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.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Three Billboards Outside… – That there is some damn fine filmmaking. More drama than comedy, but still a potent slice of tasty cinema pie.
— Alex Billington (@firstshowing) September 4, 2017
Three Billboards surprises & darkens at every turn, and often pulls the rug from under you. Love the way Frances McDormand says “culpable”.
— Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) September 4, 2017
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.”
So “Hostiles.” Truly draining experience. But packing a profound catharsis. Potent genre work from Scott Cooper.
— Kristopher Tapley (@kristapley) September 3, 2017
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) September 3, 2017
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
— Haroon Rashid (@iHaroonRashid) September 5, 2017
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.”
Mother! (Aronofsky): Goya’s Disasters of War via What To Expect When You’re Expecting. My insides have turned to porridge. #Venezia74
— Robbie Collin (@robbiereviews) September 5, 2017
mother! (A-) The exclamation mark fits, but nothing about this is lowercase. Forget the expert spookhouse nerve: hell is truly other people.
— Guy Lodge (@GuyLodge) September 5, 2017
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.
BATTLE OF THE SEXES: wonderful, compelling. I have heart of stone and I was v emotional at the end. Yeah girls. Yeah Billy Jean! #telluride
— Mara Reinstein (@MaraReinstein) September 2, 2017
Moved/inspired beyond words by Battle of the Sexes. Instant winner! Equal rights/equal pay for women! Love is love! Woo hoo! #Telluride
— Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) September 2, 2017
— Alicia Malone (@aliciamalone) September 2, 2017
Battle of the Sexes is the feel good female empowerment film we need right now. Emma Stone congrats on another Oscar nomination #Telluride
— Scott Menzel (@WeLiveNetwork) September 2, 2017
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