While the contenders in Venice are getting mixed reactions about their Oscar potential, the Telluride Film Festival opened with a bang, as Alexander Payne's latest, The Descendants has come out of the gate as a real Oscar contender. Clooney is said to be on top of his game, and Woodley is apparently an awards contender as well. This looks to be another Sideways for Payne and his team. Here are the early reviews:
Todd McCarthy from Variety:
"After a five-year wait since Sideways, Alexander Payne has made his best film yet with The Descendants. Ostensibly a study of loss and coping with a tragic situation, this wonderfully nuanced look at a father and two daughters dealing with the imminent death of his wife and their mother turns the miraculous trick of possibly being even funnier than it is moving. George Clooney is in very top form in a film that will connect with any audience looking for a genuine human story, meaning Fox Searchlight should be able to give this a very long ride through the holidays beginning Nov. 23 and well into the new year."
Gregory Ellwood from Hitflix:
"Word of mouth, awards season attention and Clooney's starpower should help the Fox Searchlight film at the box office where it will have no problem surpassing Payne's "Sideways" domestically. The picture should also be a key component in the upcoming Oscar race contending for all the major awards including picture, actor, director and screenplay. Woodley has an outside chance at snagging a supporting actress nomination."
I know these are only two reviews, but I had a good feeling like this, and I am hoping that further reviews only push this one into the forefront of a long, yet fun Oscar race.