Telluride Film Fest & The Golden Globes

When it comes to Big Surprises, nothing, err, trumps the Telluride Film Festival, which has managed to keep the names of the films and special guests on its annual program a secret until the cat is finally let out of the bag over Labor Day weekend. However, among the losers at this year’s Golden Globes were the prognosticators: the evening was full of surprises.

Alfonso Curaon directing “Roma.”

Regardless of how much Globe winners and losers shake up the narrative of the Oscars, however, the Telluride Film Festival will also have seat at any awards table.

For example, following a screening of “The Favourite” at Film Fest Laura Dern, who starred in Ed Zwick’s “Trial by Fire” (which opened at Film Fest) and was nominated for “The Tale” at the Globes, was overheard saying about Olivia  Colman as Queen Anne in “The Favourite” “That was one of the best performances I’ve ever seen on the screen.” Dern’s words came home to roost at the Globes, with Colman taking Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical.

The Queen & her “bitches” from “The Favourite.”

Back in September, here’s what we had to say on the subject:

And so goes the over-the-top, wickedly funny, titillating comedy drama, “The Favourite,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and starring Olivia Colman as the loopy Queen Anne. Her bravura performance, definitely Oscar-worthy, is nearly matched by her co-stars, Rachel Weisz as the hot brainiac with ice running through her veins and Film Fest tributee Emma Stone as Abigail, who captures hearts and minds as the innocent we first meet, but proves to be a worthy (read nimble) adversary to her rival, Lady Sarah.

Wolves running – in the Queen’s case, hobbling – around in sheeps’ clothing.

Game on ladies…

Then there is Barry Jenkins. His “If Beale Street Could Talk” was honored at the Globes when its star, Regina King, took home a stature for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture. Jenkins is a Telluride Film Festival alum. The writer-director had come up through the ranks at Film Fest doing everything to remain involved after his days attending the Student Symposium ended: popping popcorn, cleaning bathrooms, spilling beers. That is until his sophomore project and masterpiece, “Moonlight” became the movie to see in 2016.

Then there was Alfonso Cuaron, another Telluride Film Fest regular, who took home the Globe for Best Director Sunday night for his “Roma.” Back in September, we described his autobiographical property this way:

All in the Family:

It’s all there in luminous black-and-white, an intimate portrait of the artist as a young man, which, according to its “author,” 2018 Telluride Film Festival tributee Alfonso Cuaron, is based on his understanding today of the boy he was back then.

His cine-memoir “Roma” largely unfolds through the eyes of Cleo, Cuaron’s nanny, a young indigenous woman and domestic worker in the middle-class neighborhood neighborhood in Mexico City that gives the film its name.

The beautiful love letter to his surrogate mom was clearly shot through the lens of a camera ravenous for emotional depth. Cuaron’s meticulously detailed images on the screen result in an unforgettable study of a woman from a disadvantaged social background in the context of a world rife with issues of domestic strife, class and race.

We can think of few other portraits, short of a Rembrandt, that give so strong a sense of being handed a soul – including Cuaron’s mother, a bright scientist who nearly lost herself in the maw of an oppressive marriage…

The very buzzy “Shoplifters,” winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s top prize, is director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s shining example of an unconventional family. “Shoplifters” had its North American premiere in Telluride and was nominated as Best Foreign Film at the Globes. It lost to “Roma.”

Go here for a full review of the Golden Globes.

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