The Telluride festival was hit with a curious heat wave. Anything strange that happens with the weather and minds immediately go to climate change. It was already a topic last year and the year before as we watched the snow steadily melting from the mountaintops, but the heat here was unlike anything I’ve ever felt in the years I’ve been attending. We know weather isn’t climate, but even if the unusual warmth this year is just a freak anomaly, it still feels ominous. Gone is the cool crisp air of the mountains, even though there was an occasional downpour here and there. It does make you stop and think about where all this is going. In the ratified atmosphere up here, those thoughts only last, of course, as long as it takes for your mind to shift towards other things, like movies and movie stars.
Telluride has been bitten by the Oscar bug for a while now, but it’s probably never been quite as prominent as it is this year with so many new faces from Oscar world showing up on the streets of Colorado, like AwardsWatch’s Erik Anderson, Awards Circuit’s Clayton Davis, and Next Best Picture’s Matt Neglia, in addition to the usual suspects: Scott Feinberg, Scott Mantz, Anne Thompson, Dave Karger, Tomris Laffey, Pete Hammond, David Poland, Jeff Wells, etc. all tweeting out their positioning of this year’s potential gets from the fest.
Martin Scorsese being here has made quite the impression, even though he didn’t bring The Irishman. Last night, he handed Adam Driver his award during the tribute to the actor before Marriage Story showed here.
You hear the same certainty every year and you know that the certainty is still a 50/50 thing. Thus far, actors rule the day with Adam Driver, Adam Sandler, Jonathan Pryce, Anthony Hopkins, Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Eddie Redmayne, and Edward Norton all turning in noteworthy performances. How ever many there are here, there will be dozens more at Toronto. Venice also brought word of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, which appears to be a top-shelf performance worthy of a nod. How to choose, how to choose.
It’s a little easier when you move down to Best Actress. There is Renee Zellweger as Judy. Scarlett Johansson in a strong turn in Marriage Story. Felicity Jones in Aeronauts. And thus far, that is pretty much it in the lead department, but don’t hold me to that. There could be more cropping up here or there that I might have missed.
The films that still seem the strongest as we head into our almost-last day are:
Ford v Ferrari, which could earn Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Screenplay, Sound Mixing/Editing, Cinematography, Editing.
Marriage Story, which could earn Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress (the rare four), Original Screenplay.
Waves, which could earn Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and an acting nomination of some sort, although it’s an ensemble piece so that will be hard. Also Original Score, Editing, Cinematography.
The Two Popes, which could earn a few maybe nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (a first for Jonathan Pryce), Original Screenplay.
Judy: Best Actress, maybe Costumes.
I have not yet seen:
The chatter around town is still keeping the buzz for Parasite alive and well, as it remains one of the best films of the year and will likely hold that spot. It is in line to be the frontrunner for
Foreign Language International Feature Film, but could branch out into other categories, like Best Director for Bong Joon-ho
All in all, the focus does seem to be on just a few of these films that did well across the board here. Ford v Ferrari appears to have taken the “everyone liked it” slot, which bodes well for Oscar. Last year’s First Man seemed like such a strong bet out of the gate, but it was divisive if you listened to what people were saying about it, like really listened. There does not seem to be much divisiveness that I’ve heard around Marriage Story or Waves, but the one everyone has seen and liked is the racing movie.
The Patrons’ brunch was a lovely affair, with the sun shining down so brightly on the attendees. Delicious food, lots of happy people. What could possibly go wrong? So far, here in Telluride, it seems like nothing really has. So far.