For an up and coming publication that loves film, it is best if we sat down and talked about what has been going on at the Toronto International Film Festival, Telluride and Venice.
Earlier I posted an article about some Oscar hopefuls for the upcoming season, what are going to be the big movies of 2012?
The specific films I want to talk about are Argo, The Master, Cloud Atlas, Anna Karenina, Hyde Park on Hudson, Silver Linings Playbook, and To The Wonder.
We will start of with Terrence Malick’s new film To The Wonder
My Original Thoughts: I praised the film for Malick’s track record and the all-star cast he has on board, but questioned its 2012 release due to the lack of online shots or trailer material.
Festival Reaction: To The Wonder currently holds a 71% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes with 7 listed reviews. When it premiered in Venice Twitter blew up with saying the film was booed at the end, however some of the Twitter population thought the film was excellent and some even thought it surpassed Malick’s previous film The Tree of Life.
Post-Festival Thoughts: A 2012 release seems very likely now, unless Malick does something crazy. The mixed reaction will probably continue when its released wide and the film will get very little Oscar consideration. Still anything is possible.
Next is Silver Linings Playbook
My Original Thoughts: I condemned the film to not looking like an award-winner but mentioned my trust in director David O. Russell. I complimented the acting from the trailer but questioned whether or not the characters would be too unlikable.
Festival Reaction: Silver Linings Playbook met Toronto with thunderous praise. Anne Thompson said it would be the one to kick off the award season and mentioned that the Weinsteins have done it again. It holds 100% on RottenTomatoes with only 5 reviews. Most Oscar-predicting bloggers said it would sweep the awards race with nominations and the push from the Weinsteins could drive it home. Best Picture nomination for sure, Jennifer Lawrence nomination for sure, Bradley Cooper nomination possible. Screenplay and other nominations are certain. Possible wins.
Post-Festival Thoughts: I didn’t give the film nearly enough credit from its average trailer and hype. I should change a method of mine, if it says Weinstein it is in the award race. This film is going to be one of the best films to be released this year unless Lincoln, Life of Pi, The Hobbit, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables, or Django Unchained can completely blow it away.
Let’s talk about Bill Murray as FDR in Hyde Park on Hudson
My Original Thoughts: I praised the trailer for Bill Murray’s performance but questioned the credentials of the writer and director. Said Murray would be a huge contender come Award Season unless the movie was garbage.
Festival Reaction: The movie was not garbage. RottenTomatoes currently has it rotten at 50% with 6 reviews, three of the fresh reviews only claim the movie is alright or average with scores like 3/5 and B+. Everyone seems to agree that Bill Murray worked out well as FDR.
Post-Festival Thoughts: I had hoped this film would do better and give Murray the boost he deserves, but it didn’t. Regardless of how he performed he will be dragged down with the negative reviews of this film and won’t even be an after thought come award season. Shame.
How about Joe Wright’s new film Anna Karenina?
My Original Thoughts: I praised the credentials of the director and writer but noted the director and writer have also both had their fair share of speed bumps. I took note that not many romantic period films have been hitting home lately.
Festival Reaction: The film stands at 70% fresh on RottenTomatoes with 23 positive reviews and 10 negative ones. Most of the Twitter population praised Jude Law’s performance in the film and Knightley’s alike. The Production Design and Costume Design were claimed to be “Oscar material.”
Post-Festival Thoughts: I have small doubts about Knightley and Law getting into the actor race. The reviews are primarily positive, but simply not positive enough to be an award winner. Categories like Costume Design and Makeup don’t usually care if the film is good or bad (see Norbit) however with all the period films coming out at the end of the year I would say Production Design is out of the question.
The Wachowski’s team up with Tykwer to create Cloud Atlas
My Original Thoughts: I expressed excitement about the trailer and the credentials of the writer/directors and the cast they had on board. I mentioned that the book was critically acclaimed and expressed concern on whether the story would blow audiences minds or appear convoluted and long.
Festival Reaction: My original thoughts were mostly correct as the film met extremely mixed reactions in Toronto. I heard there was a lengthy standing ovation, but some people left the film out of sheer boredom. The film holds a 74% fresh rating on RottenTomatoes with 14 positive and 5 negative. The makeup was widely praised. Some critics mentioned it is simply great for inspiring debate and thinking amongst filmgoers.
Post-Festival Thoughts: I am very very excited for this film. It sound like a film I would enjoy. It doesn’t sound like an Oscar-Winner, thought it will hit hard for Makeup and other technical categories. It sounds like a cult classic. I really hope mainstream Hollywood dishes out more original ideas like this, because good or bad and original idea for me is always welcome.
Now we move onto Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master
My Original Thoughts: I praised the trailers acting and the credentials of Paul Thomas Anderson. I also noted a screening that went down where viewers complained about its length. I said it wouldn’t be bad and it would contend for Oscar.
Festival Reaction: The Master is Certified Fresh on RottenTomatoes with an 88%, 58 positive reviews and 8 negative reviews. The consensus on RT says this “Smart, powerfully acted, beautifully filmed, and solidly engrossing, The Master extends writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s winning streak of challenging films for serious audiences.”
Post-Festival Thoughts: It probably won’t be the Oscar winner this year, depending on whether or not the Winter films completely blow us away. But acting seems like a good bet for Phoenix and Hoffman. I will definitely be seeing this film. The Twitter audience seemed pretty split but not as split as with To The Wonder or Cloud Atlas.
Last but not least Ben Affleck’s new thriller Argo
My Original Thoughts: I complimented the cast and Ben Affleck’s previous films, but I questioned the newcomer Chris Terrio writing the screenplay.
Festival Reaction: Argo is currently fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 13 fresh reviews and 1 rotten. Twitter met with mostly positive reactions, Oscar bloggers questioned if the film would be a big contender, some said yes some said maybe. The acting was mostly noted as average with some good performances from Goodman and Arkin. Roger Ebert said it would be this years Oscar winner for Best Picture in his blog.
Post-Festival Thoughts: This will be nominated for a lost of Oscars, probably none in the acting categories however. Can it win? Roger Ebert says it can, but I still think it has a massive amount of potentially high acclaimed winter films to break through and it could get forgotten along the way. I am very excited to see the movie though.