Business Insider‘s Jason Guerrasio and Michael’s Telluride Blog have recently indulged in some Telluride ’17 speculation, so I might as well offer my own two cents worth of hot air. Which is not to suggest that HE’s wish picks are total bullshit. I’ve heard some things and have good insect antennae, so what I’m guessing or suggesting has at least some relation to reality.
MTB’s list has included Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ Battle of the Sexes, Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049, Darren Aronofsky‘s mother!, Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name, Garth Davis‘s Mary Magdalene and Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game. (He also mentioned Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread, but that’s highly, highly unlikely.)
Hollywood Elsewhere is hearing for sure that Todd Haynes‘ problematic Wonderstruck is a lock; ditto Sean Baker‘s The Florida Project and Sebastian Lelio‘s A Fantastic Woman, which popped at last February’s Berlinale.
I’m strongly hunching that Battle of the Sexes, Call Me By Your Name and Andrey Zvagintsev‘s Loveless (the last two being distribbed by Sony Pictures Classics, a longtime Telluride presence) are more or less locked, and I’d love to see mother! play there also, of course.
Other apparent likelies or good fits, some of which overlap with MTB: Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049, Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game, Richard Linklater‘s Last Flag Flying, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Ritesh Batra‘s Our Souls At Night, George Clooney‘s Suburbicon and John Curran‘s Chappaquiddick (excellent script and apparently finished, but that’s all I know).
These films playing at Telluride would make basic sense in terms of generating buzz and marketing prowess, although I haven’t asked what’s actually going on. I’m figuring it can’t hurt to run a few flags up the pole and see who salutes. No harm in a little spitballing.
Rather than compose a big fat pseudo-knowledgable, paragraph-by-paragraph bullshit assessment, here are my off-the-cuff notes:
Forget Steven Spielberg‘s The Papers (Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks — 20th Century Fox, 12.22)…NO WAY, opening way too late, wouldn’t open in Telluride even if it was ready.
Alexander Payne‘s Downsizing (Paramount, 12.22) — NOPE, too late in the year, too much FX tweaking, too much finessing and re-editing. I’ve heard from a guy who saw it in Pasadena and had some concerns so who knows?
Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread, about legendary egomaniacal fashion designer Charles James — NO FUCKING WAY, PTA! If I know Anderson this sucker will be edited right down to the wire.
Michael Gracey and Hugh Jackman‘s The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox, 12.25) — NOPE, won’t be ready, not enough of a big splash platform, is more of audience movie, etc.
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon‘s The Current War (Weinstein Co., 12.22) — Probably not unless it’s 110% wowser, but maybe it is that. I’m just presuming that Weinstein Co. will be extra-cautious with this one.
Stephen Chbosky‘s Wonder (Lionsgate, 11.17) — MAYBE? They know they have a possible Oscar-y thing because they yanked it out of the original April release date & announced at Cinemacon that Wonder has the best research-screening numbers of all Lionsgate films, ever.
Darren Aronofsky‘s mother! — BRING IT ON!
John Curran‘s Chappaquiddick — MAYBE? Excellent script, smartly composed, very tough on Kennedy.
Garth Davis‘s Mary Magdalene w/ Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix — HAVEN’T A CLUE, not even a hint…nothing.
Dan Gilroy‘s Roman Israel, Esq. — WON’T BE READY UNTIL DECEMBER or thereabouts.
Richard Linklater‘s Last Flag Flying — MAYBE, HALF-LIKELY? Telluride could provide exactly the kind of word-of-mouth that a modest, character-driven film like this needs.
Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) — LIKELY — it was research-screened last October in Los Angeles to favorable responses. Been sitting on the shelf ever since…waiting, waiting.
Ritesh Batra‘s Our Souls At Night — One last time for Redford and Fonda following Barefoot in the Park and Electric Horseman + bittersweet septugenarian love story + lovely-sounding title means it has to be at least half-decent…no?
David Gordon Green‘s Stronger (Summit, 9.22) — MAYBE?
George Clooney‘s Suburbicon (Paramount, 11.3) — MAYBE?
Guillermo Del Toro‘s The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight, 12.8) — Doesn’t seem like a Telluride-type thang.
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘s Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) — Almost CERTAINLY.
Doug Liman‘s American Made (Universal, 9.29.17) — Doesn’t feel like a Telluride thing but you tell me.
Hany Abu Assad‘s The Mountain Between Us (20th Century Fox, 10.6) — Doesn’t feel Telluride-ish, too boilerplate-y.
Denis Villeneuve‘s Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros., 10.6.17) — LIKELY?
Roman Polanski‘s Based On A True Story — played in Cannes, underwhelming reviews.
Woody Allen‘s Wonder Wheel, a period piece set in a 1950s amusement park, shot by Vittorio Storaro — not being released until December. UNLIKELY?
Jason Hall‘s Thank You For Your Service (Universal, 10.27) — More Iraq vets suffering from PTSD — too been-there, done-that?
Greta Gerwig‘s Lady Bird Sony Pictures Classics) — Is this even coming out in ’17? A voice is telling me SPC may have decided to hold this one until ’18. Maybe Sundance?
Aaron Sorkin‘s Molly’s Game (STX, 11.22) — Sounds like a good Telluride fit. MAYBE.
Michael Haneke‘s Happy Ending — Even with Sony Classics distributing & Telluride having enthusiastically embraced Haneke’s films in the past, this one felt like a bit of a problem when it played in Cannes.