2019 Telluride Film Festival Lineup

Last year, we witnessed one of modern award predicting’s longest stats fall flat on its face. After ten years, a non-Telluride premiere won Best Picture. And while there’s all sorts of reasons Green Book managed to undo history and math to claim the prize, it still doesn’t change the fact that premiering at Colorado’s premier film festival (take THAT, Sundance) will most likely help you win an Oscar in the future. After all, while Best Picture may have gone elsewhere, the festival did feature Oscar favorites Cold War, The Favourite, Roma, and Shoplifters. And this year, Telluride looks poised to take back their King-Maker crown, thanks to a stellar lineup of great films.

Obviously, if you’re looking for your next Best Picture winner, the films you’ll want to take note of include Marriage Story, Ford v Ferrari, and The Report. These are the films with the loudest Oscar buzz – especially Marriage Story, coming off a strong bout of acclaim in Venice – and if they land firmly in Telluride, then they may be able to make the case for an Oscar push come January. Of course, while these three have the best chance of an Oscar bid, they are far from the only films in contention for love with the Academy. Amazon has looked beyond The Report to enter The Aeronauts in Telluride and, to a further extent, the Oscar race. Starring Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne, and directed by Wild Rose’s Tom Harper, The Aeronauts follows the first study of clouds and weather in a hot air balloon. It’s supposed to be a technical marvel, but the trailer (which I will be writing about soon) looks as dumb as this film sounds. Of course, trailers can be misleading, and if the film plays big at Telluride, then you can expect The Aeronauts to be a major contender going forward this year.

Of course, Best Picture isn’t the only category Telluride contenders can thrive in. Many films are looking to launch an actor’s (or actors’) Oscar bid. Renée Zellweger’s Judy, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce’s The Two Popes, Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn, and Adam Sandler’s team-up with the Safdie Brothers in Uncut Gems. Meanwhile, several Cannes contenders are looking to make their case for Best Foreign Language Film, including Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady On Fire, and Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite. Parasite in particular should be interesting, as the film is experiencing a strong push inside the Academy for a Best Picture/Best Director bid as well. We’ll see if word can start spreading at Telluride. And a few auteurs will be launching their newest films as well: Krisha director Trey Edward Schultz’s Waves will be debuting at the festival, as will Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, while Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life will experience its North American premiere. Oh, and on the documentary side of things, Netflix has managed to secure the premiere of their Bill Gates doc Inside Bill’s Brain, and the late, great Agnès Varda’s final film Varda By Agnès. They should both be riveting sagas about their subjects.

The Telluride Film Festival will take place over the course of this weekend, starting this morning. I will have updates for you early next week, and any major news will be shared on Facebook and Twitter. Until then, feel free to look at the schedule below and fawn over the beginning of Oscar season.

Main Program:

  • The Aeronauts (d. Tom Harper)
  • The Assistant (d. Kitty Green)
  • The Australian Dream (d. Daniel Gordon)
  • Beanpole (d. Kantemir Balagov)
  • The Climb (d. Michael Angelo Covino)
  • Coup 53 (d. Taghi Amirani)
  • Diego Maradona (d. Asif Kapadia)
  • Family Romance, LLC (d. Werner Herzog)
  • First Cow (d. Kelly Reichardt)
  • Ford v Ferrari (d. James Mangold)
  • Judy (d. Rupert Goold)
  • A Hidden Life (d. Terrence Malick)
  • The Human Factor (d. Dror Moreh)
  • Inside Bill’s Brain (d. Davis Guggenheim)
  • The Kingmaker (d. Lauren Greenfield)
  • Lyrebird (d. Dan Friedkin)
  • Marriage Story (d. Noah Baumbach)
  • Motherless Brooklyn (d. Edward Norton)
  • Oliver Sacks: His Own Life (d. Ric Burns)
  • Pain and Glory (d. Pedro Almodóvar)
  • Parasite (d. Bong Joon Ho)
  • Portrait of a Lady On Fire (d. Céline Sciamma)
  • The Report (d. Scott Z. Burns)
  • Tell Me Who I Am (d. Ed Perkins)
  • Those Who Remained (d. Barnabás Toth)
  • The Two Popes (d. Fernando Meirelles)
  • Uncut Gems (d. Benny and Josh Safdie)
  • Varda By Agnès (d. Agnès Varda)
  • Verdict (d. Raymond Ribay Gutierrez)
  • Waves (d. Trey Edward Schultz)

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