Friday, August 31, 2018

2018 Venice Film Festival: Roma, The Favourite, and A Star is Born Launch Into Oscar Season

Venice already had the launch of First Man, which will definitely be in the Oscar conversation this Fall. Now, in the 48 hours, three new films have emerged with Oscar buzz and great reviews. First up was Roma, Alfonso Cuaron's Spanish-language followup to his Oscar-winning film Gravity. It is being hailed universally with near perfect reviews, all complimenting the direction, the personal nature of the story, and the beautiful filmmaking. Being foreign language could unfortunately hurt its chances at some of the top prizes. But I could see directing, writing, techs, and foreign language film all in the cards for the film.

The one that I am most intrigued by its Oscar chances is The Favourite. Yorgos Lanthimos managed a writing nod for The Lobster, but that is an esoteric group, and it was a weaker year for that category. It is being hailed as hilarious, biting, and his most accessible film to date. It also has a trio of actresses at its center that are being praised for their awesome performances. I think its period piece setting will help it in tech categories, I think actors will like it, and I think that it could be a dark horse, surprising contender this coming Oscar season.

Then came A Star is Born. I am admitting that I was wrong. I really thought that the fourth remake of a film was going to be one of those projects that busts when it lands. Once again, I reiterate, I was wrong. The reviews so far have been fantastic, praising the lead performances of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, Cooper's direction, the music, and putting a modern spin on a classic. It is the type of crowd-pleaser that often sprinkle the more indie films in the Best Picture race. I am now a convert on the box office and Oscar potential of this film.

Telluride starts tomorrow!

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