Film festivals in American Telluride, Italian Venice and especially Canadian Toronto are like the start of the next football season.
The end of September is the time when the offseason is officially ending for all obsessed with “Oscars” and the hot season begins. Film festivals in American Telluride, Italian Venice and especially Canadian Toronto are like the start of the next football season: it is clearly too early to assert who will become the champion, but the circle of favorites is sharply narrowing. Let's say, exactly one year ago, after the victory, "The King's Speech!" in Toronto and the first press screenings of The Social Network, nine out of ten people predicted that the battle for the main Oscars will go between these two films - and they were right. Preeminent in Toronto and "American Beauty" and "Slumdog Millionaire", and, for example, "Treasure". Finally, many - “Ray”, “Juneau”, “Black Swan” - dispensed with prizes, limiting themselves to the premiere applause and advance squalls of enthusiastic press reviews.
Toronto, Venice and Telluride are all eloquent in the glitz of their carpets, with stars of the caliber of George Clooney or Ryan Gosling touring the September festivals, despite their publicly declared dislike for prize-winning campaigns. Which - do not doubt it for a second - starts right here, even if half of the films shown in Toronto or Telluride have no distributors, no strategy, or even any plans for the February ceremony at the time of their premieres.
So, the main result of the September summits of the Big Three was that this time they did not provoke any high-profile conclusions and correct predictions. The winner of the main prize in Toronto was the Lebanese tragicomedy “Where are we now?” recent debutante Nadine Labaki - and as impressive as the list of previous People's Choice Awards is, it's understandable that in an Oscar sense, this win sharpens the battle for Best Non-English Language Film at best. Lebanon did not even reach Iran with the drama "Divorce", which was previously awarded with the Berlin "Golden Bear" - both films were naturally nominated for Oscars from their countries (which, as usual, cannot be said about Russia, whose Oscar committee quarreled and preferred the triumphant Venice, "Faust" by Alexander Sokurov, Mikhalkov's "Citadel").
Film "And Where Are We Now?" In the meantime, the range of films that have chances for major “Oscars”, and indeed narrowed, but did not reveal at least some obvious favorites. The best in September was Michel Hazanavicius's Artist, a silent black-and-white melodrama, tucked away in Cannes by the Weinstein brothers and has since been considered a loyal nominee for Best Film and Descendants. Alexander Payne. Based on the book of the same name, the tragicomedy of the American indie classic who has been silent for seven years has collected the most respectable press, promises another nomination for the leading actor - and the constant favorite of the Film Academy - George Clooney and, it seems, won ahead of schedule in the annual competition of "small films with a big heart."
Film “The Artist” Film critics who returned from festivals adore Shame, the erotic drama of Briton Steve McQueen, for the daring role in which one of the best actors of his generation Michael Fassbender won the Venice Volpi Cup. And while Venice's acting prizes generally mean nothing to academics, Fassbender tops the list of possible Oscar surprises - unlike Ryan Gosling, the second-best actor of his generation, whose roles in Ides of March and Drive are too in danger of being excluded from race each other. In addition to "Shame" and "Drive", the new film adaptation of "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, performed by Englishwoman Arnold, received exceptionally good press - cameraman Robbie Ryan, also awarded in Venice, may well be noted for her.
Clooney's Ides of March have earned their portion of compliments for the masterful direction and grandiose cast, but they did not cause much enthusiasm either in Venice or Toronto, and therefore risk repeating the prize trajectory of Clooney's most successful film, Good Night and Good Luck (six nominations, not a single victory). The reaction to David Cronenberg's “Dangerous Method”, shown at all three festivals, turned out to be even cooler - the prospects for a drama about the friendship and rivalry between the titans of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung now boil down to a nomination for Keira Knight, who played Jung's Russian mistress, Sabina Spielrein.).
Film "Dangerous Method"
Among the actors, it was those who were most expected to generate the most buzz, whether it was Brad Pitt in The Man Who Changed Everything, Glenn Close in The Mysterious Albert Nobbs, or Gary Oldman. The outstanding actor, left without a single Oscar nomination after 30 years of a brilliant career, should become the main beneficiary of the so far impeccable reputation of the thriller Spy Get Out! The English-language debut of the Swede Tomas Alfredson, director of Let Me In, has the best chances for the so-called "British voice" - all the gratifying historical melodramas with an English accent in the current Oscar pool, thank God, no.
The film "The Man Who Changed Everything" There are no obvious leaders in it, I repeat, which may have upset the experts who were trying to sniff out the sensation, but is very good news for strong films that were released in the spring and summer ("The Tree of Life", " Midnight in Paris "," The Servant "), and the masters who are in no hurry to reveal their cards - Spielberg with" War Horse ", Eastwood with" J. Edgar”and Fincher with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In the end, early hype can not only help, but also harm - knowing this from his own experience Jason Reitman, who brought to Toronto with Telluride and "Juno", and "Up in the air" (10 nominations, one win for two), he decided to save his new film "Young Adult" until winter.