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Telluride: Hilary Swank Angles for Another Shot at Oscar With 'The Homesman'

Telluride: Hilary Swank Angles for Another Shot at Oscar With 'The Homesman'

Hilary Swank already has two best actress Oscars on her shelf, for Boys Don't Cry (1999) and Million Dollar Baby (2004), which is something that only 12 other women have ever been able to claim. But, having only just turned 40, she is not resting on her laurels. Since her second win, in 2005, she has pursued a number of projects that were clearly intended to be awards bait, but that failed to resonate with voters: The Black Dahlia (2006), Freedom Writers (2007), Amelia (2009) and Conviction (2010).

Now, however, she is starring in a film that in no way adheres to the traditional Oscar-baiting formula, Tommy Lee Jones' western The Homesman — and she may have her best shot yet at landing her third nomination.

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AUG
31
1 day

Telluride: 'Foxcatcher' Lands Stateside, Trio of Actors Strongly Embraced

Telluride: 'Foxcatcher' Lands Stateside, Trio of Actors Strongly Embraced

Bennett Miller's first two feature films, Capote (2005) and Moneyball (2011), were both nominated for the best picture Oscar. His third, Foxcatcher, has already garnered him the best director prize at May's Cannes Film Festival. But if Foxcatcher is to follow in the footsteps of Miller's earlier films, it will have to resonate stateside, too, which is why so much attention was paid to its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on Saturday morning.

A 134-minute version of the film, which has been slightly re-edited since Cannes, unspooled before a packed Palm Theatre — the same venue that the world premiere of Capote helped to open nine years ago — and, upon its conclusion, was met with a very strong ovation. Viewers seemed particularly impressed by the strong performances of the three men at the center of the film — Channing Tatum, Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo — two of whom (Tatum and Carell) have never been accorded roles of this nature or been as good as they are in this film (Ruffalo is almost always great), and all three of whom received major applause (Carell's being the loudest).

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AUG
31
1 day

Telluride: 'Birdman' Flies Into Fest, With Slightly Bumpier Landing Than in Venice

Telluride: 'Birdman' Flies Into Fest, With Slightly Bumpier Landing Than in Venice

The most coveted ticket at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival, so far, was easily one to Saturday night's North American premiere of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman. The genre-defying pic arrived at the Werner Herzog Theatre after opening the Venice Film Festival days earlier -- just like last year's Gravity, from Inarritu's Mexican compatriot Alfonso Cuaron -- and the rave reviews that it received overseas (several labeled it a "masterpiece") created a clamor to see it stateside. In the end, 650 lucky people got in, while hundreds more were turned away.

When the end-credits rolled, though, applause was warm but not massive, and debates between pundits immediately began about what, exactly, they had just seen. Some saw a profound critique about the decline of society's interest in art and artists and concurrently growing obsession with celebrities and superheroes. Others felt the film was merely a visually beautiful pastiche of a lot of ideas and episodes without a discernable message or point. I suspect that this debate will continue throughout the Oscar season.

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AUG
31
2 DAYS

Telluride: A Film Fest That Knows How to Party

The Telluride Film Festival isn't just about screening movies. Attendees of the four-day event also find time to squeeze in a number of receptions and parties, most of which take place on Saturday afternoon and evening, and all of which feature conversation about which films are most worth seeing and which company is said to be close to acquiring something, amid other chatter and gossip. Here is a recap of this Saturday's gatherings.

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AUG
30
3 DAYS

Telluride: 'Rosewater' Director Jon Stewart Receives Hero's Welcome

Telluride: 'Rosewater' Director Jon Stewart Receives Hero's Welcome

On Friday evening, Telluride Film Festival moviegoers became the first members of the public to see the fruits of the three-month hiatus that Jon Stewart took from The Daily Show in the summer of 2013 -- during which John Oliver's solo career took off -- when the world premiere of Rosewater, Stewart's feature directorial debut, unspooled at the Galaxy Theatre and was met with warm applause.

Stewart, who also penned the film's script -- which he adapted from London-based journalist Maziar Bahari and Aimee Molloy's 2011 book Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival, about Bahari's 2009 return to his native Iran to cover the heated Ahmadinejad-Mousavi election for Newsweek and his subsequent 118-day imprisonment -- was on hand before the screening to help introduce the film and after it to participate in a Q&A alongside its star, Gael Garcia Bernal, that was moderated by journalist Mark Danner. He said he was excited to be at the fest and, judging from the applause he received, festivalgoers were clearly excited to see him.

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AUG
30
3 DAYS

Telluride: Benedict Cumberbatch Leads Weinstein's 'Imitation Game' Into Oscar Fray

Telluride: Benedict Cumberbatch Leads Weinstein's 'Imitation Game' Into Oscar Fray

For a film made by Morten Tyldem, a director whom few in America have ever heard of, The Imitation Game certainly came into the Telluride Film Festival with a lot of buzz -- having Sherlock's newly-minted Emmy winner Benedict Cumberbatch as its star and marketing maven Harvey Weinstein's Weinstein Co. as its distributor certainly didn't hurt -- but it will be leaving here with even more, thanks to a very well received world premiere on Friday evening at the Werner Herzog Theatre.

Adapted by Graham Moore from Andrew Hodges' book Alan Turing: The Enigma, the history-inspired period piece drama is already being called a cross between A Beautiful Mind (2001) and The King's Speech (2010), two films that won the best picture Oscar. It's premature to predict the same outcome for The Imitation Game, but with the muscle of Weinstein (who flew out to the Rockies for the premiere) firmly behind it, it's a fairly safe bet that the film will at least be nominated for that honor -- among others.

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AUG
29
3 DAYS

Telluride: Fest Kicks Off With 'Wild,' Reese Witherspoon Returns to Oscar Discussion

Telluride: Fest Kicks Off With 'Wild,' Reese Witherspoon Returns to Oscar Discussion

Fox Searchlight's Wild became the first film to screen at the 41st Telluride Film Festival this afternoon when the fest in the Rockies kicked off with its annual Patron Preview in the Chuck Jones Theatre. Among those on hand were Cheryl Strayed, whose memoir inspired Nick Hornby's script for the film; Jean-Marc Vallee, the Canadian director best known for last year's best picture Oscar nominee Dallas Buyers Club; and Reese Witherspoon, the 2006 Oscar-winning actress who plays Strayed in the film. The filmmakers were introduced before the film, which, when it ended, received polite applause.

In terms of the awards season that kicks off today, my own sense is that the nearly two-hour film — which chronicles a 1,200-mile hike that Strayed took from the Mexican border to Canada to try to come to peace with her dark personal past and the recent loss of her mother — has its best shot at garnering recognition in the best actress Oscar category, thanks to a formidable performance by Witherspoon. The A-lister is on screen for virtually every minute of it, usually by herself, and does the sort of "brave" work — as in physically demanding, risque and not at all glamorous — to which the Academy has always responded. It's nice to see her really pushing herself again, after an up-and-down run since Walk the Line nine years ago.

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AUG
29
3 DAYS

Telluride: The Movies the Hottest Filmmakers Want to See

Telluride: The Movies the Hottest Filmmakers Want to See

As the Telluride Film Festival got under way this morning, high-profile festival-goers cited such films as Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, and Foxcatcher, with Steve Carrell and Channing Tatum, as high on their list of must-see movies.

To kick off the Labor Day weekend event, filmmakers, press and big-money supporters gathered for the annual Patron Brunch at Gray Head, a private residence high in the mountains about 20 minutes outside of town. Despite the sweltering heat, Michael Barker, whose Sony Pictures Classics is distributing Foxcatcher, donned a wrestling sweatshirt bearing the movie's title; Jon Stewart, here with his directorial debut Rosewater, gamely posed for selfies with people serving bagels and lox; and Laura Linney, who met her husband Marc Schauer ten years ago at Telluride, cradled their new baby boy.

As they and dozens of other boldfaced names took in the breathtaking views and sampled the sumptuous buffet tables, they talked with The Hollywood Reporter about which films, beyond their own, they were most excited about seeing. Screenings kick off this afternoon with the Patron Preview, which The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed will be the world premiere of Fox Searchlight's Oscar hopeful Wild.

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AUG
29
4 DAYS

Telluride: 'Wild' World Premiere Will Kick Off Fest

Telluride: 'Wild' World Premiere Will Kick Off Fest

Fox Searchlight's highly anticipated Oscar hopeful Wild will be the first film to screen at the 41st Telluride Film Festival, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The fest's organizers have picked it to be the film at the center of this year's "Patron Preview," a special screening that is open only to the fest's biggest spenders, who usually only learn the identity of the film they will be seeing once they are already seated in the Chuck Jones Theatre.

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AUG
28
5 DAYS

Richard Attenborough Remembered by Friend and Colleague of 72 Years

Richard Attenborough Remembered by Friend and Colleague of 72 Years

A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Editor's Note: The British filmmaker Michael Anderson, 94, is the oldest living best director Oscar nominee; he was nominated for helming the 1956 best picture Oscar winner, Around the World in 80 Days. 72 years ago, he was the assistant director on the film in which Richard Attenborough made his big-screen debut. He would go on to direct Attenborough in two other films over the next 33 years.

The year was 1942. The great Noel Coward and the soon-to-be-great David Lean were making a British war film called In Which We Serve. I was the assistant director and also had a small part in the film. Joining Noel in the cast were a number of young and unknown actors, carefully chosen by David, who would all go on to stardom: John Mills, Michael Wilding and Richard Attenborough.

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AUG
28
5 DAYS

Telluride: The Lineup, Packed With Awards Contenders, Is Unveiled

Telluride: The Lineup, Packed With Awards Contenders, Is Unveiled

The lineup of the 41st Telluride Film Festival, which its organizers unveiled today, is packed with some of the most buzzed-about Oscar hopefuls. Among the films that are set to screen in the Rocky Mountains over Labor Day weekend are the world premieres of The Imitation Game, perhaps The Weinstein Co.'s most promising contender; Fox Searchlight's Wild, one of several Reese Witherspoon vehicles vying for attention this awards season; Open Road's Rosewater, Jon Stewart's directorial debut; another take on Madame Bovary, this one starring Mia Wasikowska, which is still seeking U.S. distribution; and Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi's HBO-bound New York Review of Books doc The 50 Year Argument.

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AUG
27
5 DAYS

John Lasseter Dismisses Notion of Rift With Marvel Over 'Big Hero 6'

John Lasseter Dismisses Notion of Rift With Marvel Over 'Big Hero 6'

The 2014 best animated feature Oscar race might well come down to DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Disney's Big Hero 6. Dragon was one of this summer's biggest critical and commercial hits. Hero won't be released until Nov. 7, the first weekend after Halloween. But Disney-Pixar chief John Lasseterthe film's producer Roy Conli and co-directors Don Hall and Chris Williams teased the movie Wednesday by revealing 25 minutes of footage at a gathering of Oscar bloggers at the Disney Animation building in Burbank, a clear indication that Disney intends to give the film a major awards push.

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AUG
25
7 DAYS

Emmys: If the Results Indicate Anything, It's That the Voting System Is Broken

Emmys: If the Results Indicate Anything, It's That the Voting System Is Broken

The 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards were dished out at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles on Monday night and, for the second year in a row, many of the TV Academy's choices left viewers in the audience and at home with their mouths hanging open in bafflement, with some even calling for a reevaluation of the voting process.

Several of the results were simply inexplicable.

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AUG
25
1 week

Emmys: Live Blog

Emmys: Live Blog

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