Fences Trailer Throws it Into the Oscar Race. 

We knew that Fences directed by and starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis was a possible Oscar contender. The trailer released today puts both Denzel and Davis in the Best Actor and Actress categories. Davis previously won a Tony for the same role in the Broadway version in 2010. This is the definition of Oscar bait. 

Passengers Trailer

The Acadamy rarely rewards sci-fi films in major categories.  Last year The Martian was good enough to be the exception. I am not sure that the same cane be said for Passengers. The trailer doesn’t look like anything special. There may also be some burn out on Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. 

What do you think of the Passengers trailer? 

La La Land Wins Toronto’s Audience Award

La La Land has won the Audience Award at the 41st Annual Toronto International Film Festival. This pushes Damien Chaveles musical that much closer to a Best Picture winner.  Dive past Audience Award winners have gone on to win BP. The last 4 have all been at least nominated for Best Picture.

Last year’s winner, Room was given a huge boost and went on to a BP nomination and Best Actress win for Brie Larson.

Complete list of Toronto Film Festival Award winners:
People’s Choice Award: La La Land
People’s Choice Award Runner-Ups: Queen of Katwe, Lion

People’s Choice Documentary Award: I Am Not Your Negro

People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award: Free Fire

Toronto Platform Prize: Jackie

NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere: In Between

The FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: I Am Not Madame Bovary

The FIPRESCI Prize for the Discovery Programme: Kati Kati

Best Canadian Feature Film: Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves

Best Canadian First Feature Film: Old Stone

Best Canadian Short Film: Mutants

Best Short Film: Imago

Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: Jeffrey

Nocturnal Animals Trailer

Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals had its world premiere in Venice and recently was shown in Toronto. It currently has an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.  Nocturnal Animals strong cast includes, Amy Adam, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Armie Hammer and Laura Linney.

From Showtimes.com An art gallery owner named Susan (Amy Adams) receives a book manuscript called “Nocturnal Animals” from her ex-husband whom she left 20 years ago, and he asks for her opinion. However, the script revolves around a man whose family vacation turns deadly, and Susan interprets the violent thriller as a secret threat of symbolic revenge. Susan finds herself recalling her past marriage, and confronting some dark truths about herself.

The film opens in limited release on November 18th. 

Venice Film Festival Winners – Complete List

The Venice Film Festival announced it’s awards winners today. Venice usually doesn’t play much of a role in the Oscar race, but it does give us a look at what the industry is liking so far. For instance, Emma Stone’s win for La La Land puts her at the top of Best Actress contenders. She now has a proven record of winning. Same goes for Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals and Best Screenplay for Jackie.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Golden Lion:
The Woman Who Left, Lav Diaz

Grand Jury Prize:
Nocturnal Animals, dir: Tom Ford

Silver Lion, Best Director:
Amat Escalante, La Region Salvaje
Andrei Konchalovsky, Paradise

Volpi Cup, Best Actress:
Emma Stone, La La Land

Volpi Cup, Best Actor:
Oscar Martinez, El Ciudadano Ilustre

Best Screenplay:
Noah Oppenheim, Jackie

Special Jury Prize:
The Bad Batch, dir: Ana Lily Amirpour

Marcello Mastroianni Award for for Best New Young Actor or Actress:
Paula Beer, Frantz

Best Film:
Liberami, dir: Federica Di Giacomo

Best Director:
Fien Troch, Home

Special Jury Prize:
Big Big World, dir: Reha Erdem

Best Actress:
Ruth Diaz, The Fury Of A Patient Man

Best Actor:
Nuno Lopes, Sao Jorge

Best Screenplay:
Wang Bing, Bitter Money

Best Short Film:
La Voz Perdida, dir: Marcelo Martinessi

Lion of the Future – “Luigi De Laurentiis” Venice Award for a Debut Film:
The Last Of Us, dir: Ala Eddine Slim

Best Restoration:
Break-Up – The Man With The Balloons, dir: Marco Ferreri

Best Documentary on Cinema:
Le Concours, dir: Claire Simon

Live by Night Trailer


Ben Affleck is back in the director’s chair with Live by Night. The film is based on the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name. It stars Affleck, Elle Fanning, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Messina and Chris Cooper.

The film takes place in the Prohibition Era and is about a group and their dealings in organized crime.

Warner Brothers has been playing around with the release date as they decide if it has awards potential or not. Originally scheduled for an October 20,2017 release date, it was moved up to January 13,2017 with a limited release in December for awards consideration. They have yet to confirm an official release date, They did, however, release the first teaser trailer.



Telluride Kick Starts the Oscar Race


Monday was the last day of the 4 days of the 43rd Telluride Film Festival. The last 8 Best Picture winners were shown at Telluride. This year is looking to keep that streak going. Here is look at the standouts:

Manchester by the Sea-The Telluride response only confirmed what we already knew. Manchester is the current frontrunner to win the whole thing including Best Director Kenneth Lonergan, Best Actor Casey Affleck, Best Supporting Actor Kyle Chandler and Best Supporting Acress Michelle Williams. Manchester has a long road ahead. There are still many more movies that haven’t been seen that can over take frontrunner status. It’s not always good to be leading the race this early on.

La La Land-If there is movie right that can surpass Manchester by the Sea it’s La La Land. A musical, yes a musical that celebrates the history and art of filmaking. It’s the one film at Telluride that everyone can agree upon and enjoy. That is what makes a Best Picture winner. Like The Artist in 2011. It was not the best movie of the year, but it was the movie that everyone who watched it agreed that they liked it. More importantly though,  it was the least devisive. Manchesters gloomy plot migh turn some Oscar voters off while they rally around a happier La La Land.

Arrival-It will be a tough sell to the Academy. Sci-fi is usually not their thing. The reviews at Telluride were mixed, but some Oscar pundits love it and are convinced it will at least get a Nomination. If Best Picture is the movie that is the least devisive then Arrival is not that movie.

Moonlight-May be too small to go the distance, but the love for this movie is strong. Moonlight is a story  about a boy named Chiron, played at different ages by Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes, who is in a life of crime in a tough city.  His single mother, Naomie Harris is fighting a battle against drug addiction. Chiron finds a more stable family and begins to struggle with his sexuality. Sasha Stone at AwardsDaily called Moonlight a masterpiece. That’s not a word that she throws around lightly.  It may not be everyone’s cup of tea so it might struggle at the Oscars. It does have Spirit Awards written all over it.

Sully-We know that Tom Hanks can act. We know that he is overdo for another Oscar. The Best Actor race is thin right now with Casey Affleck as the only sure thing. There will be room for Hanks. The movie itself has mixed reviews with only 73% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Bleed for This– A typical boxing comeback film with Miles Teller as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza. Pazienza survives a life threatening accident and work to get his career…I don’t need to finish, you know how this ends. Word is that Teller’s strong performance makes the film. If Best Actor category stays thin then he may get in.

Other standouts from Telluride include, Neruda, Una and Wakefield.

Toronto is up next beginning September 8th.