Saturday, September 5, 2015

2015 Telluride Film Festival: Suffragette and Room

With all the drama surrounding Syndey Pollack's final work, and the lawsuit by Aretha Franklin to stop it from showing, it is easy to look past the fact that there are lot of big awards and fall potentials emerging out of the festival, as usual.

I had my doubts about this one, because the trailer seemed just too heavy handed. And while a few early reviews have suggested that that might be a problem, there are enough really positive ones to outweigh those, and it looks like that critics will like it, but that Oscar voters might love it. Carey Mulligan in particular is getting a lot of praise for her lead performance, and might finally snag that elusive second Oscar nomination. But apparently a lot of folks are also praising the screenplay, the directing, and the overall uplifting nature of the film that could do what we know Oscar voters love: hit them in their heart. I do wonder about the supporting characters. Meryl Streep is apparently just a cameo, and unless this race gets really weak, I don't think she is even that good. But what about someone like Helena Bonham Carter? The few remarks made about her, as well as Anne-Marie Duff have been positive so far. Overall, I think the narrative is going to be about the lack of women in the film industry. The film, written, directed, and starring women, seems like the kind of film they need to embrace, whether they do remains a mystery.

Emma Donoghue's Room is an incredibly popular novel getting a film treatment starring Brie Larson, a great young actor who has already been snubbed for her performance in Short Term 12. Room premiered at Telluride to high marks, for the actors at least. The setting apparently is a bit claustrophobic for most viewers, and the overall tone, while emotional, is a bit jarring. But overall, the reviews have been mostly positive, especially for the two lead stars, Larson and newcomer Jacob Tremblay. The film seems a bit unconventional, so its awards chances really are hinged on its art-house box office reception, and whether critical groups are willing to back it early on. That being said, it is still one to watch.

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