul Thomas Anderson/Inherent Vice

Comment:  Some disconnects here...James Marsh who directs "The Theory of Everything" which sits at #5 on the BP chart doesn't make the Best Direction list while David Yer does for "Fury".  I suspect that Morten Tyldum will gain some momentum as the season moves along.


1) Reese Witherspoon/Wild
2) Amy Adams/Big Eyes
3) Rosamund Pike/Gone Girl
4) Felicity Jones/The Theory of Everything
5) Meryl Streep/Into the Woods
6) Hilary Swank/The Homesman
7) Shailene Woodley/The Fault in Our Stars
8) Julianne Moore/Still Alice
9) Jessica Chastain/A Most Violent Year
10) Jessica Chastain/Eleanor Rigby

Comment: A tough category in what is perceived as a weak year for lead female roles.  This list is likely very volatile.  Chastain may beat herself out as she has a number of projects and "A Most Violent Year" may not even see release this year.  Frankly, I'm dubious about Streep on "Into the Woods".


1) Michael Keaton/Birdman
2) Benedict Cumberbatch/The Imitation Game
3) Steve Carell/Foxcatcher
4) Eddie Redmayne/The Theory of Everything
5) Timothy Spall/Mr. Turner
6) David Oyelowo/Selma
7) Ralph Fiennes/The Grand Budapest Hotel
8) Bill Murray/St. Vincent
9) Joaquin Phoenix/Inherent Vice
10) Jack O'Connell/Unbroken

Comment:  I think Spall is really in jeopardy here.  Fiennes, Murray and O'Connell duke it out for the fifth spot.

I'll be looking at the Supporting Acting categories and the screenplay categories next week on MTFB/FAC.


Alejandro G. Inarritu at T-ride (Getty Images)

Friend of the blog Alex Billington of got a chance at Telluride to speak with director/writer Alejandro G. Inarritu about his brilliant film "Birdman" and other topics as well.  Alex posted his interview with the autuer here:


I've included a link to the latest podcast from The Playlist.  The 'cast goes nearly an hour and covers any number of topics from the last couple of weeks.  Take a listen here:

More on Monday.  Have a good weekend!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Combination Ratings The Peeps and The Pros/Toronto and 2015/First Feinberg Forecast/Assessng the Post Fall Festival Landscape: Deadline; The Hollywood Reporter; Screen Talk/Imitation Wins Toronto/Eat, Drink, Film Reports on TFF #41

Good Monday all.  I hope everyone had a stellar weekend.


I'm closing out the posts for this year's ratings of films that played at Telluride with the annual combining of the two polls.   I've combined the ratings averages from the People and the Professionals' poll to arrive at the following list.  13 films had enough viewers/raters from both groups to make it to the combined ratings.  They are listed below followed by their combined rating, the People's rated position and then the Professionals rated position:

1) Birdman                        (9.18)  (2)  (1)
2) Foxcatcher                    (8.83)  (4)  (2)
3) The Imitation Game     (8.79)  (1)  (7)
4) Wild Tales                    (8.43)  (3)  (4)
5) '71                                 (8.15)  (6)  (3)
6) Mommy                        (7.42)  (8)  (8)
7) Red Army                     (7.30)  (7)  (11)
8) Two Days, One Night   (7.21)  (13)  (9)
9) Mr. Turner                     (7.10)  (14)  (6)
10) Wild                             (6.71)  (8)  (13)
11) Rosewater                    (6.52)  (12)  (14)
12) The Homesman           (6.38)  (16)  (11)
13) Madame Bovary          (6.18)  (15)  (12)


The Hollywood Reporter says that Toronto will continue this year's policy regarding World Premieres and scheduling the first four days of their festival.  That's what the bulk of the article says.

The last sentence is the devious one though as both TIFF head man Piers Handling and Artistic Director Cameron Bailey "said it was too early to decide whether the Telluride premiere policy will be tweaked, but they will consult the industry before next year's event".  That sounds to me like some wiggle room after an article that mostly goes on about how they're sticking with the policy and how well it worked.  Here's the full story:


The Hollywood Reporter's Oscar expert Scott Feinberg has his first "Feinberg Forecast" posted.  His look at a number of the "major" Oscar categories was posted last night.  Of films that played the Telluride Fest a couple of weeks ago, Feinberg predicts the following:

"Birdman" and "The Imitation Game" and "Foxcatcher" would lead the way with four nominations apiece:

"The Imitation Game" : Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay

"Birdman": Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay

I personally think that Morten Tyldum is going to get into the Director's race for "Imitation" and that Edward Norton and Emma Stone get into the Supporting races for "Birdman".

"Foxcatcher": Best Picture, Actor and Supporting Actor.  That's Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo respectively.

I personally think that Morten Tyldum is going to get into the Director's race for "Imitation" and that Edward Norton and Emma Stone get into the Supporting races for "Birdman".  I'd add Bennett Miller for Direction for "Foxcatcher".

Feinberg forecasts two nominations for "Wild".  One for Reese Witherspoon in the Lead category and the other for Laura Dern as Supporting.

He also has Hilary Swank as Best Actress nominee for "The Homesman".

Among documentaries, Feinberg says: "Keep on Keepin' On" and "Red Army" get nods and for Foreign Language film: "Wild Tales" and "Two Days, One Night".  He also says TFF #40 hit "Blue is the Warmest Color" will get a nod as well.

That total for TFF #41 from these categories would be 19 nominations.

The complete Feinberg Forecast is here:



Pete Hammond at takes a look at the aftermath of Telluride, Toronto and Venice and draws some conclusions.  Hammond specifically discusses Telluride features: "Foxcatcher", "Birdman", "The Imitation Game" , "Mr. Turner", "Wild",  "Rosewater" and "99 Homes".

Here's the link to that post:


Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter posted an article called "Critic's Roundup: The Ten Best Films from Major Fall Festivals (So Far).  Of the ten, Telluride lands three films on the list: "Birdman" (also listed as Venice), "Seymour: An Introduction" and "Wild" (both listed with Toronto as well).  It's worth noting that films that played Cannes are NOT included on their "Fall Fest" list so no "Foxcatcher" or "Mr. Turner".  Missing: "The Imitation Game".

The complete post here:


And I've also linked to the latest installment of Screen Talk, podcast from Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn who also provide their insight in the immediate aftermath of the conclusion of all three major fests that have just concluded.


Telluride player, Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game" won The Toronto International Film Festival's Grolsch Audience Award yesterday.  The film follows in the footsteps of such recent past winners as "Slumdog Millionaire", ":The King's Speech" and "12 Years a Slave" that played T-ride and then followed up with the audience award at TIFF (and also went on to win the Oscar Best Picture).  Does this make "The Imitation Game" your Oscar front runner?  Maybe not, but it doefinitely continues the great momentum that started two weeks ago in the Rockies.

Here's coverage of yesterday's Toronto announcement:


TFF #41 Class Photo (Getty Images)

We have mentioned in this space previously that TFF Senior Program Curator Gary Meyer has been at work at Eat, Drink, Film...a relatively new website devoted to...well... the three activities that comprise the websites name.  Eat, Drink, Film had its report about TFF #41 posted recently, complete with cool photos from this year's "class photo" session from Getty Images.  It's worth a look.  Here:

More on Thursday...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The People's Telluride/Scenes from TFF #41/Catching Foxcatcher

Good Thursday to all...


After about ten days of polling and a couple pf dozen responses, here are this year's results of The People's Telluride.  I asked readers of this space to rate the films they saw at TFF #41 on a 0-5 scale with "0" being "abysmal" and "5" being a "Masterpiece".  I then collated that information and divided by the number of respondents for each film.  To make the list, a film had to have ratings from at least 25% of the respondents.  That's the methodology.  Here are the results with the average rating in parenthesis:

1) The Imitation Game (4.73)
2) Birdman (4.46)
3) Wild Tales (4.23)
4) Foxcatcher (4.20)
5) Merchants of Doubt (4.04)
6) '71 (3.90)
7) Red Army (3.63)
8) Wild (Tie 3.50)
8) Escobar: Paradise Lost (Tie 3.50)
8) Mommy (Tie 3.50)
11) 99 Homes (3.47)
12) Rosewater (3.46)
13) Two Days, One Night (3.31)
14) Mr. Turner (3.00)
15) Madame Bovary (2.88)
16) The Homesman (2.58)


Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Look of Silence" had a 4.9 rating but not enough respondents to surpass the 25% threshold.

"Merchants of Doubt", "99 Homes" and "Escobar: Paradise Lost" all were rated by enough of "The People" to make it onto today's list but were not seen by enough of "The Professionals" to make that list which I posted Tuesday.

"Leviathan" was the one film on "The Professionals" list that wasn't seen by enough of "The People" to make today's list.

The biggest disconnect this year between "Pros" and "Peeps"; "Mr. Turner".  The pros rated it at 4.10 which put it at #6 on that list.  The Peeps rated it at 3.00 which made it 14th out of the 16 films on today's list.

There was also a fairly astounding separation between the choice of the Peeps #1-"The Imitation Game" and The Pros which, though rated by them at an over "4" average, ended up at #7 on The Pros listing.

And, yeow...the Peeps did not care for Tommy Lee Jones "The Homesman".

Monday, I'll have the combination listing from all the Pros and Peeps...13 films make that list.


The official Telluride Film Festival website has posted four filmed tidbits of conversations/interviews from this year's fests.  I have linked to them here:

Reese Witherspoon on "Wild"

Jon Stewart Q & A after the initial "Rosewater" screening:

Francis Ford Coppola on "Apocalypse Now" Tribute:

Hilary Swank on "The Homesman" during her tribute:


"Foxcatcher" Teaser trailer via YouTube

Mark Ruffalo kindly tweeted a link to an in depth story that did about the genesis and development of Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher".  The Mark Harris piece was posted originally on Aug. 24th but provides such detail that I have linked it here:

"Foxcatcher" opens nationally on Nov. 14th.

Coming next week to MTFB/FAC:  The Combination Ratings of The Peeps and The Pros and the first look at major Oscar categories as The Film Awards Clearinghouse returns to this blog!

Follow me on Twitter @Gort2.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Special Edition: The Professionals' Telluride/Telluride and Toronto: Some Assessments

Good Tuesday Everyone,

Today's post is a special edition of Michael's Telluride Film Blog as after today I'll revert back to the more common practice of posting twice a week.  MTFB's regular posting schedule for nine months of the year (Mid-September to mid-June) is on Mondays and Thursdays.  It's tome to go back to that schedule as we make the turn from our post TFF #41 experience into the film awards season.  As has become the norm, this space will now set out to track the fortunes of Telluride films through the maze leading up to and including the Oscars (announced on Feb. 22, 2015).  After all, the second half of what I call this thing is "The Film Awards Clearinghouse".

As always, should circumstances warrant, I will post with more frequency than the twice-a-week schedule.

I hope everyone enjoyed this year's coverage of the speculation leading up to the 41st Telluride Film Festival.


Alejandro Inarritu’s “Birdman” leads the 2014 “Professionals” ratings from Telluride. 

The Professionals:

Alex Billington/FirstShowing
Greg Ellwood/HitFix
Tomris Laffley/Film Journal
Eugene Novikov/Film Blather
John Rhodes/Screencraft
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/In Contention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood/IndieWire

I asked the Porfessionals to rate the films they saw at Telluride (or that had played both at Cannes and Telluride) on a 0-5 scale with “0” being abysmal and “5” being a masterpiece.  I arbitrarily decided to include films that had been seen by at least a third of the Professionals.  I have listed the films in order of their average rating and included that average in parenthesis). Here’s their collective wisdom:

    1)      Birdman (4.72)
    2)      Foxcatcher (4.63)
          3)      ’71 (4.25)
          4)      Wild Tales (4.20)
          5)      Leviathan (4.17)
          6)      Mr. Turner (4.10) 
          7)      The Imitation Game (4.06)
          8)      Mommy (3.92)
          9)      Two Days, One Night (3.90)
         10)    The Homesman (3.80)
         11)    Red Army (3.67)
         12)    Madame Bovary (3.30)
         13)    Wild (3.21)
         14)    Rosewater (3.06)

          And so "Birdman" emerges as the preferred film among the professionals.  On Thursday, I'll publish the People's Telluride results.  That means you still have time to send me your ratings to be included.  Rate the films you saw on a 0-5 scale and send them to me via Twitter (@Gort2), email: or as a comment to this blog.

       I can tell you that there will be some differences between The Pros and The People.

       Next Monday I'll also publish the combined ratings in which I'll use all the ratings from the professionals and us regular Joes.



      Now that the first "World Premiere" weekend of Toronto is in the books, a number of media outlets have begun weighing in with their view about the efficacy of Toronto's 2014 edict concerning films that played Telluride first.  I have included links to three of those pieces here from The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and The Chicago Tribune.

      Tatiana Siegel writing in THR writes, "there's little doubt that Toronto Film Festival director Cameron Bailey's anti-Telluride policy is having a chilling effect on the Oscar prowess of the first days"




           More on Thursday!