It’s Finally Here: The 41st Telluride Film Festival

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My favorite time of year has now changed from Thanksgiving and Christmas to the Telluride Film Festival, and those who’ve attended know this is completely valid and justified.  It’s an unbelievable four days of films, fellow cinephiles, good food and drinks (though I can’t drink), and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in the world.  It’s surreal and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience this once in their lives. 

Well, through the complicated situation between Toronto International Film Festival and Telluride, we’ve gotten a good sense of movies will play at the usually discrete and secretive Telluride lineup.  Telluride doesn’t reveal their lineup until the day of the film festival, which eliminates most press and paparazzi, only allowing people who want to be there to attend.  From what we’ve heard and seen throughout, this is my meaningless and insignificant attempt to spitball what we can expect this year at TFF41.  

Wild-2014-MovieWILD
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyers Club), this is almost a lock for Telluride, from its Canadian Premiere status at TIFF and Reese Witherspoon rumored to be receiving a Tribute.  And come on, you can’t have a hiking, finding yourself through nature film and NOT have it premiere at Telluride.  Regardless of my legitimate reasoning, it’s a surefire guarantee at this point, and would be shocked to see it not play.  

michael-keaton-birdman-movieBIRDMAN
Alejando Gonzalez Inarritu’s anticipated film with Michael Keaton playing the title role as a washed up actor looking for another shot at glory looks like an interesting and exploratory piece of work with quite the visuals.  Inarritu was at Telluride last year supporting his good friend Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and like WILD, it’s a lock for Telluride. 

chilling-first-trailer-for-foxcatcher-with-steve-carell-6FOXCATCHER
One of the films I’m most anticipating this year and I think can really do some damage come awards season is Foxcatcher, directed by Bennett Miller with a spectacular cast of Steve Carrell, Mark Ruffalo, and Channing Tatum.  It was raved in Cannes, and will definitely be on the top of my list to watch, if it comes.  I’m pretty confident that it will, having a Canadian Premiere status at TIFF. 

benedict-cumberbatch-the-imitation-gameTHE IMITATION GAME
The Weinsten Company’s gem for this fall, The Imitation Game was a well-regarded script that finally made its way through production with Benedict Cumberbatch filling out the main role of a WWII British codebreaker, which ultimately created the way for the first computer.  It’s been rumored to play at Telluride for a long time, and will be shocked if it didn’t play. 

27186-film-wild-talesWILD TALES
This Cannes gem from Argentina is a black-comedy full of short stories that is supposedly an incredible and hilarious experience.  After its success at the famed French film festival, it’s path to Telluride has been documented, and it seems like it’s in play, especially it being a Sony Pictures Classic product, which likes to show its film at Telluride. 

mr-turner-2014-002-turner-walking-to-hilltop-stone-cabinMR. TURNER
Another Cannes hit, Mr. Turner from Mike Leigh was a well regarded film that many think can have a potential chance at awards this fall, and many are predicting it for Telluride.  I can’t imagine it not playing, and am excited to see Timothy Spall’s award-winning performance as the famous painter. 

Bernal-585x329ROSEWATER
Jon Stewart’s directorial debut has been rumored and confidently predicted to premiere at Telluride.  His story about a journalist that’s detained in Iran for 100 days has been well-reported, especially considering John Oliver took over his spot on the Daily Show desk, which led to his deal at HBO.  I’m more excited to see Jon Stewart at Telluride with his availability to its filmmakers, but am slightly distant and unsure how this will play out.  We’ll see, but it seems like it’s a likely play. 

sundance-whiplashWHIPLASH
Though it already had it’s North American Premiere at Sundance, and though Telluride has a pretty strict NA Premiere status for all its films, I’ve heard rumblings that Whiplash will in fact play at Telluride, and that they have been willing to let go of its restrictions for certain films.  I would totally be fine for this ease up because Whiplash has been highly respected and reviewed, winning both the Audience and Jury awards at Park City, Utah.  I’m still a little hesitant considering it already premiered in the U.S., but I’ll go with what I’ve been hearing so far.  It’s a coin-toss at the moment. 

Mommy-Movie-660MOMMY
Being a huge fan of 24 year-old Xavier Dolan’s work, I’m extremely excited to hear that MOMMY could play at Telluride, the first time he’s ever come.  Getting a convincing stamp of approval at Cannes (lots of Cannes), it got a potential play from TIFF as it was labeled with a Canadian Premiere.  I’m still slightly hesitant in being confident that it’ll play, but I’m going with my gut feeling and my hopes that it will. 

Other films that will most likely play or is rumored to play:

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT (CANNES)
99 HOMESLEVIATHAN (CANNES)
THE LOOK OF SILENCE (sequel to The Act of Killing documentary)
’71
RED ARMY
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS: A 50 YEAR ARGUMENT (Martin Scorsese… TRIBUTE!!!)

If this is the lineup that we do get, there can’t be much complaining involved cause this is one hell of a lineup.  But I do think we are missing a few titles, maybe one big one, that has been kept secret.  It’s obviously a film that isn’t premiering at Toronto and there’s no way films like GONE, GIRL, INHERENT VICE, INTERSTELLAR, UNBROKEN, INTO THE WOODS, QUEEN OF THE DESERT, FURY are in play… I think.  My guess is that a film like BIG EYES (Tim Burton) might sneak preview and…. now this is a total guess and I’ll be wrong, but I do think one of the films that were listed previously might play.  My guess would be UNBROKEN, though it’s been denied for any fests.  We’ll see.  Anyways, it’s an exciting time and as I leave tomorrow morning to the San Juans, I can’t wait for the best film experience ever.  Au revoir. 

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