Sunday, July 14, 2024

Reactions For Oscar Contenders Are Pouring In From Telluride

By Josh Tarpley

For some, we have entered the best time of the year: the beginning of Oscar season. This summer we saw potential contenders such as “The Big Sick,” “Dunkirk,” “Detroit” and “Wind River,” but all eyes are on the remainder of the year for the heavy hitters. If you have been on social media at all the past few days, you will know that a majority of critics/pundits have descended upon Telluride, Colorado and a wide array of films have made their world premiere at the annual festival.

You can read the first reactions to “The Shape of Water” and “Downsizing” at their own linked articles, but click beyond the jump to read about other contenders coming out of Telluride.

​Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

​Vanity Fair’s Guy Lodge praises the film’s strong screenplay in his review,

McDonagh’s writing revels in such conflict, both among his characters and within the viewer. He’s no student of naturalism — like Aaron Sorkin, he writes all characters in a single, singular voice, and you can like it or lump it — but his richly quotable, mile-a-minute gutter poetry cuts directly to cruel, bloody-hearted truths. After the meta-upon-meta frippery of Seven Psychopaths, he’s regained the needling, morally burdened wit of In Bruges.”


​Scott Feinberg (The Hollywood Reporter)
wrote about the film’s Oscar chances with this exciting quote,

But Bale, a true chameleon who seemingly can do anything — including, in this film, speaking chunks of Cheyenne — makes this film a must-see. If it is released by the end of the year (a year in which the best actor field is looking awfully slim), it would be hard to imagine Bale not becoming a serious contender to win the best actor prize, which would go nicely with the best supporting actor Oscar he won for The Fighter six years ago.”

Victoria and Abdul

​Nicholas Barber (BBC)
gave “Victoria and Abdul” a 3/5 rating and from the sound of it we can guess that the film might not be a top contender in this year’s race,

A braver, more complex film might have scrutinised the Munshi’s motives more closely. It might have asked whether he was the opportunistic charlatan described by his detractors. It might also have asked how he felt about British rule in India. But Frears and Hall stick to a simpler, more comfortingly nostalgic story. Commercially, this was doubtless the right decision. But considering that one of their themes is that a lowly Indian should be respected as an individual, it’s a shame that the film doesn’t afford him the same respect.


​From Ben Croll’s review over at IndieWire,

mother!” begins as a slow burn and builds toward a furious blaze. Awash in both religious and contemporary political imagery, Darren Aronofsky’s allusive film opens itself to a number of allegorical readings, but it also works as a straight-ahead head rush. Not just another baroquely orchestrated big-screen freak-out in the vein of “Black Swan” (though it is very much that), the film touches on themes that — if too hazily figurative to be in any way autobiographical — at least tread on factors in the director’s own life.
Come for the house that bleeds; stay for the reflections on parenthood and the difficulty of living with fame

Battle of the Sexes

“Battle of the Sexes” might just be the biggest surprise to come out of Telluride. Yes, most were expecting a strong performance from newly minted Oscar winner Emma Stone, but it sounds as if “Battle of the Sexes” is much more than just an actress play.

​What do you all think? Of the films making waves at Telluride/Venice (and Toronto next week), what are you most anticipating? Do you think “Battle of the Sexes” is going to be a major player in the Oscar race? Let us know in the comments below!

You can follow Josh and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @JoshTarpley7

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Josh Parham
Josh Parham
I love movies so much I evidently hate them. Wants to run a production company.

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