Sunday, September 19, 2010

Festival Recap

TIFF has come and gone, as have Venice and Telluride previously, and while I am woefully unable to attend any of these film fests (FML), many other chatterboxes on the internet have been hard at work with exhaustive coverage, and through the power of hearsay, I can summarize some early consensuses about the films that opened there:

-The King's Speech (which nabbed TIFF's top prize) is said by most to be a heck of a good movie, and should have no problem landing nominations for Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Acting, and a handful of craft categories. Can't wait to see it.

-Never Let Me Go has split opinions pretty much right down the middle. Kind of a love-it/hate-it sorta deal. What side of the fence will the Academy land on?

-Danny Boyle's reportedly hopped-up and harrowing drama 127 Hours is blowing people away. Some worry that certain graphic scenes could prove too intense for older Academy members, but others are convinced that this is Fox Searchlight's best shot.

-Black Swan apparently lived up to the hype created by its excellent trailer, and champions of the film are ecstatic (especially for Natalie Portman's performance). However, many are quick to point out that its genre roots will probably keep it out of all the races other than Lead Actress.

-Made in Dagenham is eliciting comparisons to The Full Monty, and if Academy members aren't taken with Mike Leigh's bleak Another Year, this chipper movie might end up being the alternative British inclusion in the top ten.

-Conviction is getting mixed reactions leaning to the negative side for its cookie-cutter follow-through and flavourless style. But that doesn't mean it still can't court Oscar (maybe this year's Blind Side?). And Sam Rockwell is earning encouraging reviews for his performance, which is good to hear.

-Nicole Kidman officially joins into the already crowded Best Actress race with the TIFF debut of Rabbit Hole, in which her performance impressed a great many people. Diane Wiest is said to have a real shot too in the barren Supporting Actress derby. Of course, this is all assuming the film finds a distributor and release date for this year.

Other developments that occurred during the last few weeks include:

-The Social Network didn't play the festivals, but it has screened for the press. Word is good. Really good.
-Robert Redford's The Conspirator bowed to respectable reviews, but won't be released until next year.
-Lionsgate plans to distribute Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls (which could be this year's surprise squeaker) in early November for an awards run.
-The Tree of Life is off the slate for this year, but will be shown by Searchlight in 2011.
-Still no word on whether Newmarket intends a qualifying run for Peter Weir's epic The Way Back. Word from Telluride on the film has been mostly favourable.

As per schedule, predictions in the sidebar will be updated on the 1st of October, and there will be changes this time.

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