The Telluride Film Festival wrapped last week. With Venice now over and Toronto ending this week, we'll see some films emerge as clear frontrunners moving into the fll fall wide-release season.
L.A. Times Tom O'Neil had this to say about the films at the Telluride festival:
Oscar hopefuls "Babel," "Venus," "Little Children," "Last King of Scotland," "Catch a Fire," "Infamous," "Volver" and others faced their first, tough kudos test this past weekend when they made their U.S. debuts at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado.
"I think 'Venus,' 'Babel,' 'Volver' and 'Little Children' are in," says Anne Thompson, Deputy Film Editor of Hollywood Reporter.
"'Infamous,' 'Catch a Fire' and 'Last King of Scotland' were well received by industry audiences, but I'd put them in the category of those films that have to play every single card perfectly -- do well with the critics and their critics' awards at the end of the year, get into the Golden Globes -- in order to land on their feet inside the Oscar race," Thompson added.
Pete Hammond, film critic for Maxim and an Oscar contributor to Variety, agrees with the Oscar assessments of "Babel" and "Volver."
He calls the reception of "Little Children" -- the tale of a lonely housewife (Kate Winslet) who has a secret affair --"extremely positive," but warned, "There were definitely polarizing factors" involving its subplot of a sex offender."
Reaction to "Last King of Scotland," about Idi Amin's brutal rule of Uganda, "exceeded my expectations," he adds. "Terrific response. Huge buzz." And "lots of people" gave anti-Apartheid drama "Catch a Fire" "very positive notice," he says.
The Truman Capote biopic "Infamous," which follows the same plot as last year's best actor champ "Capote," was "well received," says Thompson.
"Some liked it better than 'Capote,' some people didn't -- lots of discussions if Toby Jones is better than Philip Seymour Hoffman. Some people liked Sandra Bullock (as novelist Harper Lee), some didn't. Everybody thought Daniel Craig (as murderer Perry Smith) was very good, though there were titters about James Bond kissing Capote," she added.
Many Oscar watchers expected past best actress champ Nicole Kidman to emerge as a top rival again for her portrayal of photographer Diane Arbus in "Fur," but the fest consensus was that her role isn't showy enough to get voters' attention.