Listen: How Has Telluride Changed the Oscar Race? Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn Discuss on Indiewire’s Podcast

Listen: How Has Telluride Changed the Oscar Race? Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn Discuss on Indiewire's Podcast

Screen Talk, Indiewire’s weekly podcast co-hosted by Anne Thompson and Eric Kohn, is now available on iTunes. You can subscribe here or via RSS.

In this week’s episode, the pair meet up at the Telluride Film Festival to discuss several highlights from the 41st program, including Michael Keaton in "Birdman," Reese Witherspoon in "Wild" and Benedict Cumberbatch in "The Imitation Game." They also discuss how these and other movies — such as the Cannes-winning "Foxcatcher" — currently figure into the developing Oscar race. Moving beyond awards season fervor, they highlight some of the notable documentaries in the lineup and look ahead to the Toronto International Film Festival, which starts Thursday. 

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And I was the opposite of GM and found myself agreeing with Eric on those 2. I also saw both at Telluride and thought both well done, but I felt nothing for "Wild" and am not inclined to watch it again. I did enjoy "The Imitation Game" and also thought BC was absolutely fantastic (and I loved Mark Strong with the interjections of cheeky dry humor), but I did not leave *loving* it. I found the second half, after the code is cracked, much more interesting than the first half. I found the moral ambuguities concerning the ability to code crack and what to do with the information, as well as the issues of dealing with an investigation of his homosexuality, considering the laws of the time, to be much more compelling than waiting for machine to finally work.

I also *loved* "Wild Tales." I, too, ended up pursuing it based on a number of film critics/writers comments from Cannes and ended up fitting it into a late slot for me when I was shut out of the first "Rosewater" screening with hundreds of other people (and I wasn’t *that* far back in line). It ended close to the top of my list of favorites out of the 14 films I saw that weekend.


Typically I agree with Eric’s voice more than Ann, but I’m totally on Ann’s side this time. Everything she said about ‘Wild’ and ‘Imitation Game’ are valid statements in my opinion. I’m really glad that Ann defended ‘Wild’ because having seen it at Telluride as well, I thought it was a fine film and I haven’t seen any other lead performances by a female actor this year that come close to what Reese does here. My first thought leaving the screening was could we take away her best actress Oscar for ‘Walk the Line’ and hand it back to her for ‘Wild’. To Eric point regarding the flashbacks, I think they were essential to the story in illustrating the cleansing of her past through the hike. I think the narration in the final scenes sums it up wonderfully. I don’t think every film has to challenge conventional storytelling to be an interesting, intriguing film. I think the direction is incredibly strong here again by Vallée. With respect to ‘Imitation Game’ I think Ann is 100% on the money commenting that it’s going to play very, very well to audiences as well as Oscar voters. I talked to so many people who saw it and were absolutely effusive about it. I agree with Eric, this is the best I’ve ever seen of Cumberbatch and I think he increasing popularity in the U.S. is going to land him a nomination. I totally agree with Ann that this is a Keaton and Cumberbatch race right now with Carrell right behind them. ‘Birdman’ was as great for me as it was for both of you and I was astonished to see people leaving my screening shaking their heads saying ‘what was that?’ I think ultimately ‘Birdman’ is going to be very divisive for the less seasoned moviegoer than ‘Imitation Game’. Finally, I’m so glad you touched on ‘Wild Tales’. I pursued this film purely based on Eric’s reaction of it from Cannes and saw it on the first night. I love Telluride for this reason. The movie became a word of mouth sensation that by Sunday night passholders weren’t even getting into the screening at the Masons. The fact that a ‘Wild Tales’ screening replaced a scheduled screening of ‘Birdman’ speaks volumes and I hope you’ll continue to mention this film in the awards season dialogue

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