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Cannes Favorites Pick up Steam in Telluride: Foxcatcher, Mommy and The Homesman

They don’t call it the awards gauntlet for nothing. Foxcatcher, Mommy and The Homesman. Word on the street here in Telluride is that this crowd likes these films as much, if not more so, than the Cannes crowd did. That’s because festival goers in Telluride aren’t media or critics. They are film lovers. They come here to see good stuff and have a good time. That might be one of the best barometers for the Oscars until the industry starts voting.

Foxcatcher emerged as strong, if not stronger, than it did at Cannes. The presence here of Steve Carell and Channing Tatum certainly helped. But the critics who hadn’t yet seen Foxcather felt it and very much loved it. Foxcatcher is another brilliant work by Bennett Miller, who keeps it a slow burn and a character study on three men caught in a triangle. Funny and weird, it scratches at something, a hum many of us here in America also hear. Any film with acting this good, with such a strong central male performance is going to do very well in the Best Picture race.

As the young Xavier Dolan makes his way down the main street he is continually approached by festival goers who tell him how much they loved Mommy. Many of them have never seen any of his work so this was their first taste. His film went over so well with the crowd here that it could bode well for its chances for foreign language film. At 25, Dolan stands out amid the majority of filmmakers here, most of whom are in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

Finally, the Hilary Swank tribute was held opposite the Birdman screening, which meant many of us didn’t make it. But word has it there was a standing ovation by this non-press crowd for the film and for Swank. While The Homesman might not have been the critics darling out of Cannes, it is proving to an affecting and involving films for audiences overall. Swank delivers another brilliant performance, which is perhaps second only to her Oscar-winning turn in Boys Don’t Cry. In one of the few films to focus on the women’s story during the settling of the west, Swank was the embodiment of that fragile strength, that ambition that had nowhere to go without a husband attached. Overall, Cannes and now Telluride have delivered some slam dunks with strong performances by women.

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14 Comments on this Post

  1. phantom

    I took my sweet time with Hilary Swank, that’s for sure. I refused to watch her Oscar winning performances because I was rooting for Annette Bening both times and I didn’t want to jinx it (yes, I was an idiotic teenager, no surprise there). Years later I saw Boys Don’t Cry and whoa, this boy – who basically never does – did. That Oscar was well-deserved, though after catching up with Million Dollar Baby, too, I still think that due to her competition (the equally deserving Imelda Staunton and Kate Winslet), she was only nomination-worthy the second time around, and Annette Bening should have won for a career-best performance in a film that – unlike American Beauty AND Million Dollar Baby – was all about her, the sole lead (no sharing with a male co-lead in Being Julia, that’s for sure).

    Having said that, in my opinion her Oscar winning breakthrough performance will go down as one of the best female performances of all time, her follow-up proved without doubt that she was no one-trick pony and so did the strong work since then (Conviction, Mary & Martha). Her filmography is spotty for sure, but then again whose isn’t, and at least from time to time, she reminds us that she DOES have the ability to be amazing, she just needs quality material.

    Nice to see she is doing well with The Homesman, and the pictures are great, too, I actually had to check her age, she looked that good in those first few pics. She has the kind of healthy, naturally youthful beauty that is so rare in Hollywood.

  2. phantom

    OT (slightly) : Trailer for the other Swank film, “You’re not you”, it is a drama centered on a terminally ill woman and the aimless young woman who becomes her caregiver.

    Looks like a female version of intouchables – and generic, sure – still it could be worth something if it turns out to be a great acting showcase for Swank and the feature-wise criminally underused Emmy Rossum.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SE0m-N-b1VA

  3. Great to hear that the masses really enjoyed the films at Telluride. Should be interesting to hear what critics say about some of them at Toronto.

    In regard to Swank, I’ve always been a fan of her. She’s done some solid work since winning her two Oscars (Freedom Writers, Mary & Martha) and her two Oscar-winning performances themselves are fantastic. She certainly deserved it for Boys Don’t Cry. When she was up for Million Dollar Baby, all 5 of the performances nominated (Swank, Imelda Staunton, Kate Winslet, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Annette Bening) were amazing. I probably would have gone for Winslet of those five, but I loved all the performances so much that I wouldn’t have been too upset about the eventual winner. Easily one of the strongest Best Actress lineups ever.

  4. Glad to hear talented people like Miller and Lee Jones succeeding. Films like theirs are not really common.

  5. How crazy would it be for Hilary Swank to become only the second actress to win three Best Actress Oscars – and all within a span of just 15 years

  6. Tye-Grr

    ^And with no losses? Unheard of. And totally not gonna happen.

  7. Watermelons

    Nice to see some appreciation for Oscar-winning screen legend Kate Winslet (Finding Neverland, Flushed Away) in the comments!

    – Watermelons

  8. It’s great to see some attention and interest in the site for birdman and foxcatcher. We should all enjoy it while it last. That is, until the million articles about how gone girl redefined movies and should win bla, bla, bla. because… Fincher.

  9. Bryce "Cauã's sidepiece" Forestieri

    First trailer for Ferrara’s PASOLINI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BprVAsT_bM

    I have to say, it doesn’t look half bad!

  10. Genadijus

    Hillary is a definite contender for Best Actress nomination.

  11. If I know anything about Oscar race (and believe me I do), The Homesman and Swank aren’t going far. When the floodgates of Oscar-contending films will open (it’s still early, particularly this year), no one will remember “The Homesman”.

  12. Alan of Montreal

    Did they show Buffy the Vampire Slayer as part of her tribute?

  13. I like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the superb works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.

  14. The closer The Homesman comes to its release, the more certain I’m becoming of its Oscar potential. And that’s after a somewhat mixed response at Cannes. But an Oscar-qualifying release with a guaranteed awards campaign, a Hamptons centrepiece gala slot and one at Telluride with a Hilary Swank tribute, plus the sheer clout of its cast and crew convince me that it’s a contender.

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