“A dryly amusing Bunuelian parlor piece about societal oppression, Yorgos Lanthimos‘ The Lobster felt partially successful to me, or at least intriguing for the first 45 minutes to an hour, but the second hour disassembled. The truth is that I was bored and hating on it almost from the get-go. I was even thinking about bailing as it went along but I figured ‘c’mon, be a pro, stick it out.’ And I did.” — from my 5.15.15 HE riff, filed from the Cannes Film Festival. But don’t listen to me with 80% of the Rotten Tomatoes gang having gone thumbs-up. Not to mention Guy Lodge’s Variety rave, also filed on 5.15: “A wickedly funny, unexpectedly moving satire of couple-fixated society.”
I have a pretty good idea of how tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday night will probably unfold here in Telluride, but I need more time to sift through things. It’s 7:44 pm now, and I have to scoot in order to be 15 minutes late for a dinner date with Santa Barbara Film Festival director Roger Durling at La Marmotte. 11:30 pm: Lovely dinner. The Amazon gang (Ted Hope, Bob Berney, et. al.) sat near our table; Brad Bird and a couple of others were over in the corner. The cool night air filled our lungs as we stepped out of La Marmotte. I strolled up to the Abel Gance outdoor theatre and watched the end of The Social Network, which was being shown as part of the festival’s Rooney Mara tribute. Then over to the Sheridan Bar to say hello to Kris Tapley, Eugene Hernandez, Greg Ellwood, Ryan Werner and Sony Classics co-president Tom Bernard. And then over to the Hotel Telluride for a lobby chat with Deadline’s Pete Hammond and award-season strategist Lisa Taback.
Daniel Craig is playing James Bond in Spectre and in one more film after that, but when that’s done I’d be hugely in favor of Tom Hardy taking over. Hardy looks dangerous. He doesn’t have Sean Connery‘s classy-casino-player handsomeness but he has that simmering brute beast thing. No one would have any trouble believing that Hardy’s 007 could not only kick OddJob’s ass but snap his neck like a breadstick. Yesterday Vanity Fair‘s Joanna Robinson wrote that Hardy is gaining on Idris Elba as the most popular Bond contender among English bookmakers. What do gamblers or bookies know? Nothing. Okay, maybe something. But the instant I imagined Hardy as Bond I knew. He’s perfect.
Is there any way to be a Hardy-over-Elba guy without sounding like a racist? No, there isn’t. Right now Glenn Kenny is starting to tweet something acidic and disdainful about the subterranean meaning of this post. As everyone knows by now Bond novelist Anthony Horowitz recently said that Elba is “a bit too rough to play the part…it’s not a color issue…I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond.” Everyone presumed that Horowitz used “street” as a substitute for “urban.” I think he meant to say that Elba doesn’t look particularly upmarket — that he lacks that special 007 vibe of a professional killer with a certain elite urbanity and polish. Is that also a racist thought?
I only know that Hardy, to me, looks like a much more threatening guy than Elba. Elba is rugged-looking enough but at the same time there’s something a little too amiable and moderate about him. He seems fairly willing to listen, open to reason — to some kind of civilized solution. But when Hardy gets that look in his eyes you have a feeling he could do anything. He could bite someone’s nose off.
Maybe I’ll feel differently after I see Elba’s performance in Beasts of No Nation, but I have this gut feeling about Hardy. He’s the guy….if he wants the role. And I wouldn’t blame him for a second if he doesn’t.
Hollywood Elsewhere landed in Durango about 25 minutes ago, or around 11:15 am. Half-blue, half-cloudy skies. Warmish. The Telluride Film Festival slate has been announced, and I’m flirting with the idea of watching Robert Frank‘s Cocksucker Blues for the first time in my life. Invitations to dinners and whatnot are hitting the inbox. Meryl Streep and the Suffragette gang (minus the pregnant Carey Mulligan) are throwing a small party this weekend. The usual scenic two-hour drive to Telluride awaits.
· CAROL (d. Todd Haynes, U.S., 2015)
· AMAZING GRACE (d. Sydney Pollack, U.S., 1972/2015)
· ANOMALISA (d. Charlie Kaufman, U.S., 2015)
· BEAST OF NO NATION (d. Cary Fukunaga, U.S., 2015)
· HE NAMED ME MALALA (d. Davis Guggenheim, U.S., 2015)
· STEVE JOBS (d. Danny Boyle, U.S., 2015)
· IXCANUL (d. Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, 2015)
· BITTER LAKE (d. Adam Curtis, U.K., 2015)
· ROOM (d. Lenny Abrahamson, England, 2015)
· BLACK MASS (d. Scott Cooper, U.S., 2015)
· SUFFRAGETTE (d. Sarah Gavron, U.K., 2015)
· SPOTLIGHT (d. Tom McCarthy, U.S., 2015)
· RAMS (d. Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland, 2015)
· MOM AND ME (d. Ken Wardrop, Ireland, 2015)
· VIVA (d. Paddy Breathnach, Ireland, 2015)
· TAJ MAJAL (d. Nicolas Saada, France-India, 2015)
· SITI (d. Eddie Cahyono, Indonesia, 2015)
· HEART OF THE DOG (d. Laurie Anderson, U.S. 2014)
· 45 YEARS (d. Andrew Haigh, England, 2015)
· SON OF SAUL (d. Lázló Nemes, Hungary, 2015)
· ONLY THE DEAD (d. Michael Ware, Bill Guttentag, U.S.- Australia, 2015)
· TAXI (d. Jafar Panahi, Iran, 2015)
· HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT (d. Kent Jones, U.S., 2015)
· TIME TO CHOOSE (d. Charles Ferguson, U.S., 2015)
· MARGUERITE (d. Xavier Giannoli, France, 2015)
· TIKKUN (d. Avishai Sivan, Israel, 2015)
The 2015 Silver Medallion Awards, given to recognize an artist’s significant contribution to the world of cinema, go to filmmaker Danny Boyle (TRAINSPOTTING, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) who will present his latest film, STEVE JOBS; documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis (THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES) who will present his latest work, BITTER LAKE; and actress Rooney Mara (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) who will present CAROL. Films will be shown following the on-stage interview and medallion presentation.
I was told a couple of days ago by an astute, always-perceptive friend that Tom McCarthy‘s Spotlight was trim, rigrorous and quite satisfying (“Definitely in the vein of All The President’s Men,” he said) so I was ready and waiting for the raves from Venice Film Festival. Sure enough, Variety‘s Justin Chang weighed in with one
“It’s not often that a director manages to follow his worst film with his best,” Chang begins, “but even if he weren’t rebounding from The Cobbler, Tom McCarthy would have a considerable achievement on his hands with Spotlight, a superbly controlled and engrossingly detailed account of the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into the widespread pedophilia scandals and subsequent cover-ups within the Catholic Church.
“Very much in the All the President’s Men/Zodiac mold of slow-building, quietly gripping journalistic procedurals, this measured and meticulous ensemble drama sifts through a daunting pile of evidence to expose not just the Church’s horrific cycles of abuse and concealment, but also its uniquely privileged position in a society that failed its victims at myriad personal, spiritual and institutional levels.
In a pre-Telluride, non-mp3-supplemented discussion of award-season intrigues, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg and Stephen Galloway conclude with an ill-considered remark:
Galloway: “The problem isn’t an excess of festivals; it’s that so many follow each other in a crunch — Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York. All the serious-minded movies come tumbling out in the fall, then the rest of the year it’s comic-book pictures. Which is exactly why I’m dying to see a good film now. I’ve wandered through the summer desert and I’m parched. Other than Straight Outta Compton, I can’t think of any recent film I fell in love with and believe should get a best picture nomination.”
HE to Galloway: There was this little film that opened three and a half months ago called Mad Max: Fury Road. (May is relatively “recent,” right?) The most awesomely composed action spectacle in a dog’s age. A masterwork from the great George Miller. Ten days ago Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan insisted that Fury Road was the year’s best film so far. Maybe you need to watch it again?