Telluride Film Festival Picks the Winners

Telluride Film Festival has an uncanny reputation for picking the most buzz-worthy films, the ones that go on to be nominated (and often win) academy awards. This year audiences left touting two films, Argo (directed by and starring Ben Affleck) and The Gatekeepers (directed by Dror Moreh).
Argo (in the above trailer) is a humorous quasi-documentary about the rescue of six state department officials who were imprisoned in the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. The movie premiered here but will be making the film festival rounds this month, and was TFF’s only “sneak peek” of the weekend, finishing just in time to screen in Telluride but not in time to be included on the festival program. The Gatekeepers is an indictment of Israel’s internal security forces, a bold offering in the very pro-Israel culture of Hollywood. Another notable film this weekend was The Attack. The movie is based on a novel by Yasmina Khadra about a suicide bombing and it examines the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Attack also has a cameo by the security apparatus illuminated by The Gatekeepers, called Shin Bet, or “The Defender that Shall Not Be Seen.”
Two foreign films were also on the list of festival favorites: Wadjda, which was Saudi Arabia’s first movie directed by a woman, and France’s Rust & Bone, featuring festival tributee Marion Cotillard.
Other noteworthy films included Frances Ha, about a 27-year-old woman living in New York, starring Greta Gerwig, who also co-wrote the script, and the instant hit Hyde Park on Hudson, featuring cult movie hero Bill Murray as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Telluride’s darling (and part-time resident) Laura Linney as his love interest/indiscretion. Bill Murray seemed to steal the show from even the handsome Ben Affleck—although both men were in town to promote their films, local Facebook pages featured candid photos taken of Bill Murray almost two-to-one, most with some hilarious captions about gophers.
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, also a part-time local, was on hand to present the movie he and daughter Sarah Burns and David McMahon created, The Central Park Five, a disturbing look at the legal and judicial tangle in the aftermath of the vicious rape of a female jogger.
Telluride Film Festival always screens some of the best movies after the film, so stay tuned to see which flicks you can still catch.

“Check me if I’m wrong Ben, but if I kill all the golfers, they’re gonna lock me up and throw away the key… “

“It’s GOPHERS, not golfers, Bill. And while you’re at it, why don’t you get started on the eight million prairie dogs out there on the Valley Floor.”