Sunday, September 4, 2016

2016 Venice and Telluride Film Festivals: Moonlight, Sully, and Hacksaw Ridge Land

After La-La Land landed with such rave reviews, hopes were high as the fall festivals get under way. So far, the films that we all expected to do well, have landed well, and we even have our first major surprise. Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, a three-part look at the life of a gay black man, has received raves, particularly for Naomie Harris, a well-liked actress who might finally breakthrough with an Oscar nomination. The film is small, definitely an Indie Spirit contender, but we have seen films like this do well in recent years with the expanded Best Picture race. Clint Eastwood's Sully landed to great reviews, and I think it will do really well at the fall box office, and with older Academy voters who love these biopic stories, and love Hanks and Eastwood. Tom Hanks is getting most of praise so far, but the film as a whole could be a major contender. But the big surprise so far was Mel Gibson's latest directorial effort Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield. Gibson is someone that has a dubious recent personal history. But he has never been bad behind the camera, and it looks like he once again has made a great film. The Oscar race is heating up...

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