The Telluride Film Festival concluded in Colorado earlier this week, and as is the case most years, festival-goers have already pegged a few movies as early Oscar frontrunners.
If you're the type of person that already has their eye on their local Oscar pool, we have a few suggestions for films you'll need to know when award season roles around.
"At Any Price"
This racing drama could win favor with two different types of moviegoers. The director, Ramin Bahrani, has been a darling of the independent film scene for years with films like "Man Push Cart" and "Goodbye Solo" and a flawless record for minimalistic, human stories. "At Any Price" marks his most mainstream effort to date, as made clear by his two leading men Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid, who could help Bahrani find his biggest audience yet. "At Any Price" won over crowds at Telluride and could make a strong, but modest showing later this year.
Ben Affleck surprised everyone at Telluride, not only by deciding to premiere his next directorial effort in a previously unannounced festival screening, but also by the fact that "Argo" was easily one of the best reviewed films of the festival. The fact-based story of a previously confidential CIA mission to liberate U.S. citizens from hostile Iran played overwhelmingly well, many praising it as smart, suspenseful thriller. "Argo" opens on October 12.
Noah Baumbach is back with a stripped-down approach to the kind of drama he's known for making. Once again teaming with real-life love interest Greta Gerwig, Baumbach tells a simple tale, using black-and-white video, and the critics have declared the writer-director never better.
"Hyde Park on Hudson"
Though the film and its star received mostly mixed reviews, casting Bill Murray in the role of FDR is sure to grab some attention and potentially Oscar votes. Look at the facts: stunt casting, plus historical figure, plus physical handicap. Need we say more?
In this true crime drama, Michael Shannon kills people… lots of people. Shannon has always stuck close to the Best Actor race, and the way people have been writing about his performance in "The Iceman," he may be headed back to Oscar night for the nomination he deserved for "Take Shelter."
As much as I'd like for 'At Any Price' to get awards, it probably won't, but I still like the thought. 'Argo' and 'The Iceman' are real contendors though imho. A little disappointed that Bill Murray doesn't have a tag.