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Reader Writes: Kris takes a trip to Telluride

We've been tinkering with the idea of a weekly or bi-weekly column where we hear some film talk from readers beyond just the comments section. So let's kick that off. Here's Kris Mascarenas to talk Telluride which just wrapped... - Editor

Long time reader, first time writer here reporting on Telluride Film Festival which wrapped up on Monday.   It was my second time at the festival, the first being in 2015 when Carol, Room, and Spotlight all premiered.  For the uninitiated, Telluride is located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. There is one road in and out of town and the moment you arrive, you can feel how truly special this town is.  It is a low-key festival with no paparazzi, and if you are lucky you can run into actors and directors while waiting in line for your morning coffee. 

I was on hand opening night for Judy but first there was a tribute to Renee Zellweger, and clips of her movie played (Chicago, Cold Mountain, Nurse Betty, and inexplicably... Miss Potter) before she was awarded the Silver Medallion...

There was a quick Q&A where she admitted she was in complete denial while playing Judy Garland for her upcoming movie. You can't sense the denial once the movie starts. She owns it, especially during the musical scenes, never allowing herself to go full camp. This is the definition of a comeback vehicle and I won't be surprised if she receives a fourth Oscar nomination and fourth Golden Globe win.   The movie on the other hand doesn’t match her performance. It slightly goes into her history with MGM and her drug use, along with her last marriage to Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock, doing what he can) but those are only fillers for the Zellweger show.  

Kris at Telluride, second time!

Waves, written and directed by Trey Edward Shults (Krisha) is about an eighteen-year-old black man Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), living in Miami.  He is a star wrestler with a loving girlfriend (Alexa Demie of Euphoria fame) and strong-willed parents, both played terrifically by Sterling K. Brown and Renee Elise Goldsberry.   Describing any more of the plot would go into spoiler territory so I will just say there is an event that occurs which affects him along with his family and the way they deal with the ramifications. I can easily say that the first hour and half of the movie is fantastic.  The acting, the writing, the directing all invite you into this world and I ate it all up. However, there is another hour left of the movie and when Lucas Hedges shows up as the boyfriend of Tyler’s sister, Emily, I started to worry it was going into white savior territory.  There are two movies here and I am not sure Shults succeeds in merging both into one final piece. You cannot deny that he's become quite a confident filmmaker, though. Cannot wait to see what he does next.

Parasite lived up to its promise as the winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It is an outstanding piece of filmmaking. By luck, Kim Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) finds himself as a tutor to the daughter of a wealthy Park family.  Through a series of comedic scenes, he is able to get jobs for his parents along with his sister. They think they have it made, until one rainy night they discover a secret in the household.  This is a Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, Okja) movie through and through -- what could be considered a comedy in the first half, turns quickly into a horror movie, commenting on class, family, and ambition.

I do not know much about car-racing so my enthusiasm for seeing Ford v Ferrari was not too high.  That said, it is a competent piece of filmmaking from James Mangold withd two good performances from Christian Bale and Matt Damon.  Clocking in a little over two and a half hours, it tells the story of Carrol Shelby and Ken Miles as they represented Ford in the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1966.  This is a paint by the numbers biopic including typical roles of supportive wife, cute kid, and evil businessman played by Caitriona Balfe, Noah Jupe, and Josh Lucas respectively.   The real star of this movie is the sound and you felt the Werner Herzog theater shake as the cars raced around the track. I jokingly told one of my friends it was a male grunting friendship movie.  But I will admit that when the credits rolled, I was moved and would mildly recommend it.

The last movie I saw at the festival was the hardest to get a seat to: Marriage Story. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson star as Charlie and Nicole, a couple in the process of separating.  She moves to California to become a TV star while he stays in New York to direct the Broadway premiere of his play.   They try to handle the proceedings amicably, but things quickly take a turn as false promises, regrets, and betrayals bubble up to the surface.  The movie was surprisingly both funny and heartbreaking and the stars are in top form. There is a ten-minute scene between the two of them that will rip your heart out. I can imagine it being shown in acting classes for years to come. Laura Dern has a terrific supporting turn as Nicole’s attorney and delivers two powerful monologues that would make Renata Klein proud.  This movie will be a welcome relief to those who suffered through the action-packed summer and will be talked about all the way to the Dolby Theater in February.   

The Q&A after "Marriage Story"If you'd like to be featured on "Reader Writes" or do a "Reader Spotlight" of some sort, feel free to contact us here at the blog. We don't always respond quickly but we'd love to feature more readers at the site.


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Reader Comments (20)

ok great write-up, now im anticipating!

September 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterG.ShaQ

Thanks for the write up. I am curious about Marriage Story and have already lost interest in Judy.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFaye

Humm... Kris is hot! 🔥

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFabio Dantas Flappers

Kris looking like that and having a measured, non-predetermined hateful reaction to Zellweger? As the children say, I have to stan!

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Cutie pie.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

@Fabio Dantas Flappers:

I second that. I immediately went to his IG after reading the article. 😍

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

I am soooo excited to see Judy!! Happy to have Renee back on the big screen and in the awards conversation. Say what you will about her Oscar win — she’s always been an interesting and dedicated actor. Good for her.

And Kris is CUTE. For a second I thought the guest blogger would be Kris Tapley and I was so relieved to find this Kris instead.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJake

Great read,nice pic and nothing negative about Renee,who is on her way to the Oscars.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Fortunately Zellweger has an Oscar already, so nobody needs to make excuses for the movie itself to celebrate her performance in it. (Cough, cough, The Wife.)

If she gets a nomination, great; I'm thrilled that she'll be part of the conversation. And I'm very excited to see her performance. If not she has a statuette at home already.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterH

Well Nathaniel, if you don't keep him I will! <3

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

So Judy the movie is average? Sounds like another Bohemian Rhapsody but without the box office. I would be shocked if today’s audiences were into this film.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMillicent

I use to LOVE Zellweger but i lost interest for her performances and projects after Down With Love (and her plastic surgery, to be honest) but now my curiosity for Judy is growing up,

But the movie in wich i´m more instersted is Marriage Story i want to watch another film from Noah Baumbach that satisfies me as much as The Squid and the Whale does.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

It drives me crazy in the Judy trailer that Renee jumps around lip synching and frequently moving the microphone away from her face like it's a paint brush. Singers need a microphone to be near their face.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterB

Great write-up, Kris! You are so lucky to go to Telluride. I'm really happy to read your praise for Laura Dern as I feared Marriage Story was becoming the Driver show and I really want her to win an Oscar this year... she deserves a career honor. I'm excited for Parasite and Waves as well.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I’m also fascinated by Marriage Story’s Jennifer Jason Leigh angle. As if she wasn’t enough of a Hollywood outsider already! Now the industry’s about to go nuts for her ex-husband’s side of their divorce.

I'm not complaining, of course—I think they're both great.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterH

I know it's early but there seems to be four actors guaranteed Oscar nominations come January : Zellweger, Driver, Johansson, and Bale.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Poor JJL. I'm not all up on—or down with—celebrity gossip, but Baumbach's affair with Greta Gerwig, whom he cast in Greenberg, had to have played a part in their split. Looking forward to Marriage Story, despite ScarJo's stubbornly persistent foot-in-mouth-itis

Zellweger looks sensational in her new profile for New York Magazine. Welcome back, Z.

And my God, Kris, such a cutie. Je ne sais quoi.

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Kris made me wet

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIBEATMERYL

Agree with @Michael R: Zellweger (JUDY), Driver & Johansson (MARRIAGE STORY), Bale (FORD V. FERRARI) and Pitt (OUATIHOLLYWOOD) look like sure things for Oscar noms at this point. Even if it is only Venice&Telluride fever at this point, they got that kind of semi-Oscar winner reviews.
Under the radar: Yaron Edgerton, who's amazing in ROCKETMAN; and Banderas who's great in DOLOR Y GLORIA

September 4, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Ed: agree on Pitt as well. What do you think Robbie's chances are for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood? I loved her in it but I do not know if there is enough "there" there.

September 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

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