Was Best Picture Shown at Telluride?

The Telluride Film festival wrapped up on Monday. Telluride is an important, but not necessary place to get your movie started in the Oscar race. The Co-Director of the festival, Julie Hunstsinger told Vanity Fair that Telluride does not care about the Oscars. They may not care, but eight Best Picture winners in the last 10 years made their North American debut here. Including last year’s winner, Moonlight.

Reviews for the festival have been mixed. From best selection in a long time to one of the worst. Here is breakdown of the major movies that played Telluride and how they fared. I have included their Rotten Tomatoes and/or Metacritic scores if applicable.

Battle of the Sexes: Sasha Stone at Awards Daily put this one at the top of her list as the Oscar frontrunner right now. I asked Jeff Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere if he agreed. He only responded with “WHAT??”. The reviews are mixed but mostly positive for Emma Stone’s performance as Billie Jean King. This puts her in contention for Best Actress. (yes, another year of Emma Stone).
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Metacritic Score: Not yet published

Darkest Hour: Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. Being called a companion to Dunkirk and a sequel to The King’s Speech. This is the type of film that gets a Best Picture nomination. True story and very strong portrayal of a real life person. Look for Gary Oldman on Oscar night.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Metacritic Score: 81

Downsizing: Something about Matt Damon who plays a guy who wishes he could shrink himself. I haven’t seen a good review, but scores high on RT and Metacritic. Probably not an Oscar contender, but high scores give it some hope.
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Metacritic Score: 84

First They Killed My Father: Angelina Jolie loves making torture films. This one is about a human rights activist and her attempt to survive the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The Academy has yet to embrace Netflix films. They are going to have to eventually.
Rotten Tomatoes: Not yet published
Metacritic Score: Not yet published

Hostiles: Very strong performance from Christian Bale who escorts a Native American Chief across “hostile territory”. Typical western fare, but this one puts Bale in the Best Actor conversation.
Rotten Tomatoes: Not yet published
Metacritic Score: Not yet published

Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig with her first directorial debut. Big props being payed to Saoirse Ronan as the lead. Another Best Actress contender as well as Best Picture.
Rotten Tomatoes: Not yet published
Metacritic Score: Not yet published

The Shape of Water: From master storyteller Guillermo del Toro, a fairy tale set in 1963. Elisa played brilliantly by Sally Hawkins works by herself in a high-security government building. She discovers a secret experiment and her life is changed forever. Hawkins has been mentioned as a Best Actress contender and the film as a Best Picture contender. Although the RT and Metacritic scores are high, there have been some not so positive reviews. This one may be too divisive to win, but may get the nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Metacritic Score: 92

Wonderstruck: Todd Haynes follow up to Carol, follows 2 children who wish their lives were different. Much like Carol, every shot of Wonderstruck could be a picture in itself. MIght be good for a Cinematography nomination, but reviews have not been very strong.
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%
Metacritic Score: 74

If the Telluride streak continues, one of the movies above will be this year’s Best Picture winner. Maybe Darkest Hour or The Shape of Water. Battles of the Sexes is a possibility. Its too rearly to know much of anything. We still have Dunkirk, Call Me by Your Name, The Post and mother! out there. If anyone tells you they know how the Oscar race is going to go, they are lying.


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